Stores optimistic about their second Shop Local Saturday

For nearly a decade, folks have poured into downtown Dover to support the community on Small Business Saturday.

Lori Llewellyn, owner of the boutique My Roots, made her Small Business Saturday debut last year on West Loockerman Street. And it was a big day.

“It was a huge success for us. There were tons of people downtown that wouldn’t normally be down here,” Llewellyn said. “I think it’s important to showcase the small businesses, and we’ve gotten the support from people downtown. It’s been great.”

My Roots is a unisex boutique specializing in denim fashion.

Looking to have another big Saturday next week, the boutique owner said she’ll offer a 15-percent off sale on one item, which is what she did to garner success last year.

The Loocke is another downtown retailer that’ll participate in its second Saturday next week too. The Loocke is a women’s clothing store founded by Erin Thwaites, who also owns Bel Boutique.

The Loocke had a strong Saturday debut in 2017.

“We had a lot of foot traffic. We were probably receiving triple the usual business we normally would have,” Thwaites said. “People really come out to shop small.”

To attract customers to The Loocke this year, Thwaites said she’ll have a 10-percent off sale. She’s also going to open up another addition of her store to display more merchandise. Not to mention, shoppers will receive a complimentary gift that day.

Thwaites said one of the keys to the popularity of The Loocke is she has a good eye for fashion and offers diverse merchandise.

She also places great importance on delivering good customer service. For instance, Thwaites knows a number of her customers by name and interacts with them on social media.

“We know about our customers’ lives and we tell them happy birthday, and ‘oh my gosh, you have a grand baby!’” The Loocke owner said. “When it comes to shop small, we’re a community, and I think that’s why we have those people coming back.”

Thwaites said the location of downtown Dover has helped to make her shops and other retailers be a destination for local shoppers.

“When people think of downtown Dover in particular, they think of the old buildings and it’s like the epitome of the small business/mom-and-pop shop kind of thing,” she said. “A lot of people spend the afternoon and have lunch, hit all the shops and they just shop small all day.”