With or without Black Friday sales, downtown Juneau was back in business Friday, with shoppers returning for in-person shopping after a down year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Morgan Johnson, owner of the Plant Studio, was having her first-ever Black Friday sale and said she’d already had a rush of customers at 9 a.m.
“So far I’d say it’s a success,” Johnson said.
Johnson said she was offering sales all weekend, but other businesses said they were having different sales on different days while others are simply taking advantage of the busy shopping season. In addition Black Friday, several downtown businesses said they were offering specials for other retail holidays including Small Business Saturday and even Cyber Monday. Other businesses said they weren’t having sales at all, but were simply taking advantage of shoppers being out.
“We have really good local support and have only seen that increase since COVID,” said Colleen Goldrich, owner of art gallery Annie Kaill’s.
Goldrich said she never had Black Friday sales, but typically holds some kind of event to draw customers in. In past years, the gallery has offered food, Goldrich said, but with health mitigation rules still in place had opted for other options. This year, the shop’s 46th year, Goldrich said she was giving away 46 copies of a print from the artist John Fehringer.
Cordova Pleasant, owner of Resolute Boutique, said she’d been in business for five years but has never done a Black Friday sale.
“I never participate (in Black Friday), Pleasant said. “I’m just open so people can do whatever they want.”
Pleasant said she’d had a steady stream of customers, but was expecting more in the afternoon as shoppers made their way from Juneau Public Market just a few blocks away at Centennial Hall. Several downtown business owners said they expected afternoon business following Public Market, which started at noon Friday.
Alaska Knife Works part owner Ryan Istruis had just opened his shop Friday morning, but told the Empire he’s expecting shoppers to get lunch in the Merchant’s Wharf building where his business is and for things to pick up in the afternoon.
Public Market was partially suspended last year and held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic and in-person shopping was severely limited. This year masks are still required and Public Market is requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.