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Tuesday September 1st, 2015 6:12AM

Local retailers providing quality shopping

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - While the big stores seem to get all the press and shopping die-hards on Black Friday, local retailers in our area have carved out niches of their own.

The attention was shifting from those big retailers to locally owned stores Saturday for Small Business Saturday.

Debbie McGee is the owner of Nest Feathers, a home, gift and boutique store in Oakwood. While they do have specials for this Black Friday weekend, she said they provide a different sort of shopping environment.

"We want you to come in and laugh and joke and have fun and browse around. There's no big kill for the big buy, like some of the box stores," McGee said.

But she's not twiddling her thumbs. They have the specials and are open Sundays through Christmas.

Lorry Schrage's family has operated Saul's, a women's clothing and accessory store on the square in Gainesville, for decades.

Schrage said there's offerings at Saul's the big retailers just can't match.

"One thing is we still provide service, which you don't get at any of those places, and we work really hard at keeping our product a good bit above the quality you get in these other stores," Schrage said.

McGee said they try to have fun in her store and she keeps well-staffed for the busy season.

"People are enjoying shopping, and they're looking for bargains, but they're also looking for those special gifts that I think small retailers can provide," McGee said.

Schrage said his customers understand how the store operates and keep coming back.

"We go back a long time with a lot of people."
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