The National Retail Federation estimates a record 166 million people will shop from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.
Don Queen, who owns the store Classic Toys in Los Angeles, California, is gearing up for the holiday rush by stocking up his shelves with toys from the past.
“It looks more prosperous than last year,” Queen said.
A recent survey shows 63% of small retailers expect to see higher profits this holiday season, according to technology firm Capterra. It is estimated that more gift buyers are likely to shop on Small Business Saturday than Black Friday this year, according to Bankrate.
The annual event dedicated to small businesses began in 2010. It’s a welcome relief for mom-and-pop stores that cannot compete with sales at big box retailers.
“Black Friday doesn’t really do much for me because everybody is expecting 50% to 80% discounts on things, which I can’t offer,” Queen said.
That’s because small stores often have little wiggle room to make a profit. Diana Callahan, who owns Diana’s Boutique in L.A., says people gravitate to shops like hers because they’re looking for unique items and one-on-one customer service.
“It’s the personal touch,” she said. “When people come in, we know them. We know their dogs.”
Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, told CBS News that “people recognize how hard it is to be a small local retailer.”
“And a lot of people have tried to keep them afloat,” he added.
Still, he cautions that inflation will ultimately determine how well small businesses do during the holidays.
“Even if prices are up, that doesn’t necessarily mean that profits are up because the rent probably cost more, utilities probably cost more,” said Rossman. “They don’t want to give their customers too much sticker shock, but they also need to cover their own increased costs.”
Still, some analysts cautionwill ultimately determine how well small businesses do during the holidays.
“Even if prices are up, that doesn’t necessarily mean that profits are up because the rent probably cost more, utilities probably cost more,” said Ted Rossman, chief industry analyst at Bankrate. “They don’t want to give their customers too much sticker shock, but they also need to cover their own increased costs.”
Whether you’re planning to do holiday shopping at small stores or major retailers, experts say finding the best deals includes doing research, using an online price tracker, and checking if the store has a price-matching policy. They say you may not want to hold out for too long, because retailers have already slashed prices significantly.