24 November 2017

Black Friday and small business: What's the deal?

So, for context, I'm writing this as a British, small business owner in a niche industry.
5 years ago Black Friday simply wasn't a thing here in the UK yet now, out of nowhere there's a whirlwind of rock bottom prices, online deals and exclusive offers and for small business owners and makers, a whole lot of pressure to discount. 

As a retailer I know that it feels good to be able to give your customers a great deal. 
It's a way of saying thanks for choosing us and our little shop.
That said, we simply can not compete with the huge offers many retailers will wheel out this time of year and it's hard not to worry when your little shop suddenly goes...quiet. 

This year has been unusual for FLW since we were closed for most of the year, only recently re-opening in September. 
What was also unusual this year is that a certain well known doll's house brand have slashed their prices to what is sometimes actually less than I pay to buy their products as a trader from the wholesaler. 
So, they've cut trade customers (who are also their competitors) off at the knees, and my feeling is that they've also de-valued their brand massively in the process. 
Great news for customers, not so great for indie traders within such a specialist industry. 
Then of course there are the big boys like Amazon, eBay and department stores to contend with. 
It can feel impossible and I've said previously, we can't compete, so we won't.

Our Toy range has been discounted as a Black Friday treat, it felt like a happy midway point for us.
The Doll's houses and miniatures simply can't have prices cut the same way anymore unless it's a clearance sale. 

So what can we do?
We can adapt, evolve and support our fellow small business's and makers by putting our money where our mouth is.

I'm excited to support Independents Day, Indie Friday from the clever, crafty ladies behind #justacard
Read more on the movement here.

I'm also delighted to support Small Business Saturday  and will be sharing some special product offers on the 2nd December. More on that very soon. 

To wrap this up, some of my fave makers are offering discounts on their stores this weekend. You should check them out immediately!

Mostly Miniature - Steph is celebrating her birthday on 25th November with a Flash Sale

Petite Boulangerie - 10% off orders over $50 until 26th Nov

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