Ottawa retail shops fight to keep up with big box stores on Black Friday

OTTAWA — As shoppers headed to Ottawa malls to find Black Friday deals, local retailers slashed prices in a bid to encourage people to shop local.

“We usually have a big Friday day; but because of COVID this year, we’ve decided to spread it out during the week,” said Janet Orr, owner of Boomerang Kids in Kanata.

The store started its Black Friday sales on Monday, offering up to 40 per cent off for shoppers.

“Some winter coats and winter boots for my daughter, and we got her some puzzles; she’s into puzzles right now,” said Celyn Smith while shopping for her daughter.

Smith said she is taking advantage of the deals, while also supporting local.

“Keep the money in Canada and for our neighbours and everything,” said Smith.

Shoppers at Boomerang Kids aren’t only supporting local, they’re also supporting the community. A portion of the profits goes to the person who consigned the products.

Still, going up against big box retailers on Black Friday can be tough.

“We can’t sometimes compete even at consignment prices, with some of the blowout prices that the big box stores have,” said Orr.

“Many small businesses are also having Black Friday sales, but they often get forgotten in the mix,” said Dan Kelly, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“They don’t have the budgets to do the wall to wall advertising that the big guys have.”

At the Audio Shop in the Glebe, shoppers found prices slashed on sought after electronics.

“We try and get our name out there to say yes we are here, we can have matching prices, but we can talk to you about the products instead of just selling it to you and saying see you later,” said Marc Hallam from the Audio Shop.

Many local retailers will continue to offer Black Friday deals over the weekend.

The CFIB is encouraging shoppers to get out this weekend for what it calls “Shop Local Saturday.”

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