COLUMBUS & STARKVILLE – Courtesy of the Dispatch
Many local stores have been doing gangbusters as the holiday season roars into full swing, thanks to the special services they provide and the superior customer service they offer – And THAT’S Good for Business!
Sarah Barefield, manager at The Purple Elephant on Wilkins Wise Road in COlumbus, reports that their customers come for the great pottery items from Mississippi crafters, and leave delighted by the staff’s impressive skill at gift-wrapping.
“We do a great job gift wrapping,” Barefield said. “A lot of people come and shop just for our gift-wrapping. We also just try to be as nice as possible. . . It was just better this year. We were very happy with the customers that came in, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.”
Gloria Herriott, owner of Hollyhocks in Downtown Columbus, credits the strong economy: “Small businesses know when it’s real. We’re off to a really good Christmas season. People have more money to spend and they feel comfortable spending it.”
Main Street Director Barbara Bigelow had this to say: “I’ve had great responses from our merchants from both days — Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday . . . We certainly appreciate people supporting them. It’s so good for our economy. Everything we spend with our local merchants, of course, stays in our community and it feeds our economy. That’s always good for the community. It’s just important to keep your money local.”
In Starkville, George Sherman’s clothing store on Russell Street did well, despite the Egg Bowl being in Oxford this year. His Black Friday sales were such a success that he will be extending them through the end of the month of Novermber.
“We specialize in service. We really talk to our customers and find out what their needs are and meet those needs,” Sherman said. “We were pleasantly surprised. . . Shop local, because those dollars turn back to the community.”
The Lodge, an apparel store, fell a bit short of expectations, but they still did quite well for themselves. Owner John Hendricks said, “You just can’t beat that football traffic.” he went on to say that customers still poured in to purchase Egg Bowl victory t-shirts and cowbells for the holiday season.
“We’re very excited about the holiday season,” Hendricks said. “We always hope (people) shop locally because it affects local people.”