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      Shopping Black Friday locally

      Whether you participated in Black Friday shopping or not, you may have still encountered the crowded streets of downtown Marquette.

      Local businesses had their best year yet when it came to the biggest shopping weekend of the year. To compete with the larger, more commercialized stores, the small-town shops had to think outside the box.

      Stores like Country Charm offered coffee and snacks to their customers. Mary's Closet took another approach--they heavily advertised for the shopping holiday by mailing lists and flyers.

      "It's hard to get people to come downtown to shop. Those are the kinds of things that help, advertising," said Mary O'Donnell, owner of Mary's Closet.

      O'Donnell also said the advertising paid off, and this year's Black Friday was much more successful than last year's.

      Mona Lang, the Executive Director of the Marquette Downtown Development Authority, said shopping locally is vital to the growth of the city.

      "The downtowns in our communities are so important to maintaining the quality of life in our areas. People need to support our downtown local businesses because those businesses also support the local community," Lang added.

      Local businesses like Country Charm were not the only stores booming on Black Friday.

      National numbers skyrocketed as well. A record-breaking 226 million shoppers set out to get the sales this past weekend. Nationwide Black Friday sales were 11.4 billion, which is seven percent higher from last year.

      According to the the National Retail Federation, the average holiday shopper spent nearly $400.