Why shop small??

5 ways that shopping local means shopping smart.

It may appear on the surface that big brands are the way forward, relentlessly advertising and tirelessly offering bigger and better deals. Think Buy N Large from the film WALL-E. So why would you choose to walk away from the flashing lights and shop local? By spending your money with local, independent businesses you will be making a real difference to your local community as well as receiving superior customer service, being better for the environment and having a much more satisfying overall shopping experience.

In our modern world, it might seem impossible for local, independent businesses to compete with the big boys. The idea of my clothing business The Princess and the Frock competing with the likes of H&M seems impossible. After all, their yearly marketing budget alone is more than I make in a lifetime. It may seem like a difficult task, but then we need to consider the value small businesses bring to the table.

Here are my top 5 reasons to shop local –

· Support your local community and economy

When you spend money with the large retailers, the vast amount goes into the pockets of shareholders who spend time on their private yacht 1000 miles from your home. For every £1 spent, around 5p goes back into the local economy. When you shop with an independent business, that amount jumps to around 70p. The reason? Local businesses are run by people in your area and when you spend money with them, they spend it in your locality, resulting in more wealth staying near you. This additional revenue can be used by councils to develop your community with the creation of new parks and facilities, and also by reducing unemployment. By choosing to shop local you are helping to improve where you live now and in the future.

· Get a better shopping experience

Think about the last time you went into a big clothing retailer. You likely perused the shelves, saw something you liked for a reasonable price, paid for it and went home. Ultimately, nothing to write home about. Now compare that to shopping with a local, independent business. You walk in and are greeted warmly by the shop owner, who asks how you are and if they can help in any way. You might talk to them about what you are looking for and they are delighted to help, even if that means them spending 30 mins of their time helping you pick the perfect outfit. This is even true when shopping online using the “chat with us” options available. The difference is the underlying passion. Independent businesses are dedicated and knowledgeable about their products and services, ensuring you are completely happy with your purchase and often going the extra mile to put a smile on your face.

· Get something unique

It’s almost impossible to look unique wearing the same clothes as everyone else. Supermarket chains are designed to look the same and hold the same range of items, so you could find yourself struggling if you’re looking for something a little different. The solution is easy – shop local! Local businesses hold stock that you simply won’t find anywhere else. From homemade clothes to unique pieces of art, there is a world of choice waiting to welcome you with open arms.

· Get better customer service

Your business means the world to local independent businesses. It is, quite literally, what pays their mortgage and puts food on their table. Providing excellent customer service is one of the ways independent businesses show their appreciation and gratitude. Let’s not forget, these business owners are also people in your community, so can add real value to your shopping experience by sharing their knowledge of what’s available in your local town. Even if something goes wrong, they are more invested in solving the problem and keeping you happy. It certainly beats waiting on hold to a customer services department for hours on end!

· Better for the environment

It can be easy to forget where the products come from when shopping with large retailers. Most items in large shops are manufactured or produced abroad, with many food items having travelled over 1500 miles to reach you. This can obviously affect the quality of the goods, but we also need to consider the environmental impact. We are all aware of our effect on the planet and shopping locally will reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Speaking personally, I source all my fabrics from the UK to reduce my carbon footprint, but I also love the fact I am supporting other British businesses.

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To find out how you can help save the planet, boost the local economy, get great customer service whilst looking positively fabulous, please visit www.theprincessandthefrock.com To find more fantastic reasons to shop local, please visit https://smallbusiness.co.uk/fifteen-reasons-choose-local-company-2542429/

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