How local businesses keep up with big-box retailers

Saturday is Small Business Saturday.

BOISE - The holiday shopping season is upon us.

It's a busy time for retailers, both local and big box, as people shop for those perfect gifts.

"We definitely see more people,” small business owner Ward Hooper said. “It's a good chunk of our yearly business."

Hooper is the owner of Ward Hooper's Vintage Pix in downtown Boise. He sells one-of-a-kind and specialty gifts like his own artwork and vintage items. A niche that he said helps his business keep up with bigger retailers.

"As far as what they offer and what I offer,” he said. “One-of-kind, specialty or for that person who has everything and doesn't want the thing right out of the box."

Even stores like Rediscovered Books, which offer many of same products that are available in big-box stores and online, see an increase in sales.

“We don't compete in the same way that they do,” owner Bruce DeLaney said. “When you come into our store, you're having the experience of shopping in a real store where you can touch things on the shelves, where you can talk to people who love doing what they do. It's a different experience than going online.”

Something DeLaney said gives them an advantage: having an experience and employees who can make personalized recommendations.

"Amazon or Walmart.com or any of these online [stores] can be a good place if you know exactly what you want,” he said. “But if you're just wanting to browse they're actually a really bad place to browse.”

There’s also Small Business Saturday when people are encouraged to shop local.

"Small business Saturday, which is coming up Saturday, is a huge day not for just us but for every independent business," DeLaney said.

"[People] do actually try to seek out smaller businesses and independent Idaho businesses and shop there and spend their money there," Hooper said.

While both of those small businesses see an increase in sales during the holidays, they still face challenges. Like keeping up with demand. Unlike bigger retailers, these smaller businesses don't always have the manpower or large enough retail space.

“There are so many books published every year and there’s a huge amount of the signal to noise ratio yet we only have space for about 35,000 books in the store,” DeLaney said.

“It's tough but we make it work,” Hooper said. “It's stressful, I always usually take about a week off after the whole thing is done just to relax and calm down just from the stress of trying to get everything done for the last rush."

© 2017 KTVB-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment