Six downtown businesses will hold a Holiday Open House over the weekend in an effort to promote the spirit and festiveness of the holidays and encourage shopping downtown.
The initiative was spearheaded by the owners of Cranberry Scoop and BK Collections on State Street. Other stores that are set to participate include Nature Gallery on State Street and Sethi Fine Jewelry, Paperwhirl and Kids Only on Main Street.
The event will begin Friday and run through Sunday evening. The stores placed holiday decorations and expanded their hours. Additionally, the stores will sponsor a drawing during the open house for a holiday gift basket consisting of gift cards and prizes from the participating stores.
Belinda Chung, owner of BK Collections, said the idea came about from a conversation she had on the street with Ellen Biolsi, owner of Cranberry Scoop. When Biolsi mentioned that she was planning an open house, Chung decided she would join in, too.
“Next thing you know, we have six stores participating,” Chung said.
The open house is an attempt to provide a shopping experience during the holiday season in lieu of the annual Holiday Stroll, which was canceled this year due to COVID-19. Retail stores, especially small businesses, have been hit hard everywhere by the pandemic and Los Altos has been no exception
"We know because of COVID we can’t do the Holiday Stroll this year,” Biolsi said. “I was looking for something else to do. One of the ideas I read was going into a three-day event. I’m hoping that they want to come down and see what I have to offer, and what other retailers have to offer.”
Chung, who has operated BK Collections for more than 40 years, said her store is doing fine financially due to loyal support from customers. But she isn’t sure what to expect during the holiday season, which is typically the busiest time of year for retail stores.
At the very least, Chung and her fellow downtown merchants planned the open house as a way to both promote shopping and gear up for the holidays.
“We are such a grassroots community,” she said. “We talk to people rather than doing email all the time. Otherwise, it would take a longer time to organize. We literally got this done overnight.”