In recent years there have been changes in neighbourhood design. There has been a growing trend towards “big-box” stores from intimate walkable urban streets. However, unique local retail stores continue to thrive in your community and visiting them first still has many unique benefits.
Let’s consider the benefits of shopping locally at small retailers.
Location, Location, Location
Small urban retailers are nearer to their customers, typically within walking distance. Not only does this save customers time and travel costs, but paying them a visit provides exercise, offers an opportunity to greet neighbours, plus allows for window-shopping and visits to other boutique stores along the way.
A Source of Knowledge
A small retailer typically carries unique items and services not readily available elsewhere. A ‘go-to’ place for information about current and upcoming related products and services.
Being specialized in their field, staff are likely to possess in-depth knowledge about what they’re selling – a valuable resource for customers.
Special Attention Served
Personal service has a great value to consumers. Local merchants can take more personal interest in a customer’s specific needs. They can progress from being viewed as ‘buyer and supplier’ to ‘friends’.
Loyalty Goes Both Ways
As a customer, your relationship with your local retailers will transform into loyalty towards each other. Your experience with your local retailers also includes learning more about what’s new and happening in your community (maybe even some local gossip).
You are more likely to talk about your great experience at a store or their staff with acquaintances.
Benefits vs. Price
It is no secret that local establishments may not offer the lowest prices or the largest selection. Sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra for their convenient location, product knowledge, more personalized service, and a more intimate community experience. Everyone benefits.
by Kevin Davies