Sunday, February 9, 2014

Around Town: Save the shopping for Saturday

Around Town: Save the shopping for Saturday

For those of us who look forward to Thanksgiving, it's hard to imagine the appeal of a $99 big-screen TV or an extreme discount on socks and underwear, but Black Friday has now moved to Thanksgiving Day and shoppers are already camped out at box stores, waiting for Thanksgiving sales.

Shame on the chief executives of these chains: Best Buy, Toys R Us, Macy's, Target, Walmart, Kmart, Old Navy, Staples, Sears, JCPenney, Michael's and Kohl's. Shame on you for competing with our nation's holiday by starting your Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day.

Black Friday was bad enough, but now the irony-impaired marketing teams at Best Buy will sell you a nice TV so you can watch “Modern Family.” At Macy's, there's deep-discounted kitchenware, essential to creating a festive family atmosphere on Dec. 25, unless you are camped out that day waiting for the next sale, while my erstwhile favorite store, Target, will sell you a copy of “The Romney Family Table: Sharing Home-Cooked Recipes & Favorite Traditions.”

That's why I was happy to see one of our son's U.S. Naval Academy classmates featured on an American Express ad and on the Today show. Cass is a Navy vet. His business, located in Baltimore, is the Royal Razor barbershop. Royal Razor is a “barbershop-lounge hybrid... a modern grooming institution with expertise in the time-honored art of barbering including: haircuts, traditional straight razor shaves, trims, and more.” In honor of Small Business Saturday, Royal Razor is throwing a party this Saturday.

Cass says, “A haircut can transform a guy who looks all right to a guy who's turning heads. The power of the haircut, is what I like to call it.”

If Maryland is too far away, it's possible to celebrate Small Business Saturday, right here in La Cañada.

Small Business Saturday is the brainchild of American Express. In 2010, American Express created Small Business Saturday to encourage patronage at America's small businesses and independent merchants on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, the project has a Facebook page with more than 3.3 million likes.

If you walk down Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada you'll see lots of small businesses. According to Forbes, small businesses, defined as having less than 500 employees, provide over 50% of the jobs in our nation. There are more than 28 million small businesses in the U.S, and 75% of them are owner-operated with no employees.

As we all know, small businesses are the glue that holds our communities together.

The idea is to opt out of the chain stores next Saturday, and to instead shop at our local small business merchants.

Who are they? For starters, try Goldstein's Bagel Bakery, Eiji's Florist, Posh, La Cañada Books & Toys, Flintridge Bookstore, Cowgirl Princess and the Apple Cart. Get your wine at Le Petite Vendome or Anthony's. Check out the stationery at Angel's Nest. If shopping is not your thing, get a haircut at Paco's or Johnnie's, or sign up for a cooking class at Chez Cherie.

American Express will give a $10 credit on your statement if you pre-register and spend $10 or more at one of their participating Small Business merchants. See the American Express website for a complete list, but as I write this, the restaurants include Sakura, Taylor's and Min's and the gift shops include Apple Cart and Cowgirl Princess.

It's good to see that entrepreneurship is alive and well in the veterans' community and also right here, in La Cañada Flintridge. Shop small this Saturday!
ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @anitabrenner.

November 27, 2013 | 12:44 p.m.  
valley sun november 27, 2013

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