One store owner told me: "Black Friday sucks. It's all about shopping at the big box stores. You don't see anyone lining up outside my store or anybody else's (locally-owned store)."
Everyone was in a funk as it's discouraging to hear about the large superstores having a great day while you are having a relatively slow one.
Another store owner complained to me about how they contributed with the rest of the downtown to hold a Christmas Tree Lighting Friday night and that's when everyone came downtown after having spent the day shopping elsewhere. It wasn't a good feeling to contribute to the community and see people spending the dollars elsewhere.
A credit card company (I forget which one) was encouraging people to make Saturday, Buy Local Day this year, with it appeared minimal traction here (I wonder if it had an effect elsewhere?)
Are there other ways we can tweak people's holiday shopping to help it encourage local vibrancy and get them to include local businesses more in their purchasing decisions?