Dec. 23, 2013
With only a few days until Christmas, shoppers on the Downtown Mall search for last minute gifts, forgoing big box retailers for small businesses.
Local retailers say the Holiday Season is a fun time to work downtown, and they look forward to that last minute rush of shoppers buying gifts.
"Everyone is looking for presents. Kind of the last minute scramble is happening," said Jean Theory sales clerk Maddie Zirkle.
With fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, American Express reports that small businesses across the country were mixed in their expectations for holiday shopping sales.
"We wouldn't be here if we didn't have our customers that come in. Also if you don't support local businesses, they are not going to be able to sustain," Petit Bebe sales associate Anna Dettra said.
Some shoppers come to Charlottesville's Downtown Mall for the variety of boutiques. Rick and Susan Thornton took a trip to Charlottesville to celebrate their wedding anniversary and Christmas shop for their daughter.
"We found these really neat little special gloves at one of the shops and we were able to get those for her. It was great, hand-made and really artsy," said Susan Thornton.
Thornton says she loves shopping locally for the gifts that she wouldn't find at a big retailer.
"Every gift I buy there is a story behind, I always like to say what shop I bought it from, who I talk to," Susan said. "These are all distinctive, very nice shops."