Smaller stores struggling to keep up with Cyber Monday

5:46 PM, Nov 29, 2009   |    comments
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On Broadway in Denver, The Fancy Tiger is about as different from big box and online discount stores as you can get.

"We just have this one location, so this is a totally local to Denver store," Amber Corcoran said.

The store specializes in crafts, fabrics, yarn and buttons.

"We have a lot of patterns by independent designers for sewing things such as the shirt I'm wearing," Jaime Jennings said.

Owners Corcoran and Jennings admit it's impossible for them to compete head-to-head with those billion-dollar retail corporations, especially in a shopping event like Cyber Monday. But they say they don't have to.

"I know people come to us for unique products that they can't find anywhere else," Jennings said.

This year, the online competition is really heating up. Walmart.com and Amazon.com are slashing and matching prices.

"The traditional brick and mortar retailers now have tremendous online presence and your traditional online retailer like Amazon - that's their core space. So, it's getting to be pretty competitive," University of Denver Finance Professor Ron Rizzuto said.

He says many of the online stores are actually willing to lose money on a few items and give free shipping in their fight for your business. That's something smaller stores usually can't match.

"I think the saving grace for a lot of small stores is they have special niches and people are going to seek them out because they know that this store has this particular item," Rizzuto said.

So far, that's been the case at The Fancy Tiger this holiday season.

"I think there's a lot of people who are trying to make things for Christmas," Jennings said.

Corcoran and Jennings are urging customers to shop local so stores like theirs can survive.

For more information on their store, visit www.fancytiger.com.

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