North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Quil Ceda Village - Favorite Neighborhood Stores

Small Business Saturday a hit in Arlington


Andrew Kneeland

Ryianna Hunt at Favorite Pastime

Cars were parked bumper-to-bumper along Olympic Avenue in downtown Arlington last Saturday, as hundreds of local shoppers braved the overcast weather to "shop small" during the fourth annual Small Business Saturday.

Just hours after the country spent an estimated combined $600 billion on Black Friday, attention was turned to local shops.

"I found some things I like," Arlington resident Debbie Larson said on Saturday. "I've lived here my whole life, and I know they do a lot of work to make it shopper-friendly."

Several businesses offered deals and discounts to draw shoppers in. New Beginnings Thrift Store marked everything down 25 percent, Silver Hanger offered 20 percent off on all coats, and Favorite Pastime had a storewide 20 percent discount. Some businesses, like Action Sports, offer a different kind of incentive to would-be shoppers in addition to a 20 percent discount.

"We've been giving gifts away with most purchases," said Rich Senff, owner of Action Sports. "We had a really slow start, but it was pretty good in the middle of the day. Some people got some good deals, and those who didn't show up, didn't."

The busy day was business as usual for Senff, who boasts a monthly "Super Saturday" where everything is 20 percent off.

Favorite Pastime owner Sadie Moser is new to the scene in downtown Arlington, but she feels very welcome.

Andrew Kneeland

Sign outside of Flowers by George in downtown Arlington.

"People are very accepting," Moser said. "It's been wonderful. Lots have said 'This is my favorite store ever!'"

Moser saw lots of people through her doors on Black Friday, but even more said they'd be back when the Small Business Saturday discounts were in effect. Favorite Pastime has been open under new ownership since late October, and boasts not only plenty of traffic but a high retention rate.

"It's been very busy," Moser said. "We go in waves, so about every ten minutes lots of people come in. And they come in and take their time."

American Express is credited with starting Small Business Saturday in 2010 as part of an advertising campaign. It is a response to the traditional Black Friday retail sales, and Cyber Monday e-commerce sales.


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