Local stores hope for profitable Small Business Saturday

11/24/2012 7:45 AM

08/05/2014 10:10 PM

In northeast Wichita, Trendy Tots Resale Shop is one of the scores of local shops taking part in a Small Business Saturday campaign to raise public awareness about shopping local for the holidays.

“We want to get on board so that we can bring some extra attention to our store and to other small businesses in Wichita,” said owner Chenay Sloan.

For the campaign, the store is running special discounts on Saturday to thank customers, she said.

“We’re trying to really thank anybody who is a customer and thank them for supporting a small business,” Sloan said.

The store is offering 20 percent off an item from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and 20 percent off an entire purchase from 2 to 6 p.m.

“Every customer counts, so we are trying to give something back to them,” Sloan said.

Small Business Saturday is held on the day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to give small businesses more exposure on one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year, according to American Express, which founded the campaign.

Started in 2010, it’s in its third year. American Express said last year more than 100 million people shopped at independently owned small businesses that day.

The campaign brings some awareness, said Paul Hudson, owner of Lawrence Photo.

“It’s so tough being a small independent business nowadays,” Hudson said. “You’ve got to try to encourage people to shop locally and see the value in it. ... That’s what keeps your town alive and vibrant.”

The store is promoting instant rebates on Canon PowerShot cameras, a special that runs through Saturday.

To support the day, American Express is offering a $25 credit when consumers use their cards at qualifying small businesses, its website said.

This is the second year Imagine That Toys at 29th and Rock Road is taking part in the campaign. It’s among the businesses at which customers will be able to redeem points from American Express.

“I think we get some extra traffic” because of it, said owner Gwen Ottenberg, although it’s difficult to say.

It’s also the weekend that grandparents are in town, and people are out shopping, she said.

The store will have a sign promoting Small Business Saturday and it will be on the store’s Facebook page. To support the campaign, the store is running a special deal of the day, although it’s not announcing the special until Saturday.

The campaign “is a great way to support us local people that support all the schools and all the softball teams and all the baseball teams and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,” Ottenberg said.

Resale shops must work extra hard to get people in the doors during the holiday season, said Trendy Tots’ Sloan. And December is tougher than you might think.

“People buy new products for the holiday,” she said. “We have the same exact toy, but it’s been purchased and resold to us.”

The store, at 3101 N. Rock Road, carries clothing, toys and equipment, such as strollers, Sloan said.

“If we can get them in the door, they usually find something they can use as a gift,” she said.

In today’s business, marketing techniques are changing.

“You have got to try to get your message out there as many ways as you can,” Sloan said. “Small Business Saturday is another way to get the message out there about our store.”

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