Summer Sidewalk Sale to give local merchants a boost

Joy Hampton / The Transcript Shoppers beat the heat at Sooner Mall during a citywide sidewalk sale on Saturday, July 21, 2018.

Norman has a trick up its sleeve to ensure economic activity doesn’t melt away in the summer’s sweltering heat.

Many businesses across Norman will take part in the three-day Summer Sidewalk Sale from July 18-20.

“It’s exposure for all of our businesses and cities,” Norman Retail Marketing Coordinator Sara Kaplan said. “[It’s] just reminding people what wonderful shops we have in Norman.”

Summer Sidewalk Sale was an annual event a couple decades in Norman’s past, but it faded away in the 90s.

“We were doing the sidewalk sale way back in the day," Mitchell's Jewelry co-owner Gina Mitchell said. "We always loved it when the city did a citywide sale."

Kaplan and Norman’s local business districts decided to bring back the Summer Sidewalk Sale last year.

“Campus Corner was doing a sidewalk sale and Main District area was doing a sidewalk sale, and we just had this idea of like, ‘What if went really big and did it all citywide,’” Kaplan said. “So, we joined forces with the various business districts. We were like, ‘OK, let’s see how big we can make this.’”

The many participating vendors will be divided between eight hosting locations including, Brookhaven Village, Campus Corner, Downtown Norman, East Side Businesses Association, Lindsey Street Merchants, Sooner Mall, The Main District and University Town Center.

“A lot of the merchants think that it’s a great idea … when you can work in a group like this and get people to come out in the middle of the summer and see the wonderful things that we have to offer,” Brookhaven Village property manager Eve Patterson said.

Kaplan said she hopes attendance at the sidewalk sale will expand beyond Norman.

“With our enhanced marketing efforts this year, I’m hoping that we actually draw in people from outside of Norman to come shop for the day,” Kaplan said.

Last year’s sidewalk sale had 77 shops participate. This year’s sale has already reached that number, and Kaplan hopes it will continue to grow in the coming weeks before the sale.

Manager of Guestroom Records’ Norman location Will Muir said the sidewalk sale helps businesses maintain their sales while the University of Oklahoma students are on vacation.

“We participated last year mainly just to try to keep things going downtown when the students are gone,” Muir said. “And it gives us a way to put some stuff on sale and spotlight it.”

Summer Sidewalk Sale is sponsored by Norman Chamber of Commerce, VisitNorman, Sports Talk Media, The Norman Transcript and Vilona Michael Marketing.

Kaplan said businesses wanting to participate can sign up through July 10 by emailing her at sara.kaplan@normanok.gov.