Black Friday fever to hit local businesses

Cranbrook Downtown Business Association encouraging retailers to participate in shopping holiday.

One of the biggest days for retail sales is coming up with Black Friday sweeping Cranbrook businesses this upcoming Friday.

The phenomenon, originating from a shopping blitz on the Friday following American Thanksgiving, has become a Canadian shopping holiday as well, with local businesses jumping on the marketing effort.

The initiative was enthusiastically endorsed by the local business community and while there was a concentrated effort to market products and services.

With the Canadian dollar at 75 cents to the American dollar, there isn’t as much cross-border shopping happening than in years past, according to Joey Hoechsmann, the president of the Cranbrook Downtown Business Association.

“We were very organized the last couple years with the initiative that had been put forward because of cross-border shopping, we had a big 10 per cent shift initiative and all sorts of things going on,” Hoechsmann said.

“What we found is with the dollar swap, we’re seeing a little less leakage to the U.S.”

Hoechsmann adds that the hype around Black Friday is becoming what it’s like for sales and deals on Boxing Day and beyond after Christmas.

“For sure in our realm and the electronics side and even some of the clothing and other retail, we’re seeing a huge shift from people who were maybe waiting for Boxing Week, they’re coming in for Black Friday sales now,” Hoechsmann said.

“It’s good timing for Christmas shopping and even shopping for yourself.”

On Friday, many businesses in Cranbrook will have special pricing and extended hours. For example, Real Deals on Home Decor will be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. while The Choice, which has a storefront on Baker St., has an additional location up and running inside the Tamarack Centre.

Hoechsmann says, from all the feedback he’s aware of, that businesses and retailers aren’t losing out on as much cross-border shopping than in years past.

“There was a lot of business going down south and that tap has all but turned off and those dollars now are staying in our community and it’s kind floating all boats so I think if you ask most retail businesses in Cranbrook, 2015 was a decent year, which is a nice trend of coming off three or four tougher years in retail,” he said.

For more information, visit the Black Friday website.