While the department stores and discount franchises open early to the hordes of black Friday shoppers, local businesses quietly sit back and watch. These are the shops that are in business to cater to the community and build relationships with shoppers rather than move them through check-out lines like cattle. Take the time to support local businesses and find personalized help with your annual shopping rather than stressing out over a parking space at 5 in the morning. These local shopping venues will welcome you and make your Black Friday a lot more pleasant.
General Store Of Minnetonka
14401 Highway 7
Minnetonka, MN 55345
The General Store of Minnetonka is a favorite seasonal shopping experience for the community. There is a Christmas section that is permanently in place for shoppers to stock up for the season year-round. On Black Friday, the Christmas area of the store is especially festive and contains a wide variety of locally crafted items, unique gifts, and beautiful decorations. Taking on the theme of an original country shoppe, the General Store appeals to locals and those tired of the concrete malls. Stop off in the cafe to enjoy some home-cooked treats while you’re there.
The Shops At West End
1621 West End Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
The local upscale Shops at West End are a fun and unique shopping experience any day of the week. On Black Friday, the outdoor retail area will be decorated for the season and entertainment will line the streets as shoppers find themselves enjoying bargains and fun in a relaxed atmosphere. Aside from locally-owned businesses, there are fantastic options for dining, entertaining and even getting a workout in on this stressful day of spending. This busy area continues to be successful and attract local businesses, community support and friendly employees.
3965 Eagan Outlets Parkway
St. Paul, MN 55122
The Eagan Outlets opened for business just this past summer and have already been wildly popular with locals and travelers. With over 100 stores, the outlets have brought consumerism and business to a local area that is now thriving. While the majority of the stores are national franchises, there are some local businesses to be found in the center and many local employees of the outlets. Just four miles from the Mall of America, the Eagan Outlets are becoming another shopping destination.
50th And France
W. 50th St. and France Ave.
Edina, MN 55424
Stop off in the local area of 50th and France and enjoy the shopping experience of a small town inside a big suburb of the city. The intersection of 50th and France has been a destination for boutique clothing shoppers, specialty stores and fun places to eat or enjoy your day. The area will be lit up and decorated for Christmas on Black Friday and Santa may even make an appearance over the weekend. A Reindeer-drawn carriage ride area is also a popular attraction at this section of Minnesota.
394 Lake Ave. S.
Duluth, MN 55802
Along the waterfront in Duluth, Canal Park hosts a wide range of retail shops. Most of the businesses in this quaint area are owned and operated by locals who wish to create the best shopping experience possible. Shop along historic landmarks and unique bridges while enjoying the sites of this famous area. The shops host a large selection of crafty and unique gifts as well as practical items and Minnesotan wares. A favorite shop in this area is The Blue Heron Trading Company, a kitchen and cooking store that carries something for foodies as well as items for the amateur.
Related: Best Shopping Malls in Minnesota
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.