Since students couldn’t make it to shop on Grand River for Black Friday, the city of East Lansing created “Green Friday,” the Spartan equivalent of Black Friday. The event is two days and takes place the first weekend after Thanksgiving. Stores along Grand River and Albert offer sales up to 25 percent off and gifts and games to bring in customers.
Friday consists of 20 stores offering discounts and sales. Saturday offers pictures with Santa, Ice Sculptors and games for kids and families.
The downtown area of East Lansing has been struggling with customers coming into the smaller stores like Curious Book Shop, Clever Clover, Threads of East Lansing and Mackeral Sky. Since Target is being constructed between M.A.C and Abbott, small businesses are suffering and are afraid they might lose their business.
The manager of Curious Book Shop, Mark Wojik said that his business has been slowing down for years.
“It’s hard to get people to come into a store like this when they have Target and Urban Outfitters,” he said.
Cory Quinn, the owner of Threads of East Lansing knows how difficult it is to bring people into the smaller shops.
“I think events like Green Friday are great,” he said. “It gives kids an opportunity to save some money but actually come into the store.”
Quinn says his customers vary on the time of day.
“I never get kids during the day,” he said. “I usually get many 5 customers a day around 5 p.m. and that’s it.”
Small shops are the bread and butter of small towns, said Quinn. Hopefully the city of East Lansing can give more attention to the little guys while building their Target, which is set to come in 2019.