Shopping season begins tonight



OKANOGAN - Once today's turkey dinner is just a fond memory, the Christmas shopping season launches in earnest starting with Black Friday.

The four-day period from Nov. 25-28 progresses from Black Friday to Small Business Saturday and then Cyber Monday as retailers – both bricks and clicks – vie for shoppers’ dollars.

“Keep the cheer near,” said Omak Chamber of Commerce President Corina Radford. “Kick off your holiday shopping by checking out all the great merchandise your local stores have stocked up on for you.”

She said retailers are gearing up for Black Friday deals and the Omak Small Merchants Association will kick off Small Business Saturday with its Christmas Stamp Event. Shoppers can pick up a loyalty card at any participating merchant and, for every $5 spent, will receive a stamp and a chance to win $500 in business bucks.

Methow Valley merchants are joining for a “Buy Methow” program that provides information to local residents and visitors about “the fantastic, unique opportunities that our local businesses have to offer,” said Winthrop Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Kristen Smith.

Under the program, people are urged to “Buy Methow for the holidays – give a piece of the place you love.”

Small Business Saturday came on the scene in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It encourages holiday shoppers to visit small, local, brick-and-mortar businesses.

Cyber Monday is touted by online retailers as a time to get great deals online, but shoppers still can make purchases locally since several Okanogan County-based businesses offer online stores.



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