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Cory Booker Shops Downtown Millburn with Mayor Sandy Haimoff on Small Business Saturday

David Lackey

Sunday, December 1, 2013 • 8:50am

MILLBURN, NJ – Small Business Saturday shoppers in downtown Millburn found themselves with some unexpected company, as Sen. Cory Booker strolled the streets with Mayor Sandy Haimoff for some holiday shopping.

Booker and Haimoff paid visits to Futter’s Shoes, Suki’s, Deborah Gilbert Smith and many other downtown merchants.

“I love it here in Millburn,” Booker said. “This is an extraordinary town. I have lots of friends from here, and your mayor, Sandy, is one of the best.”

Merchants found the special shopping day to be a good promotional effort to bring shoppers downtown.

“It’s nice to finally recognize that shopping involves real people,” said Deborah Gilbert Smith. “While you can acquire stuff anywhere, there is a great wish for personalized service, social interaction and real assistance.  Online, you can’t try things on.  At the mall, it’s a big sea of stuff.  At a small business, you get personal attention and assistance.”

Todd Rivkees, the owner of Suki’s, the children’s boutique, said he noticed an increase in shoppers compared to a typical Saturday, and noted that offering free parking was a help.

Some shopkeepers expressed that many of their patrons were unaware that the lower level of the new parking garage on Essex Street is available for shoppers and hope that the township will add some new signage to make drivers aware of the extra parking availability.

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