How many of you go to a shop, touch and feel and even try on an item before politely saying to the shop assistant or shop owner: "Thanks for your help, I will think about it" whilst knowing full well that you will step out of the shop, open up your pocket computer - I mean your mobile phone, check the price and decide to buy on line. Anyone ever done that?
Well I think most of us have and it is very normal to do so in these cash strapped times when every penny counts.
However, if the shop that you were browsing in is an independent local retailer - not a multiple (ie a chain) spare a thought for him/her as all the other countless shoppers or rather visitors they have had to serve in a polite and friendly manner just whilst you were doing your research.
These guys have to pay rates, rent, staff wages and for them every penny counts too.
Did you know that with every £1 spent locally, approximately £0.70 to £0.80 stays in the local economy whereas if the £1 is spent on line or in a national chain, approximately £0.20 if not less goes back to the local economy.
Take this example....recently I went to a shop that trades second hand clothing. You bring in your unwanted garments that are in a good condition (freshly laundered and ironed), the shop owners review your bag of once loved clothes, then they pay you cash in hand for the items they want to take and sell.
I walked away from that shop with the £56 I had just earned burning a hole in my pocket, I had my two kids with me as it was after school so I decided to treat them (and me!) to a local Lebanese restaurant next door for supper that evening. I know that those £56 went directly into the purse of the restaurant to then pay their waiters and waitresses who would then want to spend some of their earnings on a treat. After pay day, the waitress went to have her nails done at the local nails bar and spent £11, and the waiter went one more door down to the funky street wear shop and bought an 'urban' baseball cap for £25. Also part of the restaurant bill would have gone towards paying the local food suppliers who would have used some of the payment to buy a bunch of flowers from the florist who would have paid the local printers for a new set of business cards who would have employed the services of a local SEO company to boost their rankings...and so it goes on.
HOWEVER had I done the opposite, not traded in my clothes and instead decided to treat myself and gone straight to the local shoe shop to try on a pair of Fly London boots, checked they suited me, the zip fitted, looked cool with my jeans, I could have simply thanked the shop owner for her time as she politely wrote down for me the code, price, colour and brand as I would be asking my husband to come back the next day to buy them for my birthday treat (so the story could have gone). Meanwhile I could have gone straight back home, checked out the price on line and bought them from a big chain of shops which do e-commerce as the price including delivery saved me a whopping £2! That £2 saving would have made me feel better as I would have had to have paid £3.50 in parking had I gone back the next day (or my husband in that case) after I had deliberated actually making the big investment in these new *must have* boots. Where would the £56 have gone this time? The huge e-commerce mail order store with its head office based in London and warehouse outside of Manchester would have acquired my hard earned money and literally none of it would have come back to my local community. The small amount of money that may have come back to Colchester could have been the courier from a national company the shoe e-commerce company used as he topped his van up with petrol at the national branded petrol station as he sped away from Essex.
So my message is: spare a thought for the local retailers who need your local support wherever you are. Try to keep the tills ringing in your home towns and keep the money circulating as much as is possible. By doing this you are voting with your feet and your purses!!
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