It was a great weekend for small businesses this year. Holiday retail seasons have been dominated over the years by big-box retailers but this year it’s small businesses and those that are selling one-of-a-kind goods are in big demand this year.
This weekend’s Small Business Saturday attracted its biggest crowds and sales ever. Shoppers spent $16.2 billion at local retailers and restaurants across the country. That’s nearly $2 billion more than $14.3 billion spent in 2014, or a gain of more than 13 percent compared to last year, according to data from American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business’ Consumer Insights Survey.
The number of Small Business Saturday shoppers also increased over 8 percent to 95 million from last year’s 88 million. This is in part because many more local businesses also participated this year, with 4,100 businesses, chambers of commerce and local groups supporting the “Shop Small” day in their communities respectively.
Many feel that shoppers returning to “Main Street”, in such a big way is a good sign of a recovering U.S. economy. It also shows that shoppers are willing to spend a little more to support their local retailers and invest in locally made items rather than mass produced items. About 80 percent of consumers report that they have more willingness to spend a little more money on items from mom-and-pop type shops, according to American Express.
It also shows that people want to connect and invest in their community instead of big box retailers. It means that they also want to make connections which shows that people are valuing the “connection” more when they shop. This is also the reason that the “pop-up shop” is becoming huge for larger retailers. They take items from their main lines but market and display them in small shop spaces to mirror the mom and pop feeling.