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Local store owners say shopping small has big benefits

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Every year, big box stores offer doorbuster deals to shoppers on Black Friday. But local Mom and Pop stores say shopping small just a day later has bigger benefits.

"It's more personal," said shopper Kelly Crenshaw. "Your shopping experience isn't so Black Friday."

And in fact, that is exactly what local stores were going for on Small Business Saturday, a day created by American Express to celebrate small businesses nation-wide. While big box stores hoped to cash in by opening earlier than ever this year, smaller Mom and Pop shops instead advertised convenience, good service, and economic benefits.

"Everybody who is employed here is local," said Airlie Moon Co-owner Julie Robinson. "We donate to local charities. We support local schools. Many of our items in the store are locally made. It trickles down all throughout the economy."

Stores like Airlie Moon in Lumina Station even feature local artists that personalize jewelry and other products on site. But shoppers say it is not only the product that is unique in these local stores. Shoppers also enjoy the unique experience.

"They have quality things and you get the service in these stores," said long-time Wilmington resident and shopper Nora Pepper. "They come right up to you. They know your name."

Mom and Pop stores hope the personal experience shoppers get with Small Business Saturday trumps Black Friday and Cyber Monday for years to come.

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