There is no doubt that with the rise of the internet and big brands on the high street, consumers now have access to a far wider range of goods and services than ever before. The power is truly in the hands of the consumer as we are able to make a conscious choice about where we would like to shop. We think there are plenty of reasons why it pays to shop locally, and here is our pick of six of the best:
1. Your spending will boost YOUR local economy
Of every £1 spent at a local shop between 50p – 70p remains in your local area, compared with as little as 5p for a larger chain or online shop. Local businesses also tend to employ local accountants, lawyers and suppliers, which invests even more money in your area. A better local economy means better facilities and services for you!
2. You are supporting local jobs for local people
Smaller shops tend to employ more people per shop than larger chains. As well as better service for you as the consumer, this means more jobs created in your local area. Small businesses are also more likely to work with local suppliers and offer British-made goods.
3. Shopping locally provides you with more choice
Independents differentiate themselves from chains by offering a different and often wider choice of products and services. Not only this, but they are sometimes able to offer a bespoke service or locate a particular product for you with one of their suppliers. Larger chains usually have a fixed stock list and simply can’t offer this service.
4. Enjoy products as unique as you are
Independents often have access to exclusive brands and designers that you cannot find in chain stores. This means you can find the perfect product for you, and there is a much smaller chance that your friend will have something identical!
5. You could benefit from expert advice
Small businesses typically specialise in one area of expertise, instead of being a “one-stop shop” for any number of needs. This means highly trained staff and reliable advice, particularly if the business has been in the community for a long time. You will often see the same staff member each time you visit, and as they get to know you they may be able to recommend the best products for you.
6. You will feel more valued
There is evidence to show that people receive better customer service and higher quality care in independent shops. Small businesses rely on repeat business and value their reputation highly, and will often go to great lengths to ensure that you are happy with your purchase. To put it simply, they will be grateful for your business and treat you accordingly. And if something goes wrong, they will make a special effort to ensure it is put right – without the need to file your complaint through a call centre!