- Small neighborhoods are disappearing as stores like Wal-Mart and Target are becoming popular, according to a blog post on Businesses For Sale.
- Large grocery retailers also contribute to a decline in neighborhood stores, since they can offer larger selections and lower prices based on economy of scale.
- Technology is one way to level the playing field for small, independent grocery stores looking to compete with the big box stores.
Numerous studies show that there is a more favorable economic multiplier effect when consumers shop with locally owned, independent businesses. Some suggest it’s as much as four times higher in some communities.
A recent poll by Albuquerque Business First showed that 46% of consumers are more likely to shop local neighborhood stores over big box stores. Respondents said they are starting to feel as if they’re losing the local flavor of their neighborhoods.
Smaller groceries have this neighborhood connection working in their favor. They can also use technology to create a more personal connection by communicating one-on-one with their customers. Data from this communication as well as from shopper behavior can also help stores better tailor their selections to the brands and flavors that customers prefer, like a store catering to a local Hispanic community by carrying products the ethnic population prefers.
Additionally, small stores can bring in products made by nearby companies — both items that are manufactured locally, as well purchasing produce from local farmers. This helps attract local shoppers, who can see that patronizing a small store clearly helps support their community.