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American Express Small Business Saturday Will Attract Customers To Your Store!

American Express Shop SmallAmerican Express is holding a party in your local area Saturday, November 30, 2013 and they want you to visit your local independent bricks and mortar retail shop or restaurant.

Signup by Monday November 4 and get on the map so customers who are looking to support small retailers can find you.

Recent data shows Millennial shoppers are highly inclined to shop local retailers after looking online, so Small Business Saturday is a perfect opportunity to attract them to your store.

To sign up your store, get started here. 

If you take American Express – which I think everyone should – then you get the benefits.

Checkout why I think you should take American Express for your retail business here.

Online-only businesses and businesses without a physical storefront or location do not qualify to be included. Customers cannot use the card for online purchases at national chains or franchised businesses. It is truly a brick and mortar promotion for local small retailers!

You can see a great example how Royal Razor in Baltimore used last year’s Small Business Saturday for their social media buzz here  .

Plus they give you ten tips how to rally your neighborhood, balloons, and more.

For your American Express customer:

American Express is offering cardmembers the opportunity to get a one-time $10 statement credit when they register any eligible American Express Card and use it on Small Business Saturday 11/30/13 to spend $10 or more in a single in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location that appears on the Small Business Saturday Map.

For American Express:

For years American Express has been shunned by some independent retailers due to the discount rate; their handling charge is higher than Visa or MasterCard.

When I was working in a retail store, a customer about to buy nearly a grand of merchandise with an American Express card, and we had to say, “Sorry, we don’t take AMEX.” The customer left without his purchases. We joined American Express the next day.

It doesn’t take much time to get accepted to take the American Express card, and they are putting a lot of effort behind this buy local campaign to help you stand out.  Their excellent American Express Open Forum has been popular for many years, it is a natural extension of their efforts to attract and keep small business owners as cardholders.


I’m sure card members will grouse at American Express for cutting their statement credit from $25 in years past to $10 this year. I’m sure retailers who don’t take American Express will say Small Business Saturday is a rip off. And if that’s you, I’m sorry for you.


Because you have an opportunity to tie-in to a huge marketing movement with national exposure with a local angle you can provide to your local media. You can get free marketing materials professionally created just for you. You get to target one of the highest spending demographics in the world. Your own Black Friday weekend promotions can only add to your success. And believe me, with a week less to shop between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can use all the help you can get.

Who else is promoting small businesses like this? Who else is committing millions to helping draw attention to small retailers in a positive way on November 30?

Sadly, not many…

Lose the cynicism.

Get onboard.

If you don’t offer American Express, it’s not too late to sign up.

*Note: I wasn’t paid to write this or have any affiliate relationship with American Express, while all details were checked, if any questions arise about the  program, please contact American Express directly.

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Posted by Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor on November 3, 2013.

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6 Responses to “American Express Small Business Saturday Will Attract Customers To Your Store!”

  1. Hi Bob:
    I enjoyed your presentation at BERNINA University this summer. Re AmEx: we don’t accept AmEx, and haven’t for 20+ years. People always have another card they can use, and we have never lost a sale. What ticks me off is that AmEx used to have a following of (dare I say) well-to-do folks. But since they became the card for Costco, everyone and their dog has one, and they just want the big refund they get from AmEx (at the expense of the retailers). They believe AmEx is a generous Santa who gives them money, and have no clue about the additional expense to retailers. I hear what you’re saying, but still can’t get behind the fact that customers do NOT have to use the most expensive card in the world just to buy small items (or large). I’d appreciate you truly convincing me otherwise if possible. Karen

    • Thanks for the kudos Karen. Honestly, I think a retailer either decides to do it and is glad they did or they just say they don’t need to and are happy with that. I think I made my points in this post as well as the other one I originally wrote several years ago. I think the opportunity for Small Business Saturday is huge. The customers you miss don’t tell you that they decided not to shop with you. Again, thanks for commenting.

  2. Tena Mancini says:

    I take American Express- I have to- many of my clients use it- When it comes time for taking payment- I ask them how they would like to pay- often they say “is American Express ok of would you prefer another card-” I than take them up on using the other card- BTW some Visa, MasterCard’s attached to a point program are more then American Express. I applauded them for promoting small business….

  3. Stan Shotkus says:

    Hi Bob
    Thank you for reminding everyone about Am Ex Small Business Saturday. For some reason, I haven’t received any sign up info from Am Ex and this would have been a critical missed opportunity.Thank God I went through the process, because a lot of the info the had was old, outdated and wrong (including account numbers, etc.). We have eight stores that would not have been listed or on the map if it had not been for your email.
    I too have enjoyed your presentations and found your info invaluable. Will you have any presentations in the near future in MA?

    • Thank you so much for letting me know Stan! I was a bit late to the table this year and only yesterday noticed the Nov. 4 deadline which is why I sent out an email to my 20k subscribers and across social media. Glad you found value in the information and while I don’t have speeches scheduled for MA right now, that all can change with a phone call. Follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/theretaildoctor as that’s where I let people know where I’ll be. Again, thanks for commenting Stan!