Here is what I did not do on (aptly named) “Black Friday”:
- I did not pepper-spray fellow shoppers to keep them from an Xbox I wanted.
- I did not get into fistfights, or stab anyone.
- I did not shoot anyone in a parking lot.
All that happened at Walmarts, from Milford, Connecticut to California.
Thank god we don’t have a Walmart in Westport. Though, Lord knows, the soon-to-be vacant YMCA would be a great spot for one. Talk about bringing action to downtown!
While Westport stores did not open at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day — we may be crazy about shopping, but we’re not lunatics — Main Street was mildly to moderately packed this weekend. I didn’t see anyone I knew, though. Maybe Yogi Berra was right: Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
I’m not sure what attracts out-of-towners to downtown Westport. Banana Republic, Eileen Fisher, The Gap, J. Crew, Pottery Barn — those are not exactly unique stores.
Of course, there are plenty of local businesses. And just as the farmers’ market focuses attention on home-grown bounty, this shopping season should spotlight Westport merchants.
No, Mitchell’s doesn’t weave its own cloth. But here’s what they do: They always step up to support Westport organizations. Buy an ad for our program book? Donate something to our auction? Help out a kid in need, with no public recognition?
Sure! Just tell us what you need! says Bill, Jack or any of the 3rd-generation Mitchells now running the store.
When was the last time — to pick a name out of a hat — Brooks Brothers did something like that?
The farmer’s market supports local, sustainable agriculture. This holiday season, let’s support local, sustainable businesses.
We don’t do all our shopping at farmer’s markets, of course. Sometimes we go Stop & Shop.
You won’t find every gift at a locally owned store. If you were to get me, say, a gift certificate for books, I’d recommend Barnes & Noble — it’s close, convenient, and we long ago drove every independent bookstore out of town.
All I’m saying is, stop before you shop. This month, think about supporting the Westport merchants who, month after month and year after year, support Westport.
Just stay away from Walmart. You may not make it out alive.