Shoppers get ready: Girls Night Out coming up Thursday in city

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, June 23, 2013

The third annual Girls’ Night Out is just around the corner, and women throughout the area are preparing for a shopping spree Thursday, June 27.

Although many are becoming veterans at the yearly event, there are few key details that will be new this year.

First, welcome packets will be distributed in a new location this year. Beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday, Chamber volunteers will have two stations set up at either end of Railroad Park’s south parking lot to welcome GNO participants.

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In the packets, women will receive an originally designed T-shirt, a $10 meal voucher and access to all 27 stores the day of the event as part of the $15 advance ticket or $20 day-of ticket.

Kay Burton, marketing director of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, said many of the retailers are ordering merchandise specifically for the event, and GNO participants will be the first to have access to it.

Another major change this year is the shift from box dinners to dinner vouchers. The dinner vouchers will allow participants to choose between five restaurants and allow more flexibility in timing. The vouchers will cover meals up to $10 at either Broma’s Deli, Bumper’s Drive-in, Magnolia Blues BBQ Company, Poppa’s Fish House or Western Sizzlin at any point between Thursday and Saturday.

Burton said the biggest reason for the change is to provide flexibility.

“Some people don’t want to stop and eat,” Burton said. “They just want to shop.”

This year, retailers are putting together a goody bag for all the participants. The bags will be filled with items from the various participating stores. Burton said she knows of at least one store that will be doing sticky notes as a little happy and another that will give out coupons for another day.

The chamber helps put on Girls’ Night Out each year as a way to encourage local shopping.

“We’re just the spoke of the wheel that brings everyone to the table,” Burton said.

The chamber is able to pool its resources to help spread the word and organize the event better than the businesses could do individually. Also, because the event has a community atmosphere and the chamber has a large network of supporters, finding volunteers becomes easier.

“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers,” Burton said.

The event has evolved into an economic boost for the local community. Last year, around 1,100 tickets were sold but about 1,400 emails were entered into the chamber’s database. Burton said the chamber has been sending out promotional blasts through this database, and she expects between 1,200 and 1,500 participants this year.

The event will end with an ice cream social at Brookhaven Monument from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information or to purchase a ticket, contact the Chamber at 601-833-1411 or call or stop by any of the participating merchants.