Sales draw large crowds for Small Business Saturday

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 11:27 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A packed store and plenty of customers was just what owners of the Kobuk gift shop in downtown Anchorage wanted to see on the first Saturday of the holiday shopping season. Thin influx of shoppers for Small Business Saturday led to lots of sales.

“It’s really nice to see familiar faces and hear Christmas stories from years gone by, and to welcome our friends and new customers,” co-owner Nina Bonito Romine said.

The Kobuk is among the 39 businesses that took part in the annual Small Business Saturday program hosted by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership. According to the partnership, the number of businesses participating grew by nearly 25% this year. The Small Business Saturday events encourage people to shop at small, local businesses this time of year.

“It is our bread and butter. I mean shopping local during the holiday season, that’s what keeps us going the rest of the year,” Bonito Romine said.

The Anchorage Downtown Partnership estimates 40 to 60 cents of each dollar spent stays in the local community. It seemed as if shoppers got the message as they filled The Kobuk. Owners called it a far cry from the same time a year ago.

“We limited the number of customers in the shop at one time—I think it was eight—so we often had a line out the front door,” Bonito Romine said. “We kept them supplied with Samovar tea to, you know, people were of good cheer, i mean it was really nice. The Christmas spirit was alive and well, but, it was a little bit of a struggle.”

The only struggle on Saturday involved finding space to move inside the store.

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