Business association hosts ‘Shop the Mack’

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 8, 2013

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — It’s almost time to dig out those comfortable shopping shoes and head over to Mack Avenue for a big sidewalk sale and raffle during “Shop the Mack.”

“Shop the Mack,” sponsored by the Mack Avenue Business Association, will kick off May 16 and run through May 18 with sidewalk sales and other fun specials, but a big raffle event meant to stir up excitement along the avenue will run through the end of the month.

“This is huge because we’re wanting people to ‘Shop the Mack,’” said Mack Avenue Business Association President Angelo DiClemente, owner of The Dried Flower Shop, which is participating in the big event.

DiClemente said working to get people to come out and visit the businesses on Mack is important.

“Mack is so big — we don’t have shops in a clustered area,” he said. “You want people to get exposure. We’ve got so many new shops on Mack.”

Some stores will have freebies or sale items in the sidewalk sale and/or inside the stores during the first three days. 

Those who want to participate in the raffle need to visit five of the seven participating stores in uptown, midtown and downtown, which means they will have stopped into 15 participating stores on Mack. At each store, they will get their entry form initialed. They will turn in their completed entry form to the last store they visit by May 30. A drawing will be held in the afternoon May 31 and the winner will receive a bicycle, donated by American Cycle & Fitness.

“They’ve got two weeks to shop,” DiClemente said.

Not all of the stores who may be participating in the sidewalk sales are raffle stores. The raffle stores will have posters in their windows, which means the entry forms can be picked up at those locations.

DiClemente said there is a wide range of businesses participating.

“I’ve got pizza places. I’ve got a chocolate bar. I’ve got boutiques,” DiClemente said.

In uptown, which is from the north city limit to Vernier, the businesses participating in the raffle activity are Jean’s Boutique, Chocolate Bar Cafe, Moehring Woods Flowers, Flashpointe Photography, Bow Wow Bake Shoppe, Lou’s Pet Shop and Uncle Paul’s Pizza.

In midtown, the stores are The Dried Flower, Rainy Day Art Supply, Knotted Needle, Wild Birds Unlimited, Friend’s Hair & Nails, La Jolie Rose and American Cycle.

In downtown, the stores are John F. Martin Photography, Mes Amies Salon, This N That For Pets, Just Baked, Detroit Custom Framing, Papa Romano and Crowther Carpets & Rugs.

While they are hoping to expose people to what Mack’s businesses have to offer, people do not need to buy anything in the shops to get entry forms validated. They are hoping people will come in and look around, and maybe they will find something they are looking for or need. If not, they have at least seen what some of the stores on Mack have to offer during the raffle activity.

DiClemente said this is a means for business owners to wow customers.

“I’ll have stuff outside,” he said. “I’ll have candy here for kids. I go out of my way to give service. I value my customers.”

In regards to the upcoming event, Grosse Pointe Woods City Council member Vicki Granger emphasized how important it is for people to shop local.

“Many of our local business owners live right here in the community, and their employees are local residents,” she said. “Our local businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Walk or bicycle or drive along Mack — you see people going in and out of stores and restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, and ice cream stores, enjoying the opportunity to shop by just walking up to the corner.”

Granger cited a statistic that “for every $100 spent locally, $68 stays within the community, as opposed to $43 for chain stores.”

She said the quality of the businesses is a draw to people looking for a new home purchase and a new community.

Granger said the businesses in the city work hard to get to know their customers to help them find the items they need.

“Many stock very unique items, or items that you would have to drive miles to purchase,” Granger said.

Also, she mentioned that the businesses are supporters of their community.

“They donate items, provide sponsorship and buy program ads or pay for ticket printing,” Granger said. “They have special school nights, for example, that provide a percentage of sales to the local PTO. They generously provide window space to advertise the local plays and concerts, book sales at the library, or animal adoptions through Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption.”