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Local stores compete on Black Friday

Rochester, N.Y. - Hitting big box stores earlier than ever, local business owners said the Black Friday blitz is something they just cant compete with.

It's now the whole week and Thanksgiving night and all the rest, which is tough, said Dennis Mitz, owner of the Toy Soldier in Fairport.

A week before Black Friday, Wal-Mart started matching prices on nearly 100 Black Friday deals and rivals like Target and Best Buy have posted their prices for some big ticket items.

We obviously can't compete with the same prices but we try to compete by offering better service, Marty Palumbos said at the Stereo Shop in Greece.

While people may pay a little more money, in return, local business owners said their customers will get more for their money.

Palumbos said, We may not be the cheapest in town but we do try to make up for it with our service and the quality of products that we offer.

With more knowledge of their products and less crowds, both local businesses said they can better serve their customers.

Mitz said he also stocks his store with stuff that you wont see on the shelves of the big box stores.

People can come in and find more unusual, retro, different things, that you know is different than what Wal-Mart carries.

Palumbos said the big box store deal busters are just a gimmick. Stores advertise huge price cuts but Palumbos said most big ticket items are low in stock and sell out quickly. Theyre basically giving it away to get people in the door to try to sell them more things.

At the toy store, Mitz said its not about who is first in the doorthe customers who come back to the store are the ones who get the deals.

Mitz said, We have a dedicated customer list here at the store and then people who are on that list get our holiday catalog which gives them coupons.

Both locally owned stores have been around for close to 30 years and while they dont see the rush of crowds, business builds at a slow but steady pace.

Palumbos said, I get people all the time who say I've been coming here for 10-15 years because you can't find better service anywhere.

At local stores, Mitz said its all about loyalty. Theres a lot of people here who shopped here when their kids were little and now their kids are having kids and theyre coming in as grandparents shopping.

Despite the early deals and Thanksgiving hours at big box stores, many local stores plan to stay closed during the holiday and open for regular hours on Black Friday.

The following day is Small Business Saturday.

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Washington Times