Local businesses see increase in shoppers for Black Friday, while preparing for more holiday shoppers in the coming days

Several small businesses in Fernandina Beach have seen more customers on Black Friday than they have in previous years and they expect to stay busy through the weekend.

A lit tree marked the beginning of the holiday season in Fernandina Beach, along with people dressed in pajamas for the Black Friday Pajama Party. Theresa Duncan, Co-Owner of Villa Villekulla toys, says they expect to make 50 percent of their yearly sales during the holidays.

“We know that everything is relying on this,” Duncan said. “But also it means, especially as a toy store, like this is what we live for, is helping know that kids are going to be so excited when they open a present on Christmas morning and that we helped pick out that gift.”

Shoppers filled the streets of Downtown Fernandina Beach Friday, including Colleen Kelly. It was her first time visiting the area and it took her no time to find some good deals.

“I bought some Christmas ornaments. I bought a new necklace. And I bought a purse,” Kelly shared. “But I’ve got things I’m picking up on the way back to the car.”

Chip Westmoreland, an associate with Color Wear, told News4Jax that their sales on Black Friday are more than 30 percent higher than last year.

“We do well during the holiday season anyway. But this day has just been exceptional,” Westmoreland explained.

Teak and Ivy is another local business who had a good Black Friday. Store manager, Alexis Luckey, shared that their sales are better than they’ve been in several years.

“It’s been better this year than it has in the past two,” said Luckey. “And it’s nice that everybody’s getting back out and shopping and it feels familiar.”

For Luckey, it means the world to see people choosing to shop with small businesses.

“Especially in the current climate, it’s really nice to see people wanting to support small businesses that they see all the time,” she said.

All three stores News4Jax spoke with say they’ll continue deals through the weekend for Small Business Saturday. Westmoreland hopes people will think of local businesses when they do their holiday shopping.

“You never know what you’re getting online,” he explained. “But at least with a store like this, you know exactly. You know, you can touch and feel it, try it on if you want to. It’s going to be a better deal all the way around.”

And for visitors like Kelly, she hopes to make Black Friday shopping with local businesses in Fernandina Beach a yearly tradition.

“We took the boat tour yesterday out of Amelia Island river tours, and it was just absolutely wonderful. I never even knew Cumberland Island existed,” Kelly said. “So this is really something that I would come back to because I’m only scratching the surface right now.”

If you’re more of an online shopper, Teak and Ivy and Villa Villekulla Toys say they plan to offer Cyber Monday deals as well.

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