Grand Forks retailers report doing well over holiday shopping weekend

Some businesses say there was an uptick in Canadian traffic.

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The sun rises behind a water tower in Grand Forks. (Grand Forks Herald photo)
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GRAND FORKS — Small-business retailers in Grand Forks saw an uptick in sales during the Black Friday and Small Business Saturday events last weekend.

While some saw sales on par with last year’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend, others found the two days to be a much-needed lift.

Richard Dafoe of See Dick Run said his downtown business thrived after a slow start to November.

“Compared to last year, we doubled our sales,” Dafoe said. “For the weekend, it was almost double as a whole for Friday and Saturday.

“It’s been nice to have a few Canadians coming through again.”


Dafoe said having a few items on sale helped. If customers bought three pairs of shoes, they received a free pair of socks, for example.

“Hopefully, people are getting into that shopping mood,” he said.

Kelley Palmiscno of Picks also found a spike in sales. Picks is a repurposed and home décor occasional shop in midtown Grand Forks.

“We were up 10 percent from last year,” she said. “I think people like shopping locally. The Small Business Saturday kind of reminds us that there are small businesses around.

“Our prices always bring people in our store, our prices and our goods.”

Rachael Eider of RH Standard in downtown Grand Forks said the weekend went well. The business is celebrating its 10th anniversary and brought in the Town and Country Band for more than four hours and served light food for patrons on Saturday.

The live event was something it does every year on Small Business Saturday.

“The weather cooperated,” Eider said. “We live in the north. If it gets a little funky out there, we don’t like to wander around. A lot of my neighbors down here had great days and felt the love.


“I’m happy to report it was super fun and we had a lot of people.”

On Saturday, Eider said it was busy from open to close.

“We were definitely on par with last year,” Eider said. “I would say we were up a little bit. I was very satisfied with the turnout, very satisfied with the outcome.”

Shawn Widman of Widman’s Candy in downtown Grand Forks said the weekend was good for the business, famously known for its chippers (chocolate covered potato chips).

“We had a fair amount of Canadians come through both Friday and Saturday,” Widman said. “It was Small Business Saturday and we had a lot of hockey fan traffic, too.

“We had two busy days.”

Allan Defoe, store manager of Home of Economy in Grand Forks, said it was a bit of a unique weekend for his business.

“We sold a lot more of the non-Black Friday items — that kind of shocked us. We were up Friday,” he said. “On Saturday, we were down just a tish.”


Defoe said that “when it comes to shoes, clothes, that type of stuff, people like to touch and feel to make sure it fits. That helps us a little. And we carry some of those things not everybody carries, like Carhartt. … We have a little niche.”

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