What can independent stores do to compete against the big guys on Black Friday, and year round?
Offer good customer service, a unique selection of items, and tie it all up a pretty bow.
That's the advice from Ted Frankel, owner of Tom's Toys, a chain of toy stores in southern California. He told Squawk on the Street today that he's not trying to go head to head with the likes of Toys R Us, Wal-mart or Amazon. Instead, he says, "value, selection and service" are what get customers in the door and keep them coming back. "Forty to 50 percent of what we carry in our stores the mass market doesn't carry. We offer unique experiences that you can't get at those other retailers."
Frankel says he also gets special buys from suppliers that allows him to compete with the major retailers on products that can be found in those stores.
But the biggest differentiator between his shops and the big box stores? He offers free gift wrapping with every purchase. "It's a major draw for our customers," he says.
So, as Black Friday begins, and businesses check their lists of what to have in stores, they should check their stock of gift wrap and bows, as well.