During the pandemic, many people discovered the advantages of shopping local. Online searches for local retailers rose by 800% in the first lockdown, and while that figure dropped when the strict restrictions were lifted, it settled at a new baseline that was still a 300% rise on what it had been before. Lockdowns have highlighted the struggles that local retailers go through, encouraging the notion that it is a good thing to support them.
The advantages of buying from a local independent retailer vs a large retailer are as true for everyday items as they are for local kitchen retailers like KDCUK.
Shopping online or going through the big chain stores doesn’t necessarily mean you can buy something cheaper. In fact, it could turn out to be a false economy, especially in the case of larger purchases, such as a new kitchen. The large retailers may advertise great deals, but what they don’t provide is the personal touch. They also advertise low prices to get you interested in their products, but when it comes to installation, quality control, and problem resolution, you could end up spending more money in the long run.
With a local independent retailer, you’re much more likely to deal with the owner, which is certainly not the case when you shop in a large chain store. Local business owners will not only be passionate about their business but also about ensuring they have a great reputation. They’ll understand the importance of word-of-mouth and that it’s in their best interest to give you great customer service (though as small business owners, they’ll likely be the sort of people who give you great customer service anyway)!
This means that if there’s a problem with something, you can go directly to the owner – who is also the decision-maker – to sort things out, rather than spend hours on hold to a call centre full of people who don’t have a vested interest in your problem.
Local businesses, such as kitchen retailers, have a big advantage over the multinational stores in terms of experience. Going hand in hand with great customer service is the fact that in a small local business is more likely to specialise in fewer brands, meaning they’ll have in-depth product knowledge as well as firsthand experience of how the products work best. It is in their interests to recommend only the best products and, in cases when the installation is needed – such as a new kitchen of course – to use trained, skilled and experienced workers.
When you shop locally, your money will benefit your local economy. There are numerous studies which show that a much larger percentage of money spent at local retailers stays in the local economy than the money spent in large chains. One Canadian study, for example, found that independent retailers recirculate around 45% of their income into the local economy, compared to 17% of the big chain stores. The way it works is that your money contributes to the salaries of the shop staff, which means they are more likely to spend their money with other local businesses, which in turn results in greater local employment opportunities. So by shopping local, you’re keeping the wealth circulating, which will have positive knock-on effects on your town helping to make it more prosperous, resulting in a much better place for you to live in.