Walmart has one. So does Best Buy. Don’t forget Target, Kmart and Toys R Us, too. Practically every major retailer you can think of will be hosting a Black Friday sale this Nov. 28.
But what about that pet store downtown? Or how about your favorite gift shop? Black Friday deals come in all shapes and sizes. That means it won’t be just big retailers advertising huge discounts this holiday season. Small businesses will be rolling out Black Friday sales of their own.
Small Stores’ Sales in 2013
While they might not be as publicized as discounts from big-box stores, small business Black Friday sales do exist, and they’ve proven to offer some great deals in the past. Whether you were looking for jewelry for yourself or accessories for your furry friend, there was a Black Friday small business sale for you in 2013.
Local CBS affiliates in Tampa Bay and Seattle rounded up some of the best local Black Friday deals. Take Graphi-ko in Florida, for example. The art and jewelry store offered $10 off every $50 spent on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Or, over in Washington, The Feed Bag Pet Provisions pet supply store discounted select items 20%. This included products for dogs, cats, birds and a variety of other animals.
Some stores even offered deals that could have easily been mistaken for a major retailer’s sale. Last year, one such store was 8Th Dimension Comics & Games in Texas. The local comic book shop boasted a Black Friday sale, a Super Saturday sale and even time-limited doorbusters. Customers who arrived between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Black Friday could receive 50% off all novels and 50% off all T-shirts.
Not only do Black Friday sales at small businesses exist, but there’s even a movement of shoppers who are making an effort to ditch the major retail stores for local shops on the day after Thanksgiving. Dubbed Plaid Friday, the Oakland-based campaign encourages consumers to shop local in an effort to “weave” small and independent businesses together into a united fabric.
Small Getting Big? How to Do It
If small businesses follow the same pattern they’ve established in the past, they’ll once again be offering Black Friday sales again this year. This means that shoppers who are tired of the typical Black Friday events at major retailers will have the option to grab bargains at local shops. And as Entrepreneur points out, small businesses offer a unique alternative, as they can fulfill the need for a personal, distinctive or heartfelt Christmas gift.
If you decide that shopping small is the right choice for you, what should you do? First, be on the lookout for Black Friday sales from local small businesses. Most deals probably won’t be advertised for a few weeks, but you can get a jump on the competition now.
Start planning your shopping schedule early by figuring out which stores will have worthwhile sales. You can do this by liking your favorite store’s Facebook page or following its Twitter account. Don’t forget to check the shop’s website, too (if it has one). Stores are almost guaranteed to use a combination of social media, mobile and email marketing this holiday shopping season to get out the word about their sales.
If you’re still fearful about leaving the Walmart doorbuster line for the boutique down the street, you have other options. Black Friday is such a huge event that it generally occupies several days. So while major retailers – such as Macy’s – will be open on Thanksgiving, small businesses likely won’t. By splitting up where you go and when, you can get a taste of every type of Black Friday experience.
Small business image via Shutterstock