Holiday shopping season appears to take hit this Black Friday

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston-area stores did not see as many huge lines and massive crowds as in previous Black Fridays.

"It's been busy the few stops we've made, but not crazy busy," said Eileen Sims, a shopper.


ABC13 spoke with shoppers and they said they were excited to support local this year.

"You're making a lot of people's day when you shop small," said Alicia Gray, the owner of Genara in the Heights.

Gray admits this past year and a half has had its ups and downs as a business owner.

"We signed the lease at the end of the year in 2019 and then started 2020 so excited, thinking 2020 is going to be amazing, and then it kind of wasn't," said Gray.

She said she is optimistic for an uptick this holiday shopping season.


"There was such an energy last year to the holiday season, and I hope everyone still remembers that we are still here and that the road isn't over yet," said Gray.

In Memorial, it was a busy Black Friday at PepperLou Gifts.

"People were at the door before we even opened, so it's been great. We are so excited to have everybody here," said Valerie Cassady, the owner of PepperLou Gifts.

PepperLou Gifts is a shop with a special mission.

"Ellie has special needs and she's our special, joyful girl so we wanted to start the shop for her so she could feel special and a part of something big," said Cassady.


Cassady said they hope to expand soon and employ more people who have special needs.

After opening nearly three years ago and pivoting their plan to make it work last year, they, too, are hopeful this season will be better.

"I feel so much more optimistic this year than last year. A lot of people seem a lot more comfortable shopping," said Cassady.

It's a good start for local shops who are hoping folks are all just as excited about Small Business Saturday.
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