Black Friday outshined by Saturday for Columbia shoppers

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COLUMBIA — While many stores were packed on Black Friday, the popular shopping day wasn't the biggest day of the weekend for many downtown retailers in Columbia.

That honor belonged to Saturday.

Of the five downtown stores KOMU 8 News visited, sales were best on Saturday compared to the rest of the weekend.  Store owners and managers said their busiest day was Saturday, followed by a strong Friday but weak Sunday.

Richmond Wheeler is the director of Route, a nonprofit retailer downtown. He said he believes the weather contributed to the increase in sales. 

"Saturday was a lot warmer this year than last year. So comparing our numbers last year we expected to be better, but it was a lot better than what we had expected," Wheeler said.

Route had a 25 percent sales increase this Saturday compared to last year. Wheeler said he believes the "Shop Small" event promoted by American Express is driving people to come out to the brick and mortar stores. 

Employees at Swank, Calhoun's, Route, Glik's and Fortuity all said Saturday was the best day of the weekend for them.

Erin Wagoner, owner of Swank, said the store had been busier on Fridays in the past.

"People waited until Saturday now. Sales were really good, just a switch in behavior," Wagoner said.