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(Published: 2011-11-21)

Ready. Set. Eat. Shop. Thatís probably a fair description of many Thanksgiving plans this year. The turkey isnít even unfrozen yet and retailers are already battling it out for their share of your wallet. What kind of shopper will YOU be this holiday season?

In the Big Box corner we have the Christmas Champ. Maria Bamford is back as Targetís effervescent, slightly off-kilter shopping maven. Sheíll be tweeting her way through Black Friday, advising her fans and fellow shoppers on aisle tactics, store mapping, and deal-gettingness. You canít miss her signature red jumpsuit and killer heels as she begs Target to open their doors before midnight. The Christmas Champ brings a fashionable albeit wacky allure to the notion of ďdoor busting.Ē

In the Mall corner, we have the Surgical Shopper. This holiday shopper will be visiting fewer stores in the mall than she used to, and will spend considerably less time in those stores. Sheís a direct result of the recession. The Surgical Shopper researches purchases on line ahead of time, charges the store clutching coupons like a scalpel, ready to cut high prices to the bone. She shops with a list, sticks to her list, and isnít the least bit tempted by impulse buys.

The Christmas Champ and the Surgical Shopper will both make quick work of Black Friday, forgoing seconds on Thanksgiving in order to be first in line for the deals. Many retailers are open Thanksgiving evening, hoping to be the early bird that gets the sale.

In the opposite corner we have the Small Business Shopper, who gets to sleep in on Friday in order to be well rested for their big shopping day. Small Business Saturday was launched last year by American Express to help promote independent local retailers. Itís all about helping Main Street, not Wall Street.

SB Shoppers pledge to spend their dollars supporting local businesses on Saturday, November 26th. According to the US Small Business Association, for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 gets returned directly to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.

If you decide to shop small on Saturday, you may run into a Cash Mob, a new twist on the Flash Mob phenomenon. Small business supporters are using social media to target specific small businesses for a short window of time. Participants pledge to spend a minimum of $20 in cash at the selected retailer. In order to be considered for a Cash Mob event, stores must be locally owned, have products for both men and women, offer convenient parking, and they must give back to the community.

No matter where or how you shop, this weekend is going to be one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. You can choose to make it more than a shopping event; you can make it a values statement. If we all shop small on Saturday, it will be huge.

Christmas Champ

Small is Huge

Robyn Waters is president and founder of RW Trend, LLC. She is the author of The Trendmasterís Guide: Get a Jump on What Your Customer Wants Next, and The Hummer and the Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape. Learn more about Robyn at All Rights Reserved.

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