BRENTWOOD -- A marketing campaign begun in early fall to entice shoppers to buy locally and support all of Brentwood's various retail options continues during this holiday season.
The Shop Brentwood campaign began Sept. 1 with advertising, publicity and a new city website to make it easier for local residents to patronize Brentwood merchants. Reusable shopping bags have been distributed, holiday banners have been placed around town with the campaign's signature logo, and a Shop 'Til You Drop event Saturday will allow parents to take advantage of child care, so they can easily shop for gifts.
"This campaign is about just getting people to pause and think a bit. If you can make a choice to explore your local shopping options, you can get better service, lower prices and protect the quality of the community," said Alex Greenwood, Brentwood's economic development manager.
Greenwood also noted that these businesses, both large and small, are committed to Brentwood's charitable causes, are the city's main source of local jobs and become the social hubs of the community. He added that local retailers are seeing increased sales since Shop Brentwood started.
"This is something that should be fun. You are taking part in the retail life of your community," Greenwood said.
Gursky Ranch owner Lynn Gursky said that people are trying to shop more locally due to national campaigns and other local efforts like Shop Brentwood. The ranch offers unique gift items for the holidays such as gourmet food, jams, dried fruit, nuts and gift baskets.
"People like to buy gifts that are local and from our area. It is hard to say how much impact it (Shop Brentwood) has had yet, but it is promising," Gursky said.
Meanwhile in North Brentwood, Chris Michalski of Brentwood Bike Co. said that retailers there have seen extremely slow sales since Black Friday weekend. At this point in the holiday season, he said that people are shopping for electronics at big box retailers and many people still shop near their jobs because Brentwood is a commuter city.
"It has really taken the wind out of the sales for small businesses. This side of town is pretty dead. I don't see much happening from it," Michalski said of the Shop Brentwood campaign.
In past years, Michalski has seen sales spike closer to Christmas when people are more in need of specialty sports gear, BMX bikes, beach cruisers and road bikes. His business also stores bikes, so parents do not have to hide them from their children at home.
"If you want something unique that you can't find at department stores, you come to a shop like ours for a unique shopping experience," Michalski said.
Over at the Streets of Brentwood, Steve Barnhouse of RED Legacy said that a majority of the stores there have experienced sales increases compared with this time last year. Barnhouse said he is unsure if the positive sales are a result of the Shop Brentwood campaign.
"We participated in it by buying the shopping bags for it," said Barnhouse of the campaign. "We have been going pretty strong."
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