Tis the season for shopping.
But at some small businesses in Wichita, there’s not any last-minute prep because they are ready to go.
The Nifty Nut House moved to it’s bigger building over the last weekend.
“We gotta get in ’cause Santa won’t have much time to take care of everything after the holidays,” said Steve Jahn, Nifty Nut House owner. “So we got moved in. We have room for people. Obviously, people are coming in and enjoying it. So far, it’s working out well.”
Jahn says they did a marathon move over about 20 hours. But, he says, holiday shopping season is not just about a bigger and brighter space. It’s about prep ahead of time.
“We kind of serve a different niche. I think nuts.com is the big guy out there, but we don’t want to be the biggest. We just want to consistently do the best for our customers, our local customers,” said Jahn. “And if that yields growth down the line in other markets, so be it. But we really focus on the customer. We want you happy because you really are why we are here.”
In Delano, at All Things Barbeque, the manager of customer sales says he considers the business a hidden gem in Wichita.
“People locally maybe don’t realize all the things we have in the store,” said Aaron Coleman with All Things Barbeque. “I think having good products, that’s our major emphasis.”
Coleman says their staff is ready to go for the holidays, and the store was filled with customers Wednesday afternoon.
But aside from the local customers, Coleman says they have a booming internet business. And that ramps up before Thanksgiving.
“A major part of our business and of course we will always be local and WichitaStrong but (online) it’s overtaken. At least 50-percent now is web oriented of some sort and will only increase in the years to come,” said Coleman.
So, how does Coleman and All Things Barbeque fight the big online stores for holiday shopping?
“You can’t match them in their scope of what they offer,” explained Coleman. “But you can match them and beat them in your customer service, providing quality items, being passionate about it…being helpful. So we do a really good job of that.”
Both say local and customer service are the way to grow.
“We’ve been waiting all day for you to come in the store,” said Jahn. “That’s what we tell our people to do. Expect customer… then be happy they are here.”