INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Businesses along Mass Ave are launching a holiday shopping push with special events and pandemic protections. It begins Friday night with the Midnight Shopper event, a week before Thanksgiving.
The purpose of the event is to help small businesses start holiday sales ahead of the national giants. This year, 2020, marks the 20th year of the event and it’s crucial to the survival for some stores along Mass Ave.
Shoppers can make reservations at shops that need to control capacity in order to allow social distancing in the stores. Some stores participating include Silver in the City, Decorate, Sage and Homespun: Modern Handmade. Owner Amanda Mauer Taflinger carries work from more than 400 artists from coast to coast. But more than half are from artists across the state of Indiana. She says in April and May the store was down 90% in revenue. It’s picked back up but still down about 30%. The local business owner says planning your shopping this year is important and finding where your money could be best spent.
“The big retailers have more ways out than we do,” Mauer Taflinger said. “There just aren’t that many options left for small retailers. If we don’t get through the holiday season well, I don’t know that many of us are going to make it very far in 2021.”
Small Business Saturday is the next unique challenge for retailers. Mass Ave merchants are encouraging shoppers to make purchases online and then come to a curbside pickup event the next day. Customers will drive through a parking area and pick up their online purchases without leaving the car. As an incentive, the Merchants Association is handing out swag bags to the first 100 cars arriving for pick-up.
Shoppers can book a time slot online for a timed entry into each store. You can book that by clicking here.