Downtown Indiana saw many customers out for the annual Ladies Day Out shopping event.
The event lasted from noon until 4 p.m. Nov. 15.
Thirteen businesses in downtown Indiana participated in the event: 7th St. Marketry Artisan Market, The 700 Shop, The Coney, Dan Smith Candies & Gifts, Europa Interiors & Gifts, The Finery for Men & Women, GC Wyant Jewelry, Holiday Beverages, Lucy Rae Gifts & More, Luxenberg Jewelers, Michael B. Shoes & Campus Corner, William and Mary Gift Shoppe and Woody Lodge Winery.
Most businesses participated in support of small businesses.
“We’re a retail store,” Josh Rosenberger, owner of The 700 Shop, said. “Anytime you can get a bunch of people out shopping, you want to be open and take advantage.
“We support downtown Indiana and incorporate its promotions. You want to be a part of that and help support the local economy.”
The 700 Shop sells men and women’s clothing and are located on Philadelphia Street.
“We appreciate people shopping downtown and coming into town to shop locally,” Jean Dennings, clerk at Dan Smith Candies & Gifts, said.
“There are very few businesses downtown, so we’re glad they come in and help us. It was a joy to see so many ladies out.”
Businesses also saw this as a great way to reach the community and as a fun day.
“It’s a great community event,” Hastie Kinter, owner of Lucy Rae Gifts & More, said.
“It’s a way for all the businesses downtown to get together and hold an event for the community. It’s a fun day.”
“We always participate in the event,” Michael Boiano, owner of Michael B. Shoes & Campus Corner, said.
“It’s a great event to get people out and have foods and beverages and a specialized opening. It kicks off our holiday season.”
It is also seen as a way to collectively come together as businesses to support each other and bring people into Indiana, Shelly Rosborough, owner of William and Mary Gift Shoppe, said.
Sunday was dark and rainy but that didn’t stop ladies from participating in the event.
“We’ve done the event for the past four years,” Gary C. Wyant, owner of GC Wyant Jewelry, said. “I was not disappointed. It was a well-attended event.”
Other businesses were not disappointed either, like Holiday Beverages, which sold alcoholic slushies during the event.
“The turnout was better than expected,” salesclerk Glenn Dean said. “Considering the cold weather and that we were promoting our alcoholic slushies.”
Woody Lodge Winery also participated in the event and thought it was “as best a time as any” for wine, associate Paulie McNealis said.
“We’re normally closed on Sundays,” Jeff Widdowson, owner of Luxenberg Jewelers, said. “It was an average turnout. Customer’s buying habits aren’t used to us being open on a Sunday, so we didn’t anticipate a lot of traffic.”
With the cold and rain, businesses were expecting less of a turnout for the event than what happened. Most were surprised at the turnout that happened.
“It went better than expected with everything going on,” Boiano said. “It was definitely a nice turnout. People were looking for something safe to do and every store was set up safely to ensure social distancing.”
Rosenberger was surprised, too.
“Given the weather, I was surprised how many people ventured out. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a good, steady flow of traffic throughout the day.”
Others, like Lucy Rae Gifts & More, weren’t sure what to expect.
“What with the weather, I didn’t know what would happen,” Kinter said. “I was very pleased with the turnout.”
“The Steelers were playing later,” Rosborough said, “so we weren’t sure what to expect. What with COVID-19, I thought the turnout would be less than in previous years, but it was very good.”
With the holiday season approaching, businesses are getting ready for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and other holiday sales.
“Downtown Indiana does a big promotion for Small Business Saturday,” Rosenberger said. “We’re hoping to remind people to shop small and, this year more than ever, it’s really important because we need to remember the little guys during the holiday shopping season.”
“We usually do a men’s night and promotions through the
holiday,” Wyant said. “Sometimes we do a giveaway, but we haven’t decided anything on that yet.”
“We’re currently running a red-tag sale,” Widdowson said. “Merchandise is discounted from anywhere between 20 and 50 percent off throughout the entire store.”
Dan Smith Candies & Gifts aren’t sure of any holiday events, but they will be participating in Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Lucy Rae Gifts & More are having specials for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday as well as sales throughout the month of December, Kinter said.
For Michael B. Shoes & Campus Corner, Sunday is the festival kickoff for Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.
“We participate in Small Business Saturday,” Rosborough said. “We’re also available to make an appointment to shop if folks aren’t comfortable with being in the store with other customers. We can open on days we’re closed or even afterhours.”
For Small Business Saturday in Indiana, for every $10 spent in a business, the customer recieves one Downtown Dollar, which can be used at any participating business through the end of December, similar to getting 10 percent back in purchases.
Woody Lodge Winery is holding a wine cork wreath-making event Sunday.
“You can purchase a glass of wine while doing the cork wreath,” McNelis said.
“We’re only allowed a certain number of people, but we’re happy to help get people back out doing stuff again.”
This holiday season remember to shop locally and support local businesses, whether in downtown Indiana or in your own town.