Throughout downtown Menlo Park, retailers are bracing for the holiday shopping season. As they face increasing competition from online retailers, local businesses are coming up with ways to attract shoppers.
To encourage people to shop locally on the Peninsula, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors signed a proclamation in support of “Small Business Saturday,” one day of the expanding post-Thanksgiving shopping spree when small businesses are increasingly planning promotions and campaigns to foster community-oriented holiday shopping. It is held nationwide the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which this year is Nov.
S. economy more broadly.
The proclamation cites the U.S.
S. between 2000 and 2018.
However, small businesses and small retailers in particular are facing increasing challenges from online retailers. A 2019 Deloitte report predicting holiday shopping trends notes that the gap between how much holiday shoppers spend in stores compared with online is expected to continue to grow this year, with shoppers expected to do 59% of their spending online versus 36% in stores (other retail spending channels such as via catalog or direct mail promotions are counted separately, according to the report).
According to the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, “Every time you pick up a coffee at your local cafe, grab lunch at the mom-and-pop shop, or buy a new bag from a local store, you’re making an impact in your community. In fact, for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.
S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community.
The business is encouraging people to shop locally through social media, and has broadened its offerings to include more gift items such as hats, scarves, jewelry, and for the first time this year, a few men’s items as well.
In addition, she said, the store prides itself on its one-on-one styling guidance.
“We’re hoping people think of us when they think of giving gifts,” she said. “We’re hoping for an increase (in sales) for sure.
to 3 p.m.
, and has stocked up on Christmas items for cats, dogs and rabbits. The shop, located at 777 Santa Cruz Ave.
, will also host adoptions for cats and dogs Dec. 6 through 8.
“We do have a lot of unique items from all over the country,” she said. “It’d be nice for the customers to keep in mind we’re local, independent, and we grew up in Menlo Park.
We’re not a chain.”
“We really appreciate our customers and their support, especially now with all the online pet supplies,” she said.
James Manganaro, owner of Bridgepoint Music at 657 Oak Grove Ave., said he’s decided to stay closed.
Rather than remain open and have very few customers, he said, he’s planning to let his employees enjoy the long weekend.
Over the last five years or so, he added, encouraging people to shop locally instead of online has become an “uphill battle.”
The trend on the Peninsula, he said, is for retail to disappear and be replaced by food and drink establishments like coffee shops, restaurants or bars.
He pointed to three retail types that currently exist on the Peninsula: niche brands that can become local suburban chains, passion projects, and those he calls a “super big struggle.”
• Sign up for Almanac Express to get news updates. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.