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Falls Small Business Owners Optimistic About Holiday Season

After Black Friday, downtown merchants expect shoppers to look for unique gifts.

Menomonee Falls small business owners are optimistic that the holiday season will bring tides of joy to their shops, despite not being the destination for shoppers on this Black Friday.  

As deal seekers spent the morning flocking to big box retailers and malls throughout the area, small store owners said they expect to see an influx of shoppers over the weekend and throughout the season looking for that special gift. 

"We are optimistic that once Black Friday is over and the spur of the commercialism of the buying and the big door-buster sales pitch is over, they are going to come back to the small handcrafted meaningful gifts," said Joanne Kreuser, of the , W164N8859 Mill St. 

The gallery, owned by Kreuser and her sister Jeanne, specializes in textile arts such as wool applique, needle punch, free form crochet and quilting. 

"Our customer base, the people that buy art and folk art, either have grown up with that tradition or they have learned that tradition," Kreuser said. "Some of my customers have learned that through me and my family."

Consumers tend to look for deals first during the holiday shopping season as a result of Black Friday, according to merchants. As the season progresses, customers turn their attention to quality gifts that will be given from the heart. 

Although the cycle exists, it still does take the sting out of the slow shopping day Black Friday causes for small shop owners. 

"Last Black Friday, we got skunked because of all of the big box stores with all their fancy specials even though we have deals going on," said Dennis Siegrist, owner of , N88W16739 Main St. "I expect this weekend to be decent. If it was like last year, Friday was horrible, and Saturday and Sunday were alright." 

Siegrist's shop sells high-end skateboards, longboards and snowboards along with apparel. 

"People can't go to Target, Walmart and Best Buy to get what we have to offer," Siegrist said.

Susan Corkum, the owner of , did not plan to open her shop today until some shoppers want to come in to her store at N88W16567 Main St.

"I'm actually very optimistic about the holiday season. What I have been hearing from customers coming through here is that (they) are going to keep their money in the community," Corkum said. "They want something different that not everybody has. That is what the small stores are for."  

Purloin Studio offers unique clothing, jewelry, ceramics and artwork.  

"What you are going to buy here, you're not going to find on 10,000 of your friends," Corkum said. "You're going to find the unique and unusual when you are shopping in your small town shops." 

Small businesses in Menomonee Falls will be treated to and the event Sunday.

"I don't think there has been enough exposure on the Small Business Saturday … to get people out of that mindset of the big box stores and all of their savings," Siegrist said. "When it comes down to it, as much as people would like to shop local and small, they are driven by saving the extra money at the big stores." 

Corkum said the small business initiative along with Sunday's event are beneficial to her and her fellow small shop owners. 

"We do need that little extra," she said. "We can't afford the advertising budgets on TV and radio." 

Ryan November 26, 2011 at 06:36 PM
Maybe we should stop letting the big box stores take over Menomonee Falls and save our little locally owned and operated stores.... That's right MF can't say no to money!

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