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Business Leaders Report Boost in Holiday Shoppers

Downtown Clawson stores say business was booming the first big weekend of the holiday shopping season.

'Tis the season for holiday shopping. And downtown Clawson merchants say the season is off to a great start.

On the heels of , business leaders say the national initiative was a plus for Clawson last weekend.

owner Mary Liz Curtin said business was "booming" on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. There was a 20 percent increase in shoppers for both days compared to last year, she said. 

"We had very good traffic," Curtin said.

Joan Horton said there was a boost in the number of shoppers overall on Small Business Saturday. Horton was downtown promoting the initiative with a jolly Santa Claus last weekend.

"We have more places to shop," said Horton, referring to newer stores such as and that have opened this year. 

"Shopping small has a huge impact (on local economy)," Horton said. "And people were supporting it."

According to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey conducted by BIGresearch, 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites Thursday through Saturday last week, a record up from last year's 212 million shoppers.

In addition, the NRF reports that the average shopper spent $398.62 during the holiday weekend, up from $365.34 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $52.4 billion.

Vikki Stoddart, owner of HIPS, said she offered 20 percent off all merchandise on Small Business Saturday. She said the store was busy for most of the day. 

"It went really well for us," Stoddart said. "I think (Small Business Saturday) is fantastic."

Stoddart said she expects store traffic to increase throughout the season as more women look to HIPS for cocktail dresses and formals for holiday parties.

said business was booming on Black Friday and there were fewer customers on Small Business Saturday.

"It was crazy in here," said Doc Zgorski, Wunderground sales associate.

With Small Business Saturday only in its second year, Curtin said she'd like to see more strategizing from small merchants. For example, she said stores should offer more discounts and incentives to shoppers.

"There’s no real compelling reason for shoppers to shop on Small Business Saturday," Curtin said. "I think next year we will offer some kind of… special gift with purchase."

Laura Houser and Brendan McGaughey contributed to this report.

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