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Downtown business owner looks forward to Small Business Saturday

11:28 PM, Nov 23, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --Local business owners look forward to Small Business Saturday to bring in more revenue and boost clientele for the holiday season.

David Lofton's small retail business store Downtown prides itself on being unique, carrying brands that aren't a part of the mainstream names sold in big retail stores.

"Made in Los Angeles," Lofton says while holding up a pair of jeans.

Icon Boutique opened its doors Downtown over a year and half ago after moving from The Avenues mall. It was a decision that Lofton says received some critique.

"I talked to a guy, he used to be a retailer Downtown,... he says you're crazy to go down there, there's no retail down there you'll be out of business in six months," says Lofton.

Moving out of the mall has had its challenges when it comes to bringing in new clientele; parking isn't like most shopping malls and you don't get the traffic most shopping mall stores do, but that's why holiday shopping weekends like this one actually help small business owners.

Small Business Saturday is included in the biggest shopping weekend of the year. It started in 2010 to encourage shoppers to support their small local business owners and it's a day that can help businesses just like Icon Boutique.

"For me this year it's going to be more of a marketing situation for me, exposure to a new client here and there, there's no $100,000 Decembers... if I can win a new customer every day... I can live with that," says Lofton.

Located in an area with many properties up for lease, and not a lot of foot traffic also makes it difficult to draw in new clients, but Lofton says his store's products are what's helped him keep all his mall clients.

"The only thing that didn't follow me when I left the mall was the rent... that was ten times what I'm paying now," Lofton said while laughing.

So he's putting up his sale items and offering some deals like other retail stores - hoping that this weekend will bring in new clients that will keep coming back.

"We're building one client at a time and I found if you take care of that one client, they'll come back and they'll bring somebody else with them," says Lofton.

Click here to find a small business near you.

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