Reaction of local businesses to Amazon Prime Day

Published: Jul. 16, 2018 at 9:24 PM MDT
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Earlier Monday the online giant Amazon launched one of its now famous Amazon Prime Day's, a period of big savings for their customers, but how does this promotion affect small businesses here in Rapid City?

We talk with two local stores with two differing opinions.

For 36 hours during Amazon Prime Day, Amazon is slashing its prices and offering huge discounts.

Many mom and pop shops over the years have felt the impact of the world's largest online retailer, reducing staff or even shutting their doors completely, but local bookstore Mitzi's Books over at Main Street Square says they haven't really been affected by Amazon because locals and tourists keep them going.

"I think we're lucky enough that we have a really good local clientele that are very loyal to us. When they shop for a book, they want to be able to come in and peruse the titles and hold the book in their hand and just look around," Mary Ackland said, retail manager, Mitzi's Books.

Who's Toy House is a locally owned and operated toy store in downtown Rapid City.

The store's owner Somer Kingsbury says online shopping has impacted their business.

"Amazon has affected our business, but basically it's just times are changing. Internet shopping is more prominent. The thing that I just like to remind people of is if you did see that item at a specialty store and you touched and you tried it, please try to buy it," Somer Kingsbury said, owner, Who's Toy House.

Kingsbury believes Amazon has its place in the market just like independent specialty stores have their place in the market.

"And now hopefully with the changes coming about, Amazon will have to collect sales tax as the retailers do and that was the one thing that we thought gave them a little step ahead of us, but now it's leveling out the playing field," Somer Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury says local businesses employ community members, paying for roads, schools, and parks.

She says if we want local businesses to survive, we need to support them.