Shopping Local

There is often the debate in regard to getting best value when shopping. Do you go and spend your money with a local retailer or one of the big superstore chains?

Clearly there are advantages to both, ……….or are there? If you chose a local retailer you help support the following benefits;

Your spending will boost the local economy

Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63% stayed in the local economy, compared to just 40% with a larger business.

You often get a better deal, or often just some good honest advice

If a national chain, or even an independent, can regularly offer ‘50% off’ and often throw in an ‘extra 25% off’, what does that tell you about their pricing strategies? They are nothing but sales gimmicks to get footfall through the door. And lets be honest, who doesn’t like to think that they have got a good deal!

Purchasing with a local independent you will not only get value for money all year round, you will get honest advise and you are not normally pressured into a sale. A local dealer will want to sell you something just as much as a national, only they will want to sell you something that you actually want and/or need. They will often also be conscious of selling you something to your budget.

Local bakers throw in extra bagels for regulars; grocers give informal 10% discounts; and market stall holders are prepared to negotiate on prices. Independent retailers can use their discretion to reward regular custom, and it can mean you get discounts on the items you actually want to buy, rather than being tempted by multi-buy offers in the big chains.

It is the ethical choice

Buying out-of-season produce, like strawberries in December, lowers your eco-credentials. As does eating turkey and carrots that have been flown halfway round the world or wrapped in layers of plastic. When you shop at local butchers, bakers, farm shops and green grocers, it is likely that a decent percentage of the produce has had a short field-to-fork journey. Along with supporting local farmers, it means the food is likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging.

They sell quirky, one-off gifts

Independent shops often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere: buy a dress by a fledgling designer and there is little chance of turning up to the office Christmas party wearing the same as someone else.

When it comes to gifts, quirky one-off items are a major plus of independent shops. Give your niece or nephew a handmade toy and at least it won’t be identical to everything they already have.

There’s also the hyper-local gift choice: independent bookshops often stock titles by local authors that aren’t yet on the shelves of the major chains.

You can help build communities

Bookshops, cafes and craft shops often drum up custom by hosting events, from book groups to knitting clubs and children’s events. If the businesses are not supported, the local groups tend to disappear too.

Markets also often give space to community groups and social enterprises

You can sometimes try before you buy

Major retailers have the advantage of economies of scale and can afford to slash prices and offer reduced costs. However, it’s easy to waste money on products you end up not actually liking. You can hardly crack open a bottle of fizz in a supermarket aisle and do a quick taste test, or check if an apple is crunchy by taking a big bite. Neither can you do this online. At independent retailers, however, it’s easier to ask to sample a product. Many independent off-licences throw regular wine tasting events, while farm shops, bakeries and delis hand out tasters as a matter of course.

So before you commit to parting with your hard earned money with a national, invest the time into seeing a local retailer who will often fulfil all your requirements of what you are looking for, without the sales gimmicks or high pressure selling tactics used by some nationals.

More personal approach to problem resolutions

Sometimes things do not always go to plan and problems, errors of faults can occur. Often with an independent retailer they will be keen to resolve the issue sensibly with more discretion available to address any issues that may occur without too much fuss. Remember that an independent retailer will often rely on their local reputation and not on huge sale promotions to get people through the door, an unhappy customer is far too damaging to be ignored.


So what is the point of this post? In simple terms, please consider your local business’ around you when going to make your purchases. In regard to our sector at Riley James Ltd, please take the time to visit a local independent showroom or studio. Here at Riley James we do not believe in big sales gimmicks, we try to sell you products we are happy to sell, that suit your requirements/needs and all to fit in your budget that you can afford. However, more importantly, we will give you the time and advise that a project such as a replacement kitchen, bathroom or bedroom deserves.

Please contact us to arrange a visit where we can discuss your requirements in more detail.