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$27 on the 27th Boosts Local Business

Collingswood shoppers and store owners met up on purpose, accidentally, and every other way in between for the September 'Shop Local' initiative Thursday.

Carol Cherry of Medford, NJ, had come into town to catch a class at ExtraordinaryED.

She didn't know about the extroardinary deals the store was running Thursday night—27 percent off everything in the store or two classes for $27—or that the bargains extended all the way down Haddon Avenue.

In fact, Cherry was just browsing the inventory at the shop, waiting for the instructor of her eBay-and-Craigslist class to turn up, when she discovered that she was in the middle of the townwide $27 on the 27th event.

The news didn't change her game plan, however. Cherry, who's also taught interior design courses at ExtraordinaryEd, said that even though she didn't know about the event in advance of her trip into town, "I would come specifically for ExtraordinaryEd."

The two-hour-long shopping event, which was designed to help attract and retain Camden County business, even surprised some Collingswood residents.

Although the Noon family—Mike, Shannon, Ella, and Lila—had enjoyed a fine dinner at The Pop Shop, they confessed that they hadn't known they could turn their receipt in for a chance at the evening's Collingswood Cash prize drawing.

"I think we did it without really realizing that," Shannon Noon said.

The Noons said they enjoy a number of events in town, from Cruise Night to the May Fair, and were happy to participate in the celebration, however unwittingly, as they headed into Dig This to check out the new inventory.

Inside, Reed and Megan Orem had knocked down the prices on 27 separate categories of items in their store, from couches to chairs to artwork. The couple said " a good mixture of everything" was selling.

"Probably about half the people are coming in specifically [for the event]" Megan Orem said, adding that the other half "stumbled into it."

Meanwhile, at the Pop Shop Party Room, food was spread across the length of the counter, representing a whirlwind of donations from just about every kitchen in town.

The bounty of the borough was provided for shoppers with $27 (and up) receipts—shown at the door to representatives from the Camden County Buy Local initiative.

Among them was Sandi Kelly, Camden County Director of Economic Development, called Collingswood "one of the most important downtown shopping districts" in Camden County.

On a table against the far wall were piled door prizes and gift bags from every other business in Collingswood, the products of Mike DiBartolo's shoe-leather boosterism. To a one, every businessperson in the room credited DiBartolo's energy and enthusiasm with collecting the contributions that filled out the event.

"He's the reaper," joked Pop Shop co-owner Bill Fisher.

DiBartolo deflected equally the good-natured teasing and sincere praise, saying that he thought the event was successful because "everybody came together."

Collingswood Mayor James Maley said that $27 on the 27th was a great example of borough residents and supporters putting their money where their mouth is.

"Everybody wants these stores, different stores," Maley said. "And they write this to me from their Facebook pages while they're shopping on the Internet.

"It's always great to find a reason to shop local," he said. "This is a great little reminder."

Kelly September 29, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I would love to see this event happen again next year! It would be even better if we got the word out a little more and if more shops that usually close at 6 or 7 would stay open until 8! :)

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