As more and more commerce moves online, small retail shops are going to have a harder time staying in business. If you’re an avid shopper, this turn of events might be hard to take. Checking out potential purchases and trying them on in person is what makes the shopping experience so special. If brick and mortar stores fall by the wayside, none of this will be possible any more. To save the activity you so thoroughly enjoy, it’s on you to do your part to keep small clothing retailers alive. Visit local shops as much as you can, and do your best to direct business their way. Here are five particular habits that you can adopt to save imperiled retail stores.
Make a Habit of Stopping By to Browse
With so much available for purchase online, sometimes we forget about local stores altogether. Keep your favorite shops in mind, and make a point of stopping in every time you get the chance. You’re likely to see something you like, allowing you to make a purchase there that you otherwise would have made elsewhere.
Check the Local Stores Before Buying Online
Even if you find just what you’re looking for on a mega-retailer’s website, hold off on making the purchase without checking the local stores first. You might find the same product nearby, allowing you to get the item you wanted while supporting the local community. In many cases, you’ll be surprised by the competitiveness of the local retailer’s prices.
Buy Gifts from Local Shops
Local stores are often perfect places to buy gifts that represent the unique character of your hometown. People appreciate a present that carries this type of geographical and personal significance. Handcrafted jewelry and tee shirts with local themes make especially excellent gifts.
Spread the Love
If you like having a variety of stores in your area, then make sure you spend money in more than one establishment. By spreading out your purchases, you’ll help the local economy maintain the diversity that makes it special.
Spread the Word
Be generous with praise of the stores you love. You might be a single consumer, but you can still have an outsized influence.
There’s no turning back the clock or stopping trends toward commercial centralization, but there’s still plenty you can do to help local businesses survive. By being a thoughtful consumer, you can rescue your community while protecting your own ability to shop.
About the author:
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2