Locally Owned Stores Prepare For Black Friday

Locally Owned Stores Prepare For Black Friday

Gearing up Black Friday isn't an quick and easy task, especially when you're an independent store owner. Just like the retail chains, smaller businesses prepare for the shopping holiday weeks, sometimes months, in advance.
Black Friday can be an exhausting day for both shoppers and the workers assisting them. But the days leading up to the shopping frenzy can be just as busy, especially for small business owners who want to offer up a better shopping experience than their larger competitors. For them, Black Friday preparation is quite a different task than it is for larger retail stores.

Kevin Howell and his sons own 'Record Guys' off South Leggett in Abilene.

"We're pretty much into anything vintage," said Howell. "We've got Rock and Pop, Country Western, R&B, Jazz, Folk. We've got all kinds of music."

Nancy Nicholson co-owns 'Bucketheads' located in the Mall of Abilene. It's one of few locally owned stores in the mall. The store specializes in customized clothing and jewelry.

"They want something unique when they come into 'Bucketheads'," said Nicholson. "They want to see something that they're not going to find somewhere else."

'Record Guys' and 'Bucketheads' might attract different customers, but this week, employees at both stores have one thing in common; they're preparing for Black Friday.

"The larger chains have multiple employees. Here it's just Sammy and I. We've been sorting records all day long. Right now, were over 500 records that we've sorted," said Howell.

The days leading up to the shopping holiday are a bit different for smaller businesses such as these than for the larger stores.

"You won't see flyers sent out or anything like that," said Nicholson. "Most of our promotion is done on Facebook, Instagram and our website."

If you take a look at the price tags at the smaller stores you might notice another difference.

"We've got some specials on Friday. It's kind of a secret, but the first 20 customers will get something extra special," said Nicholson.

"We're going to do some buy one, get one free deals and some doorbuster deals, where like a Beatles album will go for just $1 ," said Howell.
 
One thing Howell says separates his business from his larger competitors is the ambiance of his store. During the Black Friday madness, a customer can come to 'the pit' area in his store to relax, listen to music and read a book.

"The big stores have the same problem that all big stores have," said Howell. "They don't have the customer service. It's because they're big and they're busy."

In addition to gearing up for Black Friday, the Howell and Nicolson are anxious for 'Small Business Saturday', which is this weekend. On that day, residents are encouraged to shop at locally owned businesses rather than the chain stores.

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