Business owners gear up for Small Business Saturday

Shoppers see deals from store, American Express
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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Roseville may be known for its chain stores and nationwide retailers, but on Nov. 24 locals can experience a host of bargains in a different shopping landscape  — the city’s small businesses.

Small Business Saturday is an event billed as filling a niche between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in a way that supports the country’s independent merchants. The event was the brain child of American Express, which started the trend in 2009 by offering a deal where customers could register their card for Small Business Saturday, make a purchase and get $25 off of their next bill. That offer will continue again this year for its customers.

In Roseville, a number of small businesses are helping build the shopping holiday’s momentum by offering deals and attempting to showcase the unique level of service that set them apart from large-scale enterprises.

One believer in Small Business Saturday is Sherrie Armmirato, owner of The Doggie Bag Bakery & Boutique in Granite Bay and Roseville. Armmirato plans to make it worth coming out to her store as the promotion gets underway, most likely by e-mailing special coupons to her customers. 

“We’re all about shopping small,” Armmirato said, adding that American Express’s incentives make it a “win-win” for her customers.

Learning Express Toys, which sells specialty, hand-picked toys aimed at igniting the imagination and creativity of children, also sees Small Business Saturday as a major advantage for local shoppers.

“I’ve been telling all of my customers about it,” said owner Colleen Hendon, who interacts with shoppers at the Learning Center’s Westfield Galleria location as well as its store in the Rocky Ridge Town Center. “Every time I have someone make a purchase with American Express, I remind them to register ahead of time so they can get in on the offer.”

Hendon added that shoppers to the Learning Express Toys that day will get a free tote bag. 

Another local business owner looking forward to Nov. 24 is Charlie Landefeld, who operates Action Camera on the corner of Sunrise Avenue and Cirby Way. The Nikon J1 is one item Landefeld expects to be a hot seller this holiday seasons, with its high response auto-focus, fast shutter speed and wireless connectivity.

“I think all cameras that have wireless capabilities will be in demand,” he said. “That’s what all of the buzz seems to be about.”

Action Camera will be offering its own Small Business Saturday deals, some triggered by various camera manufacturers and others set by the store itself. Landefeld is determined to use the event to highlight the level of customer service businesses owners like him are able to provide.

“The biggest thing we’re focused on is getting ready for the onslaught of people,” Landefeld said of Small Business Saturday. “We’ll be making sure everything is well-organized, easy to find, and we’re in a position to help the customers with all of their questions. Basically, no matter how busy it gets here, we need to make the customers get the same level of service they would on any other day.”