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You most likely strive to spend your hard-earned money at other independent businesses. You understand that shopping locally supports your family, your employees and your community. While shopping local seems like a no-brainer to you, the average person likely doesn’t have the same understanding of the benefits of shopping local that an independent retailer does.
Instead of getting upset when people you know buy nearly everything from Amazon or your longtime customers still stop at the big-box stores to scour the deals, you can educate shoppers on why they should follow your lead and shop local.
As the profiles editor for Hardware Retailing, I spend a lot of time listening to the stories that make each of your businesses unique. I’ve also spent time visiting you in your stores and your communities for the stories I write. This list is based on what I’ve learned about the benefits of shopping local businesses through those conversations and highlights why I love local businesses. Share this list with your customers, friends and family to spread the word about the positive impact shopping small can have locally.
1. Family comes first.
One of the coolest things about local businesses is that many of them celebrate family ownership and value the personal lives of their staffers. Retailers can shape their company cultures so that working with and serving their neighbors make long days and busy seasons worth the stress.
2. Employees help small businesses stand out.
Employees love working for small businesses so much that they wear their work shirts around town, talk to their neighbors about the latest deals and alert their friends when new positions open up. This enthusiasm helps drive business and interest.
3. Your money stays local.
Shopping at locally owned home improvement businesses generates twice as much local economic activity than shopping at big-box stores. This fact gives shoppers even more of a reason to shop local. For more shop-local data and marketing materials, visit TheRedT.com/shop-local.
4. Independent businesses create a sense of belonging.
Whether a retailer promotes unique events or invites local groups to host monthly meetings in the store, independent businesses bring people together and give them a sense of connectedness and community.
5. Every store has its own personality and charm.
Unlike a chain store that looks the same as nearly every other location in the country, independent stores are unique and tell authentic stories about the people who own and work in them.
6. Independent retailers support their neighbors.
Independent retailers give back to their communities through service and supplies, such as helping after natural disasters or donating to public schools.
7. The food and drinks taste better.
Many independent stores sell specialty food and drinks. Whether they offer unique snacks or operate restaurants, they provide local eating and drinking experiences that are extra satisfying.
8. Events are fun and build relationships.
Events create a buzz and allow staff to build relationships with customers. Plus, they connect retailers with community leaders who value local businesses.
9. Staff members are friendly and knowledgeable.
The people at independent operations make guests feel welcome. Customers don’t feel like they are just another shopper when employees treat them like a friend they want to help. Approachable teams set independents apart.
10. The products are extra cool.
Local businesses give shoppers the feeling they can discover hard-to-find products. The items displayed on an independent retailer’s shelves have additional meaning when retailers choose them with the local shopper in mind.