In 2021, nationally, 51 million shoppers participated in
Shop Small Saturday, spending $20 billion, according to the
National Retail Federation.
Merchants’ hopes for an even better event in 2022 seem to
have held up, according to reports by merchants.
Shop Small Saturday evolved out of a 2010 partnership
between American Express, the nonprofit National Trust For
Historic Preservation and the mayor of Boston.
Sales in 2021 set records, but the numbers were still below
pre-pandemic levels. A Lending Tree survey last year found
that 53% of the U.S. population knows at least one small
business that was forced to close permanently due to COVID
NUMBERS ARE UP
Downtown Fort Pierce merchants reported sales increases
above last year’s event by between 10% and 15%. Some stores
did even better than that.
“It was almost 17 % better than last year,” said Becky
Demanuel of the gift store Chic & Shore Things on Second
Street. “Actually, it’s my second-best day of the year saleswise.
The event really is a boost for the downtown area.”
Karen DeVries, owner of Chaney’s House O’Flowers on the
corner of Avenue A and Second Street, said her sales tripled
from last year.
“I think the advertising and people wanting to shop local
businesses was the reason,” she explained. “We kept advertising
on social media and I think that just brought more
Jan Russell of Sweets Jewelers on Avenue A, whose family
has been in business in the same spot since 1926, noted that
“Downtown was busy. It was like the old days.”
For Beryl Muise, owner of the gift store Notions & Potions
on Second Street, Black Friday this year was even better than
Shop Small Saturday. Muise recorded sales 40% higher than
“I think more people want to support shopping small and I
think these numbers prove it,” she said.
Muise said she has seen a steady stream of locals who patronize
her store. She is also looking to even better times ahead.
“Everyone downtown is very, very excited for when King’s
Landing comes,” Muise said. “The hotel will make a huge
difference for us. We’re realizing that locals want to shop in
their own community and I think all the planned new development
will continue to help us.”
While a couple of downtown businesses have closed in the
past year Whirled Inc., a gift and art store, and Honey & Co.,
a women’s clothing boutique, they’ve either already been replaced
or are about to be. Sarah Jane and Co. replaced Honey
and Loup de Loup, near Chaney’s and Sweets Jewelers, has
expanded into double the retail space.
Muise, who is active in the Downtown Business Association,
reports that all downtown retail spaces are filled and
that there’s a waiting list for new vendors. She also confirmed
what national surveys have found regarding downtown
shoppers and their needs. >>
Businesses such as Sweets Jewelers in downtown since the 1920s reported brisk sales in November. According to Jan Russell of Sweets, “it was just like the
old days.” Russell’s grandfather, John Noelke, bought the jewelry store from the Sweet family in the 1940s.