If you’ve even glanced at the mail or internet lately, you’ve probably seen thousands of ads touting the best Black Friday shopping deals. It’s the beginning of the holiday season and the busiest shopping day of the year for large department stores and perhaps your Orlando Small Business.
Larger stores are perpetually enmeshed in a struggle to beat each other out. What was simply a one-day shopping extravaganza has evolved into an all-out spree that lasts several days. Cyber Monday is the “Black Friday” for online retailers. Saturday is now Small Business Saturday. Black Friday doesn’t begin Friday morning anymore, but at midnight on Thanksgiving. Nope, scratch that, some the mega brands are actually opening at 9 pm on Thanksgiving night this year.
With the massive price reductions megastores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy can afford to offer, how are smaller retail stores supposed to compete? The holiday sales are crucial in retail. A store can rack up as much as 50% of its annual sales during the holiday season, and Thanksgiving weekend is the jumping off point, according to the LA Times.
Between online and offline rivals, smaller stores and boutiques are ramping up their own holiday shopping strategies. Some are taking on the challenge of finding staffers to open early morning or late Thanksgiving night. The idea is that while the smaller stores may not be the largest, highly promoted draw to get shoppers out of their beds, but they will benefit significantly from the added foot traffic.
Others are employing creative marketing and advertising campaigns, including “flash sales” offering discounts for very limited time periods. Others stock up on particularly creative merchandise to lure shoppers in. Still, others are taking advantage of Small Business Saturday. Launched by American Express, it is a nationwide effort to boost sales at local stores. Over 100 million people shopped at independent small businesses last year.