It's All About The Ladies in Birmingham Thursday Night

Get a local jump on that holiday shopping at this special event organized by Birmingham merchants.

The first Ladies Night Out in Birmingham starts at 5 p.m. Thursday at Toast.
The first Ladies Night Out in Birmingham starts at 5 p.m. Thursday at Toast.

Ladies night takes on a different meaning in Birmingham Thursday as downtown merchants host a special event to showcase the local shopping experience. From 5 - 8 p.m., dozens of merchants will offer either discounts, raffle prizes, appetizers and drinks, or a token gift or gift basket in the first-ever Birmingham Ladies Night Out, sponsored by the Principal Shopping District.

See a list of all participating merchants and their offerings is on the Enjoy Birmingham website.  

One of the event coordinators, Julie Grippo, of Bec and Sam's, recently answered some questions for Patch.

Can you explain the genesis of this idea? 
Other communities do this very successfully and we wanted Birmingham to promote an event for the downtown merchants and for downtown/Birmingham residents.  

How the timing fits well with what's happening downtown at this time of year (Birmingham Winter MarktSanta House, etc.)?
The timing is of course coinciding with holiday shopping. We wanted to have something that promoted holiday shopping and keep in line with holiday festivities. The great part about this is in order for a merchant to participate, they must have an offer that evening - whether a discount or wine and cheese, or appetizers or a trunk show.

Why the focus on ladies?
Since ladies do most of the shopping in the household, and women always like a night out with each other, we wanted to focus on women. Of course everyone is welcome, but sometimes it's nice for women to get their friends together and shop, drink and be merry! The evening is starting out at Toast at 5 p.m. where women can get the list of participating merchants and their offerings. And then after an evening of shopping, the event ends at Toast, which is offering a $5 wine list and some festive mixed drinks too.  At that time we will do the raffle - since all particiatping merchant have to give a gift certificate for the raflle, we will have about 50 gift certificates. 

What do hope people will get out of the experience?  
i hope that people will see the huge and vast offering that Birmingham merchants offer the town. I just had a woman from Grosse Pointe in the store and she commented how there is no shopping left in Grosse Pointe and how she hopes people in Birmingham appreciate all the great stores here. Most merchants in birmingham take a lot of time to find items that are not available in the big box stores or malls - that along with great customer service equals a great value.

Any other attractions to highlight?
I'd rather not highlight any one store.....every store is offering something - even corporate stores are participating as are stores in the north old woodward strip.


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