November 21, 2018

Hartford readies for Small Biz Saturday; retailers prep for Black Friday

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Hartford Prints on Pratt Street is participating in Small Business Saturday.
HBJ Photo | Brad Kane
Downtown Hartford's State House Square.

Two dozen businesses and restaurants in downtown Hartford will be offering holiday discounts and giveaways this weekend as part of national Small Business Saturday, officials said.

Participants of the second annual Saturday event, coordinated by the U.S. Small Business Administration's Regional Administrator for New England, include Hartford Prints, The Greenway Market, City Steam Brewery, Black-Eyed Sally's, Hartford Stage, Barnes & Noble bookstore, Connecticut Science Center and others.

Find a full list of participating small businesses here.

Shoppers are urged to start at the welcome station at retailer Morneault's Stackpole Moore Tyron at 242 Trumbull St. to receive maps of participating businesses and deals.

The city's parking overseer, the Hartford Parking Authority (HPA), is also providing free parking for visitors who mention "SBS" at lots on the east side of Main Street between Morgan Street and Trumbull Street.

HPA is also extending free parking hours to promote the ninth annual Winterfest Hartford, which is opening a free, community skating rink in Bushnell Park on Friday.

Streets with free daytime parking during through Winterfest, ending Jan. 6, include:

  • Elm Street from Trinity Street to Hudson Street
  • Trinity Street from Elm Street to Jewell Street
  • Jewell Street from Trinity Street to Trumbull Street

Additional free parking is available after 5 p.m. at the state's parking lots on West Street and along Capitol Avenue, giving visitors easy access to Bushnell Park.

As always, on-street parking is free after 6 p.m. on weeknights and all day on weekends.

Black Friday

The rest of Greater Hartford's retailers are prepping for what is expected to be a busy Black Friday and holiday shopping season.

A survey by Deloitte says over 70 percent of holiday shoppers will turn out for Black Friday sales this year, while buyers are expected to spend 4.1 percent more on average than they did in 2017, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

That's good news for Sears Holdings, which is trying to emerge from bankruptcy after recently announcing it will close 29 Sears stores and 11 Kmart locations. The closures add onto nearly 200 locations the retailer previously said it would shutter in the coming months.

The 132-year-old retailer recently announced it's closing Sears and its auto center at Westfield Meriden mall in Feb. 2019.

Farmington's Westfarms mall says its doors will open on Thanksgiving from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. to kickoff the holiday shopping season. The mall reopens Friday at 7 a.m. through 10 p.m.

Several stores will remain open beyond mall-wide hours including:

  • Macy's: Thursday 5 p.m. to Friday 10 p.m.

  • JCPenney: Thursday 2 p.m. to Friday 10 p.m.

  • Lord & Taylor: Thursday 5 p.m. to midnight and will reopen Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

  • Bath and Body Works White Barn: Thursday 6 p.m. to Friday 10 p.m.

  • GAP: Thursday 6 p.m. to Friday 10 p.m.

  • Aeropostale: Thursday 6 p.m. to Friday 10 p.m.

  • Hollister Co.: Thursday 6 p.m. to Friday 10 p.m.

  • H&M: Friday midnight to 10 p.m.

  • Texas de Brazil: Thursday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Meantime, big retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon are looking to seize the first holiday shopping season in decades without Toys 'R' Us, which closed after 70 years in operation this year, leaving behind $10.5 billion in annual sales.

A CNN report contributed to this story

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