Non-chain stores in Wichita area gear up for Small Business Saturday

The Nifty Nut House, a Wichita staple since 1937, ramps up for a busy holiday-shopping weekend,...
The Nifty Nut House, a Wichita staple since 1937, ramps up for a busy holiday-shopping weekend, following Black Friday with Small Business Saturday.(KWCH)
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 11:04 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With Black Friday in the rearview mirror, one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year rolls on with the focus on smaller, non-chain stores and shops. In a recent Bankrate survey, nearly 60% of shoppers said they plan to be out for Small Business Saturday.

In Wichita, the Nifty Nut House, a Wichita staple for several decades, is among the businesses that ramp up for Small Business Saturday each year.

“It’s a fun place to be. People seem to know what to do without any instructions,” said Nifty Nut House owner Steve Jahn whose family started the popular shop in 1937. “They can relive memories here, and we really work hard to keep it that way.”

Even though freight costs have risen the last few years and costs on items like nuts can fluctuate depending on the growing season, Jahn said he’s managed to to keep costs low. He said he’s noticed an uptick in customers visiting his downtown business.

“We’re a destination for people. We’re worth the drive,” he said. “The city is the right size.”

At Dead Center Vintage, owner Lazarus Massey has been marking down costs for weekend deals. He said he values what a small-business environment brings to a community.

“We try to create an environment experience,” he said. “If you go to Amazon or a big e-commerce site, you’re not going to get the same experience as going to a mom-and-pop store or a small retail store.”

When he opened Dead Center Vintage a little before the COVID-19 pandemic nearly three years ago, he was focusing on an area many customers were searching for, sustainable vintage clothing.

For those looking for that perfect gift this holiday season, he feels a small business can help in that search.

“Shopping small and shopping at a small business is intentional,” he said. “If you’re shopping for someone specific and you knw they shop at that place, getting them a gift from there is great because it shows you genuinely care about that person.”

Data from the Small Business Administration shows about 33.2 million small businesses currently operating in the U.S., generating nearly 13 million jobs over the last 25 years.