Though many local residents may have plans to shop outside of Leavenworth today for Black Friday sales, local merchants are attempting to capitalize on the biggest retail shopping day of the year by offering discounts.
Some Leavenworth stores have special hours today.
Brendan Sheehan, owner of Santa Fe Trails Bicycle and Coffee Shop, said his store planned to open at 6 a.m., with bigger discounts being offered to early shoppers. The store normally opens at 9 a.m., but might benefit today by also having a coffee shop inside.
Sheehan said Black Friday turnout is likely to be greater elsewhere in the Kansas City area, but a "crowd of folks" typically visit his store on Black Friday.
"We get pretty good participation," he said.
Other stores may not have opened early, but are conforming with Black Friday tradition with discounted specials.
"It's big for us," said Deanne Montgomery, owner of Picket Fences & Petals, of Black Friday.
She said the Leavenworth business will have a storewide sale, but it will open at its usual time of 10 a.m. The regular hours allows shoppers to stop by after they've hit the big box stores.
"We'll continue with specials through the weekend," she said.
Jennifer Daly, president of the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, said shopping locally is important to smaller communities like Leavenworth and Lansing. Money stays in the community and helps fund public improvements for things like roads and parks, she said.
"Businesses really are the heart and sole of the community," she said.
Daly said it's important to shop locally not only on Black Friday, but throughout the year.
Claudia Samouce, office manager of Artistic Works By Lu, said she knows people head out during the early morning hours on Black Friday to shop at large retailers, but they can shop local later in the day. Artistic Works By Lu, for example, is offering a happy hour sales event from 3 to 6 p.m.
She said the downtown store tries to promote a Black Friday experience that is opposite from what one would find at bigger shopping malls.
"We've always just tried to have the relaxed atmosphere," she said.
Samouce said the store usually gets Black Friday customers who are accompanied by people visiting them during Thanksgiving holiday weekend. She said local customers enjoy showing off the town.
Kathryn West, co-owner of The Pot Rack, said her downtown store generally sees good traffic the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.
"It's clearly a busy time for us," she said.
But, because the store sells kitchenware items, it typically sees increased business in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
Page 2 of 2 - "The whole week is generally pretty busy," she said.