San Luis Obispo store owners say they are happy to see customers in their stores again during Black Friday after the peak of the pandemic.
“Even though we can’t see your smile through your mask, we see you smiling, and we see you being patient, kind, and that’s just the nature of that contact or that conversation that you have,” said Abbie Lynch, owner of EcoBambino.
“It’s been such a rich experience for us to have people come over and have this genuine conversation,” said Tara Smith, SLO General Store Manager.
The connection between store owners and customers returned this Black Friday despite a drop in pedestrian traffic.
“I didn’t really have my first client until 11 am,” Lynch said. “It was an easy and windy morning. Here there was much less traffic. I feel like more people are shopping online. This morning, waking up to see what I saw, I am very blessed and we are still here and it is just a touching moment.
Black Friday marked the first day of the new SLO General Store at the SLO Public Market.
“The ironic, but very intentional, opening date was Black Friday,” Smith said.
“I think it’s really cool to come up with an alternative to a big box store and rename the typical Black Friday so you can support local manufacturers,” said Abby Ybarra, SLO General Store employee.
The goal of the new store is to provide locally made products to residents who shop in the store.
“We can help people if they are looking for something special or if they are preparing a gift,” said Ybarra.
“Abby is one of our creators, so all of our people are creative and artistic and it was kind of intentional of me to hire people who would really care about these things,” Smith said.
The SLO General Store is the first store to open in the main facilities of the SLO Public Market.
The store joins Orangetheory Fitness, Parker Clay, and The Neighborhood Açaí as locations currently open on the SLO Public Market grounds.