Sunday, January 19, 2014

Discount campaign tries to attract shoppers to Downtown Biloxi

Amazon Deal campaign tries to attract shoppers to Downtown Biloxi

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 6:54 PM ESTUpdated: Sunday, January 19, 2014 6:54 AM EST


There is now an added incentive for both tourists and locals to do more of their shopping in Downtown Biloxi. The new campaign is called Doubloon Deals with the funding coming from a $100,000 BP grant.

After driving past Downtown Biloxi many times Clint Caldwell says he felt it was time to explore the area and its shops.

"We're from Ocean Springs and have never stopped," said Caldwell. "So we just decided to take Saturday morning and come to Downtown Biloxi and see the shops and things."

About 20 shops and restaurants are participating in the Doubloon Deals campaign. The way it works is people go by the Biloxi visitors center to get their doubloon then take the token to the businesses and receive a discount on their purchases.

"We've got a little map that goes with it. A new Downtown guide," said Kay Carter, Biloxi Main Street Director. "We often have people say 'I didn't even know this shop was here.' So hopefully it will bring a few people in the doors that didn't know it was there and a lot of shops, mom and pop shops, have a hard time offering discounts so this is just a way to give a little discount or an added incentive to come."

Some merchants said their incentive to take part in Doubloon Deals was the flexibility the program offers.

Gail Cheney is an artist with Gallery 782. "I think one unique thing about the program is right now our incentive is 10 percent off of one item," said Cheney. "But we can change that as we roll with the program to something that might work better for tourists or locals. We're hoping to get more locals too."

This push to get more local customers and tourists in the area is being paid for with a BP grant.

Carter said, "We were able to do this and purchase the doubloons and the advertising with the Deepwater Horizon grant. Also the downtown guides. We're putting kiosks in the downtown. So really trying to promote the area."

Biloxi Main Street officials said they are not sure how long the program will last but if it's successful Doubloon Deals may continue throughout the year. @

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