Small businesses count on holiday sales - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Small businesses count on holiday sales

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –The first major weekend of the holiday shopping season was a pretty good one for many big retailers.

It wasn't so strong for some small, locally-owned stores. Their survival depends on good holiday sales. But it's tough for them to advertise or slash prices tremendously to compete with those big-name stores.

Joy Scott is a seller at heart. That's a good trait for a business owner, especially now. "The first year was great but last year it started going downhill. This year hasn't been that great either," said Scott.

Now the holiday bow adorns the door and Christmas has taken over her Lasting Impressions shop in Albany. Scott is counting on holiday sales which make up a big portion of her profit.

"About 90-percent. We count on December, our biggest month, to carry us several months," said Scott. But small businesses like Scott's have big competition. They're competing for customer attention from big retailers like Walmart and Target with non-stop advertising appeal.

"We can't afford to advertise because of sales. We've only done two ads because we simply can't afford it," said Scott.

On Black Friday, Scott opened at 6 a.m. with no customers until 10. She says customers spent their early time and money at the big shops. "During the holiday we had a buy one get one half off and we still didn't do that great," said Scott.

So with a smaller store and smaller budget, she does what she can. "Word of mouth is where our customers come from . Once someone comes in they usually go back and tell some people," said Scott.

Scott says it's all about customer service and showing people what they can't find in the big places. "We're hoping that at the last minute, people are going to be spending," said Scott. T

here are still a few weeks left in the shopping season. 

 "So far people haven't been shopping like they were last year," said Scott.

There's hope that when folks do shop big, they remember the small shop sellers like Joy.

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