THE SHOALS, Ala. — Many people avoided the bustling Black Friday crowds this year and chose to shop online. The Shoals Chamber of Commerce has a website that helped shoppers do just that while also supporting local businesses.
It’s called ShoalsShopper.com. The website is made up of a list of businesses around the Shoals area so customers can see all of their local favorites in one place.
Chamber leaders said the one-stop-shop site was created to help Shoals businesses survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, all while helping customers keep their distance.
During the stay-at-home order in spring, business coach and owner Ashley Morrow was excited at the opportunities the website created.
“We really tell our clients make sure that you give people a lot of opportunity to find you, that you give them a lot of opportunity to shop with you, to do business with you, and so, having another channel that people could find you that maybe traditionally wouldn’t otherwise, that is a win-win for small businesses,” Morrow said.
Fast forward to Black Friday, a recent addition to Shoals Shopper is Solid Rock Running Company in Florence. Owner Eddie Mason said online sales have increased since joining two months ago.
“We had an old site that was very simple and then since we’ve converted to the new site a couple months ago and joined the Shoals Chamber, we’ve definitely seen an increase,” Mason said. “We’ve got a stack of shipments going out today from purchases that were made online today during Black Friday.”
Mason still welcomes traditional walk-in customers and offers curbside pickup, and despite the pandemic, he said Black Friday’s sales didn’t disappoint.
“We’ve basically already done a week’s worth of sales today so, support’s been great, community’s been great, supporting the small businesses during this time,” Mason said.
Shoppers who missed out on deals on Black Friday can still find sales from many businesses on the Shoals Shopper list on Small Business Saturday.