Organizations launch ‘8 on Thursdays’ marketing campaign
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
HUDSON – A number of Hudson stores recently announced an extended Thursday schedule, joining others that had already offered the later closing hour.
This collaboration of the Hudson Business Association (HBA) and the Hudson Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) is known as “8 on Thursdays.”
Weather permitting, the BID is sponsoring live musical acts for several Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m., outside the Town Hall.
Hudson’s longtime Thursday history
Thursday is the only day of the week that Hudson Appliance & Mattress Gallery stays open until 8 p.m. Arthur Redding has maintained this schedule since he opened his store in 1972.
Redding has observed several decades of fluctuations in downtown activity as a business owner, BID president and HBA past president.
“Back in the 1970s, banks were open late on Thursday night and downtown was very busy,” he recalled. “Then later, the big box stores ate away our little stores. Now, Hudson has stores with unique stuff that you don’t find at Walmart and so forth.”
Although online banking and other factors have altered banks’ schedules, Redding still finds Thursdays to be a good evening to do business.
“The only time I didn’t stay open Thursday nights was last year during the beginning of the pandemic,” he explained. “Once we were able to open up our doors, I went back to my 8 o’clock closing time on Thursdays. Business has been very strong.”
Redding was one of several HBA founders in 2008. BID was then created in 2017.
“We got HBA up and running, and then we went to the next level with BID,” Redding said. “Anything that draws people to the town – like extended hours – will help if we all do it together.”
Downtown district and beyond
BID District Administrator Richard Braga also observed a period of busy Thursdays in downtown Hudson.
A retired Hudson police chief, Braga started with the department as a patrol officer in 1980.
“I used to do details until 8’oclock on Thursdays at what was then Hudson Savings Bank [now Avidia Bank] in the ‘80s,” he said. “People got paid on Thursdays and came downtown to do their banking. Then they’d visit the retail stores.”
Hoping to collectively revitalize Hudson’s busy Thursday evenings, HBA and BID emailed their respective lists to gage feedback.
“A good amount of retailers are willing to extend their hours,” Braga noted.
BID geographically includes sections of Main, South and Washington streets, and parts of Main’s side streets.
Among “8 on Thursdays” participants are some businesses in The Landing at Hudson Mills, located at 43 Broad St.
“We’re encouraging businesses that are outside the downtown district to participate in this as well,” Braga said of the marketing campaign. “The more participants, the better it is for everybody.”
HBA and BID: ‘tremendous tools’
Serendipity owner Lori Burton researched the best day to stay open later when she opened her handmade jewelry and gift shop in 2005.
“I walked up and down Main Street and checked out everybody’s hours,” she recounted. “The day that most businesses were open later was Thursday.”
Serendipity typically offers a jewelry or craft workshop on Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m.
“Quite a few people start their weekends on Thursdays,” Burton noted. “There’s a lot of foot traffic with people walking to and from the restaurants.”
Burton is active with both HBA and BID.
“The HBA and the BID are tremendous tools that help me collaborate with other businesses so that we can all be successful,” she said. “Dick Braga is doing a wonderful job coordinating ‘8 on Thursdays’ and spreading the word that Hudson is open for business on Thursday evenings.”
Find updates at facebook.com/DiscoverHudson.