Black Friday deals at local stores, offers unique experience

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - With Thanksgiving just one day ago, shoppers were out and about to celebrate Black Friday all over Southwest Louisiana. Big box stores like Toys 'R Us, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy were all hustling and bustling with people trying to be the first to gather up those advertised and non-advertised in-store deals. Some took to the streets and planned an evening stake-out. While others went to the local boutique stores to check out the deals.

Small non-chain stores like Mimosa (ladies apparel), Bella Cose (ornaments and decorations) and TeCi's Ladies Apparel spoke with KPLC about their Black Friday sales.  Local retailers say they can offer up a more personalized experience geared towards individual style and taste.  Lauren Monroe is the owner of Mimosa, she says her store can give deals like the big box stores, "Because everybody wants to get a good deal and everybody is willing to offer that good deal because it is Christmas time and gift giving".

Susie Castille has worked at Bella Cose for more than a decade. Castille says she has seen a steady stream of foot traffic coming to Bella Cose but more concentrated efforts on sales is year round.

Meanwhile, Teci Culpepper (owner of Teci's Ladies Apparel) says her upper-end clientele are not Black Friday shoppers. Culpepper says her clients prefer a more intimate atmosphere complete with tea and coffee. She says her biggest competition is online retailers like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

In the spirit of small business, tomorrow, November 26, 2011, is American Express second-annual Small Business Saturday. According to the credit card giant, cardholders will receive a one-time $25 bill credit if they buy items at small businesses.

Cardholders will need to register before they can receive the $25 credit.

NOTE: American Express has set up a Facebook page shoppers can search to see participating shops in their area.

And for the avid shopper or for the shopper who rather online sales, Cyber Monday is just around the corner.

(Posted video: Sulphur Thanksgiving, Prien Lake Mall Black Friday shoppers, Local small shops Black Friday)

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