Despite the economy growing and Mary Portas being tasked with breathing life back into our high streets, the ever-growing trend of online consumerism continues to see high numbers of bricks and mortar retail stores close.
According to accountancy firm, PwC and the Local Data Company there were still some 16 stores closing per day in the first half of 2014. An improvement on 20 stores a day that closed during the same period of time in 2012, but still a clear sign that our love for high street shopping is waning.
But what can we, as consumers, do to help our high streets thrive, support our local economy and retain our local village, town and city centre’s heritage and character? The answer, of course, is to shop locally.
Here are 3 reasons why I believe shopping locally can make a real difference:
1. Builds strong communities
Locally-owned businesses win hands down when it comes to knowing what their communities want. Instead of the generic ‘one solution fits all’ approach of national retail chains, local businesses understand the distinct needs of and deliver exactly what their customers want. Also supporting neighbouring businesses, organisations and contributing to community causes, independent locally-owned businesses help support and build vibrant communities for all.
2. Keeps money in the local community
By choosing to spend your hard-earned cash with independent, locally-owned businesses instead of a national chain, rather than money going straight to High Street Chain PLC’s head office, the money stays local and is recirculated into the local economy, making it a win-win for the whole community. This in turn helps independent businesses create more local jobs, offer competitive wages and best of all, a better service for you. A high street full of thriving small businesses means competition, resulting in improved deals, broader, superior choice and lower prices.
But how can you be sure a locally-owned business will offer what you want, at a price you can afford?
One solution is Rock Pamper Scissors an innovative web-based solution to put you in the know and get you spending on the high street. Developed specifically to take the guesswork, stress and time out of choosing the best salon for your next pampering session, Rock Pamper Scissors is a one stop salon booking website. Listing local salons which do everything from cuts, blow drys, facials and holistic therapies, Rock Pamper Scissors gives you the low down on everything you need to know before you book, including services on offer, price range with up to date price lists, special deals, meet the stylist profiles, cool gallery shots of the salons and customer ratings and reviews. It’s the perfect partnership for those who appreciate the qualities of individual service delivered by talented, local independent beauty professionals.
3. Environmental sustainability
With transport infrastructures already in place and compact town centres within walking distance, supporting local businesses ensures our town centres remain a hub of activity which can be easily accessed and enjoyed by all. Reducing the need for out of town shopping malls, which as a consequence means loss of vegetation, increased pollution through vehicle usage and urban sprawl, smaller, local stores work well within existing infrastructures making use of the public services already in place and improved sustainable transport options offering a cleaner, greener environment with thriving community spirit.
Do you shop locally? If you do, what do you love about locally-owned independent shops?