Blizzard of bargains offered at Greenwich Winter Sale and Giving Days
GREENWICH — It may seem a bit too chilly to hit the streets for shopping, but organizers of the first-ever Greenwich Winter Sale and Giving Days are offering residents some enticements to get outside.
The event — which will be held Friday through Sunday — is promoted as offering “winter blizzard blowout sales” with as much as 70 percent off at some participating retailers.
But it’s about more than just offering bargains. It is part of an overall effort to promote Greenwich.
A portion of the proceeds of sales will go to Think Greenwich, a collaboration of local residents and business owners to promote the town as a great place for shoppers, businesses and new residents.
The event was put together by TMK Sports and Entertainment, which also organizes the expanded downtown Holiday Stroll every December as well as the Santa’s Village.
“We want to support our merchants in Greenwich,” said Tamara Ketler, founder and owner of TMK. “We have gotten feedback from the merchants that have worked with us that these kinds of events really drive traffic to them.”
Last October, TMK held Experience Greenwich Week, with more than 150 businesses and restaurants involved. It featured in-store promotions, special events and live music along with an art walk through galleries in town.
The effort to promote Greenwich has been a success, Ketler said.
“When you’re creating a new event like this or expanding an existing event, you’re making a commitment,” Ketler said. “It’s a challenging process that takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Because you’re not going to instantly have an overnight success. You have to make that commitment and take the time to build something and get more people involved.”
For the first year of the Holiday Stroll in 2008, only 36 merchants took part. This past December, in its 10th year, the number of participants grew to more than 140.
In January, merchants traditionally start to clear out their winter stock to make room for spring and summer items. That makes it a perfect time to hold the sale and promote Think Greenwich, which is entering its third year, Ketler said.
Sabine Schoenberg, co-president of the campaign as well as a member of the town’s Economic Advisory Committee, said Think Greenwich is making an impact. Feedback from the events show they do a good job of promoting the town and attracting people to visit for the first time.
And that can have a direct benefit for the merchants.
“In this day and age, brick-and-mortar stores have to be creative and have an experience for people to come in for,” Schoenberg said. “This is a great way to promote those merchants and let people, who may not know them, see what they’re all about.”
First Selectman Peter Tesei included municipal funding for Think Greenwich. He called the event a “win-win” because of the benefits for shoppers as well as the efforts to promote Greenwich.
“The Greenwich Winter Sale Days event is yet another example of how the First Selectman’s Economic Advisory Committee is developing ideas to market and promote business in Greenwich,” Tesei said. He called Ketler, a committee member, the brainchild behind the new event.
“I am pleased that there are so many wonderful businesses, restaurants and galleries supporting this inaugural effort,” Tesei said.
The weather this weekend will be cold but clear, with temperatures ranging from the high 20s to the high 30s.
Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Nearly 100 merchants will be taking part — in the downtown area and from Byram to Old Greenwich. A full listing of participating merchants can be found at www.GreenwichWinterSalesDays.com along with an interactive map.
The Transportation Association of Greenwich will offer shuttle service around Greenwich Avenue each day of the sale from noon to 4 p.m. with five drop-off and pickup locations, which are listed on the website.
And on the weekend, food trucks will be dishing up delicacies in the Board of Education parking lot on Greenwich Avenue. Fryborg, Gyro Uno and Three Little Pigs BBQ are slated to take part.