How local businesses plan to keep up with big retailers for the holidays

COLUMBUS Miss. ( WCBI) – Black Friday is almost here but the doorbuster deals continue to roll out earlier each year.

With many shoppers opt to do all their holiday shopping online.

will stores expect the same turnout from previous years?

For shoppers like Crystal Gazaway, Black Friday is a tradition and an opportunity to get low prices for holiday shopping.

” It’s a tradition for me and my dad to go Black Friday shopping every year. We’ve probably done it for the past 10 to 12 years and we do plan to go this year as well, ” said Gazaway.

With the competition from big retail stores, it can be difficult for local businesses to keep up.

Owner of Bella Blu , Stephanie Studdard says she has seen the changes in Black Friday shopping over the years and

that’s pushed her to change her approach to stay competitive.

“Bigger retail stores of course are going to have more merchandise than we do but its not going to be a true experience. Like a long time ago people shopped in all of the local places and supported the businesses and with these big retailers it’s a little bit harder for our smaller boutique community to do as well,” said Studdard.

Bella Blu was part of Columbus’ Christmas Open house.

This allowed them to get people to shop locally and preview what their items for Black Friday.

” We recently had Christmas open houses throughout Columbus and it was very successful. We had a lot of local support and we thank people so much for that. We offered some special discounts on everything in the store, ” said Studdard.

Many local stores like Bella Blu will be offering deals during their regular store hours, so you won’t have to get up at sunrise to do your holiday shopping.

For some, the traditional Black Friday shopping is still their go-to.

” We still get up early even though there is not really a reason for it because the sales start at all different times and you know some of them even start the night before, their online sales. The crowds are nowhere near what they used to be and the shoppers are not out as early as they used to be and just in general the mall and stores are not crowded as they used to be,” said Gazaway.

Black Friday isn’t just for big-name stores

. Store owners say it’s important to shop local.

” I’m from Columbus and many of our small boutique owners are from Columbus and we are invested in our community and we want what’s best for our community,” said Studdard.

Whether or not you go Black Friday shopping for the deals or the traditions, Studdard says that shopping locally gives customers a one-on-one experience and to stop by if you are in Columbus.

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