When people think of Black Friday, they often thing of large retailers—but what about those small businesses?
It's hard for a small business to compete with big box stores' massive media push or bottom-out Black Friday prices. However, some people say those small businesses offer a Holiday experience big retailers can't.
Child's Play Toys in downtown Sioux Falls is already bustling with Holiday shoppers.
"Today we have been wrapping tons of Christmas presents already...we've had piles of presents stacked up," said Child's Play Toys owner Nancy Savage.
As busy as she is already, savage knows it will be even more hectic on Black Friday.
"O my goodness it's crazy. We're not as busy early on, but come 11 or 12 in the afternoon, we have a lot of people coming in that maybe want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the mall and kind of just have a relaxing time," said Savage.
Normally on Black Friday, Savage hides a timer around the store and whoever finds it gets a discount. While she may have some fun and unique surprises, she doesn't have a 40-page flyer full of sales.
"We don't do any other any other discounts, we just try to have a fair price everyday and carry unique merchandise that maybe not everybody else in town has," said Savage.
That unique experience is why marketing experts say small businesses can compete with the big stores, even during the Holidays.
"They can play in that space today very effectively because they're going to offer an experience that the big boxes can't," said Scott Lawrence, the President and CEO of Lawrence and Schiller Agency in Sioux Falls.
Customers say it's the little details like free gift wrapping at local stores that makes all the difference during the busy holiday season.
"When you come to a store downtown, they're glad to see you. They remember you, they know you, and I think that's just great," said frequent downtown shopper Nell Erb.
Savage said she tries to make her store "whimsical" and different from big box stores.
Child's Play Toys' unique touches, like a castle dressing room, open toys for kids to play with, a large mural and great customer service help it competitive with the larger toy retailers.
Many other local businesses in Sioux Falls and other communities also have unique touches that set them apart from big box retailers.
In addition to Black Friday, Child's Play Toys and other local businesses also participate in Small Business Saturday.
The shopping event was started by American Express several years ago. The credit card company offers customers a discount on the Saturday after Black Friday when they shop at registered small businesses across America.