Squeezed between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the second annual Small Business Saturday encouraged shoppers to show support for their local businesses. The campaign, started by American Express small-business unit has helped to advertise the advantages of shopping locally - personalized service, convenience, and the opportunity to promote healthy economics in one's own neighborhood. A survey done by American Express revealed one-half of the nation's retail sales come from small locally owned businesses.
Statistically in the past 20 years, the 28 million small businesses across the United States have created 65 percent of new jobs. As more shoppers presumably come home to shop in their own backyards, the small guys will find more ways to appeal to more shoppers.
In Hawaii, small businesses make up 98 percent of the 30,000 businesses, and where huge retail establishments can beat prices and offer a wider inventory of products, most consumers still believe in putting money back into their own communities. Small businesses can answer their own phones instead of having to "press one" to begin the maze of customer service, as well as actually do hands on personal service for customers while they wait. For instance, a local jewelry store can tighten the clasp on a bracelet a customer purchased a year ago while she waits, a hardware store can show a woman how to replace a sliding glass door lock step by step when she calls up in a state of pure frustration, or a custom men's wear shop can spend the time helping a recent college graduate build a professional wardrobe little by little.
In my own hometown of Palm Beach Gardens, the local stores were booming with shoppers this past Saturday afternoon. The local chocolate store for discriminating chocolate lovers was busily taking orders for holiday baskets, the local photographer was helping a family to prepare for a photo shoot at the nearby beach, and the teenage boutique - employed with local students had a steady stream of teenage girls flowing in and out of the store.
All in all, it seems like a positive holiday shopping season with merchants thinking positive thoughts. Let's hope it continues.
photo credit: fsgm
Possibly Related Posts:
- Bringing more customer service strategies to traditional shopping stores My son was raised using the Internet and whenever we...
- Retail reward programs no guarantee of customer loyalty Most retail organizations use discounts to entice customers to buy...
- 'Tis the season to rev up the customer service Statistics for the 2011 shopping holiday season look a little...