Downtown shopping season opens with Black Friday specials

It’s become a modern holiday shopping tradition: hunting for bargains on the day after Thanksgiving, a.k.a. “Black Friday.” Instead of heading for a mall this year, area shoppers can find deals at downtown New Haven shops, while also enjoying the city’s cultural treasures and acclaimed dining establishments.

Thirteen stores that are part of “the shops at Yale,” a group of New Haven merchants and restaurateurs, are offering special discounts on Friday, Nov. 23. These range from “early bird specials” to weekend-long deals on apparel, art supplies, beauty products, jewelry, and more. For information about the discounts, see the shops at Yale website.

Shoppers also can receive free parking at the Broadway Center lot by presenting a store receipt for a minimum $15 purchase.

Black Friday also marks the start of a season of special events in the city sponsored by the shops at Yale. Highlights will include a Holiday Gift Giving Guide featuring items at different price points found in downtown stores, a complimentary weekend shopping shuttle, free parking, photos with Santa, Yuletide carolers, and more. For details, visit the shops at Yale website.

A note on "Small Business Saturday"

November 24 marks the third annual "Small Business Saturday," a shopping holiday created by American Express in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here is a statement about the philosophy behind the event, taken from the American Express website:

"By shopping or dining at a small business this Nov. 24, you’re showing your support for all the small communities around you. This means you could be helping local entrepreneurs offer more jobs, which in turn invigorate the economy. Last year, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on the day. This year, go out and support your favorite small business and search for savings on unique merchandise while experiencing spectacular service — a cornerstone of many small businesses.