Consumers Find Reasons Not to Shop Local Stores
Many consumers would really
like to support local merchants instead of chains from somewhere else
but having a business in the same town is just not enough reason to
support a retailer when they fail on so many other levels.
A column by Kim Crow, style
editor for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, points
out a number of reasons that locals prefer chains to local mom & pop
On Ms. Crow’s list are:
- Store hours – Most locally
owned businesses don’t have the staff to open as early or close as
late as big chains.
- Returns – Chains are better
at taking items back than smaller stores. While chains often take
returns and refund purchases for 30 days or more, independents may
only accept returns during a much shorter window and then only offer
a store credit in return.
- Guilt – Some shoppers
actually like not being known by store workers. That way they don’t
feel guilty walking out of a shop without buying anything.
Among the obvious concerns among
shoppers not explored in the Plain Dealer column
are product selection, price (especially these days), cross-channel shopping
options and parking. Many Main Street establishments are simply not convenient
to get in and out of.
What are the biggest reasons that you think consumers don’t patronize local
businesses more? What can small retailers do to overcome “objections” that
local consumers have to buying in their stores?