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Businesses gearing up for shopping season

With the holidays, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday all right around the corner, several local businesses are gearing up for the hopeful influx of shoppers.

The City of Andalusia has launched a campaign reminding area residents of the importance of thinking local during the holiday season.

The message “Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local” is being used in broadcast, print, billboard and social media promotions.

“This is an important time of the year for local businesses,” Mayor Earl Johnson said. “When you shop local, you’re making an investment in our community, our lives, and our future. You’re also supporting local families. This year’s shopping season is six days shorter than last season because Thanksgiving falls so late in the month. For merchants, it is critically important that the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are busy.”

The Alabama Retail Association $12.4 billion in holiday spending in Alabama in November and December, a 3 percent increase over last year. For every dollar spent at a locally owned business, 67 percent stays in the community, according to data compiled for American Express in support of Small Business Saturday. The credit card company started the event 10 years ago to encourage shoppers to support small businesses during the holiday season.

“Every time you make a purchase from a local retailer, join a local gym, eat in a local restaurant, or buy a gift certificate for a spa service, you are shopping small and making a difference,” Johnson said. “We would remind you that a gift certificate for a spa service, a good meal, or the theater makes a great Christmas gift, and it’s a very good way to support local businesses.”

Holiday hour and sales:

Ward and Co.:

Thursday – Closed

Friday – 8 a.m., until 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – 8 a.m., until 5:30 p.m. With any purchase of Oakley, Ray Ban, Persol or Maui sunglasses, customers get a free Auburn or Alabama hat. 

Walkers:

Thursday – Closed

Friday – 8 a.m., until 5 p.m.

Saturday – 9 a.m., until last shopper. 40 percent off all ornaments. 25 percent off all Christmas gift items. Pictures with Santa from 10 a.m., until 1 p.m., for Small Business Saturday.

Pink Peppers :

Wednesday – Stuff Your Bag event from 10 a.m., until 5:30 p.m. Fill up your bag and everything in the bag is 30 percent off.

Thursday – 7 p.m., until 9 p.m. Everything from 7 p.m., until 8 p.m., is 30 percent off, from 8 p.m., until 8:30 everything is 40 percent off and from 8:30 p.m., until 9 p.m., everything is 50 percent off.

Friday – 8 p.m., until 5:30 p.m. Friday is Pink Friday at Pink Peppers and they will be doing the Pick Your Turkey Feather discount from 8 a.m., until 5:30 p.m.

Christopher’s Fine Jewelry:

Thursday – Closed

Friday – 10 a.m., until the last shopper. All citizen watches are 30 percent off.

Saturday – 9 a.m., until 2 p.m. Storewide sale 25 to 50 percent off.

Town and Country:

Thursday – Closed

Friday – 10 a.m., until 5:30 p.m.

Saturday – 10 a.m., until 2 p.m.

J.C. Penney’s:

Thursday – Doors open at 2 p.m. Up to 30 percent off on Nike, up to 80 percent off on fine jewelry and coupons will be handed out in the store before doors open at 2 p.m., for $500 off, $100 off or $10 off.

Andalusia Co-op:

Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., and 7 a.m. until noon on Saturday.

Utopia Salon + Boutique

Hours of operation areMonday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Black Friday hours will be 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Darby’s

Holiday business hours include being closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and will be open until noon on Christmas Eve. Their normal hours are 8-6 at the Village Pharmacy and 7:30-5:30 at the Medical Center location.

This year, the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce will reward shoppers who support Small Business Saturday in Andalusia with free passes for the Polar Bear Slide and Winter Skating at Christmas in Candyland. Shoppers can take their receipts to the Chamber next week for the passes.

While the shopping season officially begins as soon as the turkey is done, Christmas events kick off in Andalusia next week with a tree lighting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, followed by the Christmas parade at 7 p.m. Christmas in Candyland opens on Friday, Dec. 6. For a complete Candyland schedule, visit christmasincandyland.com.