Private event in downtown Marietta continues to grow
by Lindsay Field
November 30, 2012 12:58 AM | 2864 views | 8 8 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Heather Mannik of east Cobb tries on a Vera Bradley bracelet at Limelight in the Marietta Square as she shops on Thursday afternoon. Merchants are hoping that a private event will draw more shoppers out to the square.
Heather Mannik of east Cobb tries on a Vera Bradley bracelet at Limelight in the Marietta Square as she shops on Thursday afternoon. Merchants are hoping that a private event will draw more shoppers out to the square.
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MARIETTA — Merchants hope a private event on the Marietta Square next week will draw up to 500 shoppers.

The biannual “Progressive Shopping Event” on the square will be Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. Attendees at the invitation-only event will enjoy snacks and drinks, collect free gifts, browse and shop displays and have the opportunity to win prizes at 10 different shops.

Participating stores are 2 Rules Fine Art, The Keeping Room/Church Street Market, doodlebugz, Go Fish, High Cottage, L.michelle, Limelight, Lizards & Lollipopz, Vintage-ology and Ye Olde Christmas and Candy Shoppe.

Lisa Jackson, who owns L.michelle, a woman’s apparel boutique, started the event almost eight years ago.

“A few of the ladies in town and I started trying to figure out how to get people in our stores,” she said. “We thought about having a party and it kind of evolved into this and has kept growing.”

In the beginning, about 50 shoppers attended the event but that number has grown tremendously and could bring nearly 500 this year, she said.

Each store invites its best customers, who in turn are allowed to bring along one of their girlfriends for the private shopping event.

“This is a way to cross-pollinate each other with our customers,” Jackson said about the shops. “It’s amazing how many people come in and they say they didn’t realize what stores are here.”

Each purchase enters shoppers in a raffle to win a $500 gift basket.

“It’s good exposure, whether they spend money or not,” Jackson said about getting shoppers to the Marietta Square and into independent shops.

For her, drawing customers is about personalizing the shopping experience.

“It all stems from your customer base and customer service … it’s a matter of repeat business too,” she said.

Susie Mauldin, who owns Limelight, has participated in the event for four years.

“It’s like a big Girls Night Out for us,” she said. “They giggle, laugh … it’s a very festive evening.”

Her store’s tagline is “eclectic shopping with a twist,” and she sell items such as hand blown glass ornaments, Vera Bradley bags, soy candles and fresh soaps.

“It’s a little of this and that,” she said. “And over the years we’ve seen what our customers are looking for and they expect to find the different here.”

Mauldin reminds customers that the Square is not just an “antique mecca” anymore but a place where they can find boutiques, art galleries and restaurants too.

“I think it’s about reintroducing the Square to everyone,” she said.

One of Mauldin’s invitees is Meg Crawford of Marietta.

“The good food is definitely something to note and a lot of times they have trivia contests that flow from store to store,” she said. “They are always very jubilant when they are doing these and they can’t help but pull all of us participating into it.”

Each year Crawford does a little Christmas shopping not only for family or friends but also for herself at the event.

“I live so close to the Square that I’ve always looked at the merchants there as being my neighbors, and it’s always fun to go support my neighbors and go down there to shop,” she said.

Crawford also said she enjoys shopping in downtown Marietta because it keeps tax dollars in Cobb.

“I feel strongly about supporting small businesses,” she said. “If they thrive, the community thrives and since I live in the community, I want it to thrive.”
Comments
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Cardmaster
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November 30, 2012
I agree with GAgirl1234! This is an awesome event and is so much fun! So many great shops and restaurants to visit. Will definitely be there Tuesday night!
GAgirl1234
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November 30, 2012
The Progressive Shopping event is by far the best event of the year! It is great for a whole community to appreciate those who support them. I know I appreciate shopping small versus shopping with thousands of people at a mall. And a $500 gift basket...SOLD! Im sure all of my Christmas shopping will be done all in one night :) Thank goodness.

Retiree1
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November 30, 2012
Follow up to previous post: OCGA 13-8-3. This is illegal commercial gambling in the form of an illegal lottery. Commercial establishments may hold lotteries i.e. games of chance but may not require a purchase of any kind in order to enter.
Lisa Jackson
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November 30, 2012
Each guest receives a ticket to win the "door prize" when they check in. No purchase is required.
Retiree1
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December 01, 2012
To Lisa Jackson: I hope you are right that no purchase is necessary to enter the raffle. Why does the story explicitly state "Each purchase enters a shopper in the raffle..."?? Wonder who told reporter that? Whichever shopkeeper thinks that needs to be educated, or it could get the whole group in trouble.
Lynn_v
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December 09, 2012
At every home Braves game there is a raffle drawing. You have to buy a ticket. I think they are $2. During the game the amount of the raffle winnings is posted on the scoreboard. At about the 7th inning they announce the winning number. The person receives half. The other half goes to charity.
Retiree1
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November 30, 2012
"Each purchase enters shoppers in a raffle...."

This is a violation of Georgia's gambling laws!! It is ok for stores to have a raffle to encourage people to shop, but you CANNOT require a purchase to get a raffle ticket! (I know I will seem like Scrooge here, but this is a pet peeve of mine. MDJ--PLEASE LOOK INTO THIS.)
MariettaDawg
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December 11, 2012
Retiree 1:

You are a pet peeve of mine.
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