Black Friday, Small Business Saturday bring sales to Steamboat businesses | SteamboatToday.com

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday bring sales to Steamboat businesses

Ellen Becker checks out the merchandise at Allen's Clothing on Monday afternoon while Christmas shopping in downtown Steamboat Springs.

— While national Black Friday weekend sales fell significantly from 2013, Steamboat Springs business owners say they had a busy, strong holiday weekend.

Homesteader co-owner Steve Kennedy said he estimated that sales were up over last year, with customers taking advantage of attractive promotions to celebrate Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

"We had a great weekend," Kennedy said. "It was a lot of people taking advantage of our sales and promotions."

Kennedy said the store's vendors are understanding of the difficulty of running a small business, and the store was able to receive great promotional deals on products — a savings they were able to pass along to consumers.

Because larger retailers don't receive the same promotional opportunities, Kennedy said the deals can be better than consumers can find in other stores or online.

"They're actually better deals than people can get anywhere else," Kennedy said.

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Nationally, sales were projected to fall about 11 percent over last year, according to a poll by the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade organization.

The group reported Sunday that shopping during the weekend was expected to reach $50.9 billion, down from last year's estimate of $57.4 billion.

The NRF attributed the drop to a number of factors, including an improving economy that makes consumers less likely to rely on "deep discounts" and early holiday promotions that had shoppers making purchases before the weekend.

The NRF's Thanksgiving Weekend Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, estimated Sunday that 55.1 percent of shoppers would head to stores during the weekend, down from 58.7 percent last year.

The survey also predicted that the number of shopping trips made, including multiple trips by the same person, was down, as was the amount people will spend.

The survey projected that people spent an average of $381 during the weekend, down from an average of $407 last year.

F.M. Light & Sons co-owner Chris Dillenbeck said the drop in national sales wasn't evident at his store.

"Friday was good, and then Saturday was really good," Dillenbeck said. "I was working Saturday and saw lots of neighbors and friends come in."

The store ran a buy-one, get-one half-off promotion on all items in the store Friday through Monday.

Dillenbeck said he hadn't checked on how many people visited the store, but he said traffic seemed on par with previous years.

"Sales were good," he said.

MainStreet Steamboat Springs organized chocolate tasting at more than 30 downtown businesses in support of Small Business Saturday, and Executive Director Tracy Barnett said businesses were pleased with how the weekend went.

"It seems like it was a really, really, really great weekend," said Barnett, who visited downtown businesses Friday and Saturday. "I got enthusiastic responses from every business I was in. Stores were full."

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow.