Local retailers get creative in tough times

Report by Lauren Lowrey - email | bio

(WTOL) - 'Tis the season to give car starters. At Car Stereo One, a "buy one get one free" promotion has boosted business.

"When the economy started to crash, we felt like we needed to help people out and give them a better deal on car starters -- especially in the winter season. That's the most popular part of our business," says Manager Mike Couch.

The promotion prompted a hike in sales and traffic in the store. It's a smart move for a potentially disastrous holiday season. "At first, at the beginning of the month, it was a little slow. But of course, toward Christmas, it's picked back up. So, its been a good month," Couch says.

Jeff Jaffe has a similar story. They've seen sales increase in their jewelry store, just recently. "We saw a little bit of activity right after Thanksgiving. Then its been sort of "so," and in the last week or so, it's picked up substantially."

Everywhere you look in downtown women's boutique Sophie's Sister, pink signs point to low prices.

It's a change the sales associate says was necessary. "We usually just have two sales a year, so it has been very different for us," says Emily Burns. "We did a couple after Thanksgiving sales, an outerwear sale... we were offering 30% off all denim." That's just in the last month. They still have their semi-annual sale the first of the year.

We asked each retailer how they're handling the hard holiday. Emily says, "Ya know, its just been a very unpredictable year."

Jaffe told us, "What do they say -- unusual times call for unusual measures." He adds, "Are there special prices available on certain things? Absolutely, there's things we really do want to move."

You can bet these deals will last through 2008.