Competing with the Big Boys

Small, locally owned businesses in downtown Meridian don't always have the advantage in location or advertising dollars as some larger stores, but they can offer merchandise not found in those stores and for a lower price.

Sam Dabit, owner of Sam's Fashions, says, "We carry a lot of designer shoes. Really, where you could find it $200, $300, $400 dollars a piece, we've got it really cheap. It's about a $100, $150. We've got some jackets, blazers, leather jackets; we have everything really, and it's a lot cheaper than anywhere else."

Small businesses are in stiff competition with larger stores, and they try to win over customers with loyalty programs and great service.

Robert Loeb, owner of Loeb's, tells us, "We do try to compete with incentives. We have a gift card that we send out in December. We have promotions and sales on certain weekends, and then we hope with service that we have a lot of people here working that are knowledgeable about the merchandise in the store and the gift items that they can help a customer decide what they want to give as a gift."

Shop owners that we spoke with tell us whether it's a privately owned business or a large retailer, they all work for one common purpose, and that is to fulfill the needs of the customers.

"It takes all of us," says Robbie Hales, co-owner of The Liberty Shop. "They have their niche; we have ours, so we can all work together and are all out for the same common good. It's to provide a service for the people of this community and those that are around us."

Every shop owner we spoke with said their keys to success were longevity, value, and service.