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Economy

Edmonton businesses ditch deep discounts in favour of helping others

WATCH ABOVE: Giving gifts is a big part of Christmas and so is getting deals on what's under the tree. But some Edmonton-area businesses are saying no to holiday sales and are using the opportunity instead to give back. Quinn Ohler explains.

Some Edmonton businesses have decided against offering their customers holiday sales, instead giving them the chance to help them help the community.

Hye Fashion in west Edmonton is collecting donations for four local charities including Edmonton’s Food Bank and WIN House.

“We wanted to do something different,” said Janel Dickin, owner of Hye Fashion. “The message of giving during the holiday season has kind of gotten lost in the messages about door-crashers and store-wide clearance sales.”

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Hye Fashion is also using its campaign as a way to raise awareness of local charities through its social media channels.

Dickin said the response from the community has been overwhelming.

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“They’re really happy to see there’s something different going on and they’re really happy to help us give back,” Dickin said.

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Other companies are also taking advantage of the busy shopping season to help others.

At Poppy Barley, there was no big Black Friday sale. Instead, proceeds up to $20,000 were donated to the Lois Hole Hospital for women to purchase a panda warmer — a state-of-the-art piece of equipment that keeps newborns warm and administers life support for the most vulnerable babies.

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Five Poppy Barley staff, including co-founders Justine and Kendall Barber, have brought babies into the world at the hospital. Justine Barber said many of her clients have also utilized the hospitals services, especially in high-risk situations.

“It’s very easy for us to support a local charity because it’s where we give birth, it’s where our customers give birth and it’s really something we know the community will rally around,” Barber told Global News.

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Barber said the response from the community was overwhelming.

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“It was impossible to predict,” she said. “We weren’t sure if it would fall really flat, if it would be a big uptake, so we were really genuinely touched about how big the uptake was.”

Barber said the company’s sales were similar to last year’s, showing the idea’s popularity was similar to when they hosted a more traditional Black Friday sale.

“People are really amazing,” Barber said. “They’re both looking for a deal, but they’re also open to spending their money on ways that they see can contribute more than just getting a good price.”

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