Black Friday gets all the buzz, but downtown Columbus retailers will offer their own deals and steals throughout December.
Starting Thursday and continuing each Thursday evening until Christmas, about a dozen local retailers along Washington Street will open their doors for Candlelight Shopping. The festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m., and most stores will stay open until 8 p.m.
Brittany Zoufal, manager of O’Child’s Children’s Boutique, started the event after seeing a similar program’s success in Bloomington, home to the the first O’Child’s store.
During these special extended hours, participating stores will station luminaria outside their doors to light the way, and some will offer sweet treats, special deals or entertainment at their shops.
The first day of the program originally was meant to coincide with the reopening of Fourth Street, which has been pushed back because of construction delays.
“We still really hope that people will come down,” Zoufal said. “The retailers will be open, and we will offer holiday drinks and treats to shoppers.”
Lynne Hyatt, owner of Lockett’s Ladies Shop, said she will offer a special on Pandora jewelry Dec. 6 and deals on other product lines other weeks, including Vera Bradley agenda planners. The agenda planners usually retail for $18 and $24.
“They’re such a great gift idea, you may decide you need to get one for yourself,” Lockett said.
Matthew Jackson decided to have the grand opening of his hair salon, Parlor 424, to coincide with the Dec. 6 event and will mark the occasion with poetry readings and live music.
Zoufal said she hopes Columbus residents will recognize the value of doing their holiday shopping locally.
“We hand-select things, so we can pick things that are made well,” she said. “They may cost a little more (than similar items at big-box stores), but you really do get what you pay for.”
According to the Retail Merchants Association, for each dollar spent at a locally owned and operated small business, 45 cents is reinvested locally. For non-local businesses, that amount is 15 cents.