Some local businesses want you to start your holiday shopping this week. The party -- and the sales pitch -- both start Saturday. ABC26 News reporter Curt Sprang reports from Magazine Street.
A big chunk of Magazine Street will turn into a giant shopping party on Saturday. And if you have a special card, you'll save a chunk of cash. Shop owners say they need your business.
The Magic Box on Magazine Street sells some of the coolest toys anywhere, but when it comes to business the store isn't playing around.
"As far as I know, 3 shops in 3 blocks have closed down this year," says Magic Box manager James Dellostri.
"Sales have dipped on Magazine Street and across the city and across the country," adds Bryan Batt, an actor and the owner of Hazelnut New Orleans.
Batt is helping to lead the charge for the Magazine Street Retail Relief Party on Saturday. Along with the unique businesses, the event will include live music and great food: all of it designed to get more people to come to Magazine Street and support local businesses.
"There's no doubt about it that we go after the local stores and retailers here because we want them to benefit as much as we try to benefit the community," according to the Junior League's Michele Miller.
She and Erin Leutkemeier are taking the local push one step further: The Junior League is selling discount cards that are good starting Saturday. The cards raise money for the Junior League and save buyers 20% at participating stores.
"It's a good way for us to raise money because all the money we make from this card goes back into the community projects in New Orleans," Leutkemeier explains.
Batt adds: "I say get out and support your local businesses and start your Christmas and holiday shopping now!"
And here's an added benefit: the Junior League cards cost less than last year: $35 instead of $50. Get your card at the link above.