ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – For small businesses, the busiest time of the year is almost here. For many, the critical holiday season will be met with trying to step up and fill the void left by Nordstrom closing.
Nordstrom may be a thing of the past in Anchorage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find what you’re looking for in the form of small locally owned business.
Lauren Blanchett owns Portfolio, Classic Woman, and Tiny Ptarmigan. Blanchett is one of many small business owners gearing up for the upcoming holiday shopping rush — hoping to keep customers offline, and into their stores.
“I think a lot of us get in our bubble, and we drive from home to work every day and if it’s not on our radar already, we don’t even think about it,” said Blanchett.
Some of these business owners say they’ve seen an uptick in customers since Nordstrom’s closing.
“The biggest for me in our kids store, Tiny Ptarmigan, we immediately changed our size assortment,” said Blanchett. “We were going just up to size eight, and now we go up to size twelve, and frankly it’s very successful in that size range already, which is a pretty immediate response.”
Stallone’s Menswear is another locally owned business that has been dressing generations of men in Anchorage for more than 48 years.
“We have seen some increased traffic with the clothing of Nordstrom, and I would say that everybody is very surprised at the selection that they can find here at Stallone’s,” said Stallone’s store manager, Ronda Sneddon.
Sneddon says the experience you get inside these stores is something you just can’t find online.
“The wonderful thing about shopping local or shopping in the presence of the merchandise is to actually be able to touch and feel that merchandise,” Sneddon said. “You can’t get that service online. Being a local business, we’ve taken the opportunity to handpick everything that comes into the store, so we’ve done your homework for you.”
Getting people into these stores is even better for our local economy, according to the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.
“What national data tells us is that between 40 and 68 cents per dollar will circulate in the local economy if it’s spent locally, whereas next to no real value comes to the local economy in the form of economic activity when it’s spent online,” said AEDC CEO, Bill Popp.
Blanchett says it’s the sense of community that draws people through her storefronts because to them it means not only serving customers but taking care of them too, as the ever-changing economy unfolds.
“I’ve tried to be very agile so that when someone says, ‘hey I loved this brand, can you get it?’ I am reaching out to those companies. And that’s the great thing about local is a lot of us are flexible,” said Blanchett. “We have those contacts. We can do the research for you.”
The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation is teaming up with the Anchorage Downtown Partnership on November 30, right after Thanksgiving, where about 60 local businesses will team up to offer special discounts for Small Business Saturday.
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