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Downtown stores offer deals as shoppers search for holiday deals

By Shavonne Walker and Terrence Jefferies
news@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Cassie Thompson browsed the shelves at the Hive & Co. in downtown Salisbury on Saturday looking for just the right Christmas gifts for family and friends.

The days after Thanksgiving tend to get hectic for many consumers as they search for the latest sale or unique gifts for loved ones and friends. Many will flood big box stores or head online while some will go the way of patronizing small businesses.

Thompson said she decided to take advantage of her time away from her children, who were being watched by their grandparents, so that she could get all of her Christmas shopping done in one day and at one location. Thompson had just wrapped up a relaxing spa treatment at Salisbury Salon & Spa, one block away, before venturing into the Hive & Co.

“The shops downtown offer unique gifts. I love supporting our local businesses,” Thompson said.

She brought her list for friends and family and had plans to choose something for everyone on her list from the Hive & Co. — located on East Innes Street — and offers various handmade gifts, jewelry, bath and body care, candles and other scents.

Michelle Pentoney, the owner of the Hive & Co., said she had a number of giveaways in honor of Small Business Saturday. Pentoney declared this weekend as being good to her store. In fact, she exceeded her goal on Black Friday.

As to why some people tend to shop local, Pentoney said she believes it’s because, “they want that local connection.”

She also believes it’s because some shoppers are tired of the chaos that sometimes tends to happen when large crowds of people shop after Thanksgiving.

Lauren Pacello lives near the downtown area and prefers to shop locally. Pacello considers herself a regular customer at 3 Jem’s Boutique.

“I’m trying to look for other people,” she said.

But Pacello admitted she found more items for herself than those on her Christmas list.

Abby Parham, an employee at 3 Jem’s, said the shop has special offerings during the holidays. Parham said the boutique is usually closed on Sundays, but it will open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of December.

Trent Griffin, owner of Griffin’s Guitars on South Main Street, said he benefits from customers who do in-store shopping and online shopping, which also brings in a large customer base.

Griffin said he has walk-in traffic interested in beginner guitar lessons and others who want to either purchase or repair items. Griffin said the guitar store is the only guitar repair shop in Salisbury. Griffin said his business will do a lot of repairs as the weather changes and changes the structure of guitars.

He usually sees an increase during the holidays when people set goals to learn to play guitar in the new year.

Tonyan Grace Schoefield, the owner of Tonyan Grace Boutique, offered several sales this weekend, too.

“There will be different sales of the day around the clock,” Schoefield said about her Black Friday sales. “We’re going to have handbags and scarves. We’re trying to make sure all of our customers are going to be able to find some stocking stuffers.”

The entire store was 25% off for Small Business Saturday “just to celebrate local shopping and shopping local,” Shoefield said.

Dana Doutt, owner of the Shamrock Shoppe, said she had 30 percent off of all “Irish items” for Black Friday. The business owner said she also had a sale for all records to be purchased at 20% off, and 50% off all clothing items.

“Our Irish shirts, hats, collectibles and anything in our Irish section is all on sale,” she said. “Furniture is for sale too.”

“We are extending our hours. I haven’t quite worked out what they are going to be yet. And we’re going to do some Sunday hours as well. We will be having some different sales throughout the store,” she said.

Shelly Lowder, the owner of Sweet Country Style Boutique, had special offers on Friday and Saturday and has plans for future sales.

“We have a stocking stuffer bar coming up on Dec. 8 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on a Sunday, so we will have a lot of cute stocking stuffers. You can come in and purchase for someone in your family, co-worker, someone like that,” she said.

Pam Coffield, owner of Stitchin’ Post Gifts, started the business with her mother in 1975 and plans to have specials for 13 days before Christmas.

“We try to make it a really spectacular deal, as something leading to up to Christmas,” she said.

Coffield said that the business will extend their hours for the month of December leading up to Christmas.

“We will be open until 8 p.m. on Fridays in December up until Christmas,” she said. “We will also be open on 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays leading up to Christmas.”

Holiday shopper Mary-Holmes Chick is a Salisbury native and graduate of Salisbury High School. She’s since moved to Georgia where she works as a registered nurse.

“I love coming home to visit my parents and it’s just an annual tradition. I have to come down here and shop local,” Chick said. “I love coming home and seeing people I grew up with and their parents, and just all the new stuff that continues to happen in Salisbury. It remains vibrant after all these years.”

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