Use them or lose them
Thanks to the pandemic, community spirit has been all the rage. Communities everywhere have been pulling together and one of the key rules of bolstering one’s local community is simple: use local shops or lose them – and particularly independent retailers.
The mood music now is very much with ‘local’ heroes, the small wonders. Walk down any high street and you will see signs exhorting you to ‘shop local’. Research by Deloitte after the first lockdown found that while consumers may have begun shopping locally out of necessity, they discovered their local shops as places for human, and relevant, contact and, crucially, places where they got ‘personal’ service, when they needed it most.
As Mary Portas said: “People will always respond to brilliant service, genuine expertise and a quality product.” That is at the heart of small, local, independent, family-owned business. It is in their DNA. What they sell is the ‘personal touch’ offering good old-fashioned, knowledgeable and personal service. They are passionate about what they do, well-informed about what they sell and genuinely engage with their customers. Furthermore, they do ‘community’ things and have a strong understanding of, and affinity with, their community. Truly ‘local’ businesses, they support, sponsor and donate to local causes because they ‘get’ it and are firmly entrenched in the local fabric.
Use them or lose them.