In most cities, there’s a mix of two types of furniture stores: the national chains and the local guys. The chain furniture stores rely on their big advertising budgets and high volume to attract customers. The locally owned stores rely on their customer service, personalized attention and link to the community to generate traffic and sales.
And in these cities, it’s not uncommon for customers to pile into the family car for the day to shop around at the national furniture chain stores, before visiting the locally owned stores.
The Neighborhood Difference
And what do people notice when they walk through the doors of a neighborhood furniture store? And what do they think when they are greeted by a warm handshake and a friendly smile? They see that the local guy’s prices, quality and sales staff are as good – or better – than what they find in the national chain stores.
And even though most people are impressed with what they find in the locally owned furniture stores, some of them still need a good reason to buy local when it comes to furniture. Believe it or not, low prices, helpful staff and a huge furniture and accessories selection hand-picked for local customers doesn’t convince everyone that shopping there is the obvious best choice. Imagine that!
Why Shop Local?
As furniture shoppers are weighing the pros and cons of national chain stores versus buying local, they often say, “So, why should I shop with the little guy, instead of at a national chain with stores all over the country?”
Well, consider this:
A dollar you spend at your neighborhood furniture store, or any locally-owned business, is used many more times in your local area compared to what you spend at Humongous National Furniture Store. Economists would say buying locally increases the “impact” of the money. In fact, these same economists tell us money you spend locally usually changes hands 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community. Now that’s some well-travelled high-impact cash!
81% Better? Or, was it 80%?
In more concrete terms, spending $1000 at a local furniture store creates between $5000 to $14,000 extra value within your local community as it zips between customers and businesses. In contrast, plop down $1000 at Humongous National Furniture Store and $800 leaves town immediately, or 80 percent. That $800 less that’s making the rounds between locally-owned restaurants, hair salons, hardware stores and so on in the local area.
Of course, the impact of the money you spend is just one of the many benefits of shopping locally. The business owners and employees are part of your community. They shop where you do and they live and play in your neighborhoods. Their kids play with your kids. And because local businesses care about your community shopping with them enhances the community.