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Small businesses prepare for uncertain holiday season

Posted October 3, 2008

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— The economic slow down has some businesses rethinking their inventory and marketing campaigns for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Some small businesses are concerned about having too much inventory that they aren’t able to sell because people pull back on holiday shopping. Experts are advising these businesses to be cautious heading into what could be an uncertain holiday shopping season.

Scott Daugherty, executive director of the Raleigh-based Small Business Development Center, said the business owners he has counseled lately are aware the stakes are higher this year.

“There’s going to be a slow down in their business. They’re not making as many big orders as they have in the past. They’re looking at fewer high-cost goods,” Daugherty said.

Most retailers and small businesses depend heavily on the holiday shopping season. In some cases the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas can account for about 40 percent of their annual sales.
Shalom Rokach, owner of Isaac’s Men’s Store in downtown Raleigh, said he plans to lower prices, increase advertising and work hard to get people through the doors this holiday shopping season.

Rokach said sales this year are already down 30 percent.

“People just don’t have money like they used to have,” Rokach said.

Mike Zimmerman, owner of the Athlete’s Foot store in Cameron Village, said his business is going to focus on having the latest items.

“From a business standpoint, we’re going to work hard to have a good product – the latest product - (and) things people want to buy,” Zimmerman said.


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