Retailers: What are you seeing?

Was your store empty over the weekend? Filled with browsers instead of buyers? Did discounts translate into sales? Are shoppers clicking through on your Web site?

We want small retailers to tell us what you’re seeing. Most of the coverage of what’s expected to be the worst holiday sales season in decades has focused on Wal-Mart, other discount chains, big department stores, and electronics retailers. It’s harder to get a sense of how small retailers are faring. Share your story, either in the comments or by email.

I’d like to collect stories from readers on the ground about what they’re seeing in their own small businesses and those they patronize. Together we can piece together a picture of how the economy is affecting small retailers.

Here’s a start: I was in a local furniture store Friday (my only Black Friday purchase was a new bookcase) that was empty — the manager told me it was the slowest time he’d seen in his 20 years working there.

Here’s a comment a small business owner named Chuck Gaffney left on another story about holiday shopping:

My company has doubled sales in the past year and I deal with Japanese collectibles and crystal figures, which I’m surprised about since these are not necessities. At least on my end the consumer spending and confidence is doing quite well since I take care of the customers first, run online only and deal in unsaturated market.[…]

What are you seeing?

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