NEPA Scene Staff

Downtown Wilkes-Barre Holiday Pop-Up Shops open on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28

Downtown Wilkes-Barre Holiday Pop-Up Shops open on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Diamond City Partnership will officially open the new Downtown Wilkes-Barre Holiday Pop-Up Shops with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28 at 10:30 a.m. on Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square.

Starting this weekend, nine of these individual and socially distant shops will be set up on Public Square for 15 days to allow the public to safely shop small this holiday season.

Since 2018, the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Holiday Pop-Up Market has provided local independent retailers, whether they are established or just starting up, with a low-cost opportunity to test drive a physical presence in downtown Wilkes-Barre. This year, there is a special focus on retailers that may have lost a location or need additional assistance in reaching customers as a result of COVID-19.

The 2020 Downtown Wilkes-Barre Holiday Pop-Up Market is presented by PPL, and the new pop-up structures have been funded by the Luzerne County CARES Act. These little free-standing outdoor shops were designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and produced by Panzitta Enterprises.

The holidays are a critical time for retailers to promote and sell their goods, and this year, it’s more important than ever to buy local and support local shops. The Pop-Up Market allows shoppers to visit local retailers safely at an outdoor market on Public Square. Social distancing and health and safety measures will be enforced at all times, as per state and federal guidelines. Mask wearing is required, and masks and hand sanitizer will be available on site.

The vendors include Eleventh Element, Pittston Popcorn, Kaki Intimates, The Arch-Hive Shoe Boutique, Four Story Hill Farm, Park Multimedia, 3 Buds LLC, League SVN, and Culinary Creations by Metz.

The goal of this year’s market is to help provide local retailers with another way to reach customers in a safe, open-air setting as part of a COVID-19 recovery strategy to drive holiday shopping traffic into downtown Wilkes-Barre and to assist in elevating downtown’s retail tenant and merchandise mix over time.

Pop-Up Market visitors will also enjoy Small Business Saturday discounts from merchants throughout downtown Wilkes-Barre, as well as the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Dining Deals program, which offers discounts at participating restaurants. More information about these programs can be found at luzernecountylocal.org, a new website launched by the Chambers of Commerce in Luzerne County to help holiday shoppers find local businesses, their deals, and more.

“2020 has been an extremely challenging year for our community’s small retailers,” said Diamond City Partnership Executive Director Larry Newman.

“Many have seen sales levels cut in half from prior years. As a result, we’ve changed the traditional format of the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Pop-Up Shops. Shifting to an outdoor ‘holiday market’ on Public Square allows us to create a festive open-air marketplace, giving small businesses a new way to reach customers during this difficult time while generating much-needed activity in downtown during the 2020 holiday shopping season.”

“The vision and mission of the Holiday Pop-Up Market initiative that developed three years ago has evolved to become more relevant and more needed than ever before. This year, the Pop-Up Market has become a critical small business initiative that will allow retailers the chance to safely do business during the holiday season and will additionally showcase our downtown and promote its existing businesses. We are thankful for the CARES Act funding provided by Luzerne County and our partnership with PPL Electric Utilities that has made this year’s project possible,” said Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce COO and Vice President Lindsay Griffin.

“We are excited to continue to partner with all of Luzerne County’s Chambers of Commerce and Main Street organizations to continue to grow this program in 2021 with multiple locations throughout Luzerne County.”

The Diamond City Partnership is Wilkes-Barre’s nonprofit downtown management organization, serving as the custodian of the community’s vision for downtown Wilkes-Barre. DCP’s work plan is intended to improve the economic vitality and livability of Wilkes-Barre’s central business district. As part of that goal, DCP manages Downtown Wilkes-Barre’s Keystone Communities Main Street program and the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District, which together provide a range of services to downtown’s property and business owners.

The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce, formerly the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce before a recent rebranding, is a member-driven organization representing hundreds of businesses and organizations, focused on helping members grow and succeed in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It is committed to accelerating the economic engine of the region by fostering innovation, connecting resources, and elevating and advocating for the community.