We often head to the “Big-Store" when we need to go shopping; it's almost like a zombie run. Instead of letting yourself go on auto-pilot, consider shopping at a local small business instead, where you will experience personalized customer service as you use your spending power to benefit the community.On Use of ResourcesBig-box retail stores use a lot of public resources, mostly due to fire safety, police services, land development, and increased traffic on public roads. Yet, these stores give little back to the community. While it's true that most of them hire from the local community base, these tend to be low-paying jobs. Studies have shown that these corporations displace as many jobs as they create. Don't fall into the trap of assuming that they're paying as much in taxes as they're using in resources since most big-box retailers are incentivized with huge tax breaks to build in that community.
Conversely, small businesses typically hire locals and not just for the running of their day-to-day operations. They often support other local businesses by hiring the nearby realtor, maintenance crew, tax accountant, insurance underwriter and broker, IT experts, and more. Small businesses are more likely to use the local bank or credit union as well. Studies have shown that they use fewer public resources and often donate three times as much to the community as big retailers.
On Customer ServicesYou've already been at the mall clothing store for an hour, but you haven't gotten to try on a single dress. The dress you spotted is a little out of your reach, so you wait to get help from an associate. The store isn't busy, but hey, you don't mind waiting for your turn. Finally, you get your dress in hand, but the dressing room is locked. That's how they keep it, you know. Cuts down on theft. You flag down another associate who promises to return with the key. Fifteen minutes later, you're still waiting, even though two associates asked if you needed help shopping when you first entered the store. You'd bail, but you need the dress for your cousin's wedding. As another worker zips by you and heads to the register, you realize the problem. These employees aren't interested in helping you find what you need; they're only interested in ringing you up for the commission. I'm sure we have all experienced some version of this scenario.
One of the most charming things about shopping at a local small business is their excellent customer service. If you become a frequent shopper, they will most probably remember your name, what you like, and your shopping preferences. For instance, if you rarely engage in small talk and seem like you prefer to get in and get out, you may find the employees tamp down on the chatter and questions. If you've made it known that you love wacky leggings with crazy prints, then the employee may show you the new shipment of fun leggings that came in that week. Do you need a present for your great-grandmother but don't know what to pick? Ask the shopkeeper for suggestions, and you'll be amazed at what the owner recommends to you.The next time you need a new dress, back-to-school clothes, some funky accessories, or anything else, check out your local small business first. It benefits you, and it benefits your community.Here at Wearluv Consignment in North Palm Beach we LOVE everything about our community and the surrounding Palm Beaches. We frequent the many wonderful eateries, shop locally, support the clean beach efforts and always pay it forward with our charitable donations.