When my dear friend Tony Robinson and I launched Enterprise Rockers in January this year, a movement to make life in micro business better and fairer, I pledged to only shop Indie from then on. It might of been beneficial however for me to have taken a good look around my home town of Scarborough, UK before I made this pledge. Since January I have identified just how many things I am unable to buy from Indies in my home town and this then raises the question – which is more important Shop Indie or Shop Local?
Can a consumer satisfy even their basic needs if all they do is shop with independent retailers?
My main concern was food when I headed off down the Indie only road but as we have an independent supermarket, Proudfoots, with 3 stores around Scarborough, one of which contains a fabulous butchery department and all of which are stocked with products from local producers, I knew I had this one covered. I also decided I would purchase from the Co-Op because of their business structure so that along with a great Greengrocer, Trev, and a local independent Bakery, the Foodie in me was happy; we do love good food in the Boden household!
So my general everyday shopping needs are catered for but I have two big issues; make up and knickers ! Not things you buy everyday I know but items that, as the only female in my house, are far more important to me than anyone else that lives with me. In fact if I am perfectly honest the men in my life don’t completely understand why I have taken the Indie only pledge anyway, my darling husband thinks it is just putting my already hectic life under even more stress. But the make up and knickers issue still remains; I just can’t get them from the Indies in my home town.
A pledge based the importance of keeping Independent Retailers alive!
As far as I am concerned it is the principal of Indie only shopping that keeps me going. I love chatting to the micro business owners about their shops, the highs and the lows they are experiencing and encouraging them to trade with each other (I am sure some of them think I am mad) For some time, at the start of our current credit crunch, my husband Neal and I owned a children’s continental clothes and shoe shop in a North Yorkshire market town. I found retailing very frustrating not least because people would travel to major cities to buy high street copies of the quality stock we sold; stock that people perceived to be too expensive for their pocket though they had never stepped through the door to find out.
I am therefore supporting the importance of keeping Indie retailers alive; I believe they offer better service, go that extra mile and want to ensure customer satisfaction – not always but in most cases.
If I have to travel to the next town or city to find an Indie that can offer what I need is that such a problem or should I be supporting all of the high street stores in my local town?
For me it will be Indie wherever I can!
This blog was written by Tina Boden, Micro-business owner, Entrepreneur, co-Founder of Enterprise Rockers and passionate supporter of Independent Retailers – where ever you are!