Small businesses hoping to compete with big stores on Black Friday


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- While many stores plan to open soon after midnight on Black Friday, the Disc Exchange in Knoxville will open its doors just one hour earlier than normal at 9 a.m. But it expects to draw a lot of people in:

"We've got stuff that they won't have, which is a bunch of exclusive things that come out only on Black Friday, but only available to independent record stores. That includes a lot of exclusive vinal that you won't be able to get anywhere else in town," said Johnny Sughrue, with the Disc Exchange.

That's also how Emery's 5 & 10 - the oldest 5 & 10 in the South and the second oldest in the country - plans to compete.

"When the chains, when all they do is focus on price, that means they all have the same items, it's just where can you buy it cheapest. But here, it's just different items that are fun and people love coming out here," said Ron Emery, president of Emery's 5 & 10.

Emery said his store also focuses on great customer experience.

"Shopping really is entertainment, and we're really back to that entertainment shopping. It's not just - institutional shopping, buying a gift for someone. People come and have a good time and enjoy being here," said Emery.

But not all small businesses think they can compete with big ones on Black Friday. Beulah Hall owns Impromtu Home & Garden. She doesn't expect to draw people away from the big stores on Friday.

"We're a much smaller shop, and the shoppers that start out on Black Friday I think go to Home Depot or to the malls. So we're here for the people that don't want to get into the crowds," said Hall.

But Hall said she's hopeful a lot of people will come support her on small business Saturday, which is a national initiative designed to help small businesses and local economies profit over the holidays.


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