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Why Small Businesses Can't Compete With Big Box Stores On Black Friday

The Playful Peacock

Brace yourself. Black Friday is coming! It has become a shopping day synonymous with massive discounts, frighteningly long lines, unsavory consumer behaviour, and uber-crowded malls. 

While many big box stores not only participate but thrive in this yearly shopping frenzy, as a small business, we want to draw attention to the unique challenges faced by small businesses who prioritize intentional, ethical, and environmentally friendly shopping practices!

Let’s explore why most small businesses simply cannot compete with big box stores for upcoming Black Friday sales and how consumers can make more conscious choices to support local and sustainable options.

Tipping The Scales 

Big box stores and retail giants have the upper hand when purchasing toys and child products in bulk, driving down their costs per unit significantly. This allows them to offer jaw-droppingly steep discounts, while still maintaining healthy profit margins! They can also make deals with their suppliers such as long-term payment terms, discounted delivery, and other cost savings.

Small businesses, especially those that focus on ethical, sustainable, and locally made toys, operate on significantly smaller scales and often source supplies locally, making it challenging to negotiate similar deals with small ethical artisans, creators, and woodworkers. Consequently, they can't match the deep discounts offered by big box stores on Black Friday and may get overlooked as consumers think they aren't getting a good deal. Sigh. 

Consumerism and the "Throwaway" Culture

When you think of sales and deals, your mind probably wanders to Black Friday. It’s hard not to when sale signs are plastered everywhere! It’s a sale where shoppers are often tempted by advertisements to prioritize quantity and low costs over quality, chasing bargains they may not need. 

Big box stores encourage and feed off of this mentality, offering low-cost, disposable goods that contribute to a "throwaway" culture. This is particularly true with children’s toys which are often made with plastics and fall apart easily. 

The Playful Peacock proudly promotes intentional toy buying and sustainable, locally crafted products to advocate a thoughtful and responsible approach to consumption. We believe in buying fewer ethical, quality toys that are so well made your great-great-great-grandchild can cherish them as a beautiful heirloom! 

Support Small 

Consumers can make a difference on Black Friday by choosing to support local, ethical, and environmentally-focused businesses instead.  

Here are some tips: 

  • Prioritize Quality over Quantity: Consider buying fewer, high-quality toys that align with your values and your child’s age and development needs and that can grow with them, rather than indulging in consumerism based on fleeting interests. 

  • Shop Local: Support small businesses in your community that prioritize ethical and sustainable practices. These businesses depend on your love and support year-round, not just on Black Friday!

  • Research and Plan Ahead: Before Black Friday, research businesses that align with your morals and offer discounts or promotions, allowing you to shop intentionally while still participating in the day.  

  • Spread the Word: Share your positive experiences with local small businesses on social media, review sites, and with friends and family to encourage others to shop similarly. 

Swap Big Box for Sustainable 

This year, swap big box Black Friday sales for sweet, sustainable deals from small businesses like The Playful Peacock. Consumers who opt to shop consciously by supporting local, sustainable, and ethical businesses year-round, can foster intentional shopping, where quality, ethical values, and sustainability take precedence over a bargain.  We and small businesses everywhere thank you!

Discover our products from our range of talented artisans, including our Made in Canada range.