Local businesses compete against Cyber Monday

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For many mom and pop shops, Cyber Monday creates an added challenge of competing with large retailers who are able to offer deeply discounted products.

“We can’t compete with them,” said Cedar Barn Co-Owner Daniel Weiberg. “We can’t compete with the perception of value that people are getting from Amazon versus the small store. The struggle that all our small retailers have is how do you get people to understand that the mom and pop stores actually care more than the big box stores that also make a profit, but most of their profit gets sent out of the community.”

Shopping online also takes away the quality assurance of seeing products in person. Cedar Barn used to be called UpNorth Sundries but rebranded to focus more on quality.

“We want to make sure we have something that’s quality, that’s affordable, and that’s functional, and that’s reusable,” Weiberg explained. “Every item in the store needs to stick to that mission statement.”

Weiberg believes that when shopping online, quality assurance can be lost.

“People see two pictures of very similar items, not knowing that the quality is totally different. One is hand-picked, the other is mass produced,” said Weiberg. “I’m a very tactical person. I want to be able to touch and feel and hold and see right in front of me what I’m getting, and that’s what we focus towards.”

Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 to help local businesses compete with the large retailers. The tradition continues to positively impact businesses like Cedar Barn.

“We had a very good Small Business Saturday. As far as sales go, probably the average ticket price was a little bit lower than we’re accustomed to in the past,” said Weiberg. “I don’t know if that was because of the volume of people in the store. some may have felt a little rushed, but the dollar amount was definitely higher than most Small Business Saturdays just because of that.”

Small Business Saturday usually lasts one day, but the Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce and the Superior Business Improvement District have teamed up for Shop Small Superior Week. This will encourage people to shop locally by having a week’s worth of deals. It will also enable those cautious about crowds to shop during slower times of the day.

“Those people who aren’t ready to move into the busy traffic side with people, they can get out when it’s a little slower and enjoy the week and not lose the sales and the things they would get just for coming out that weekend,” explained Weiberg.

Shop Small Superior Week lasts until this Saturday, giving people plenty of time to shop locally.

“Come on out. See your small businesses. We all need you. We all love our communities, and we need people. Without people, without our local shoppers, we won’t be here,” said Weiberg.

More information on Shop Small Superior Week, including the full list of participating businesses can be found here.