Connecting With Your Local Community As A Retailer
Locality is a quality that has always been valued by communities and businesses alike. However, in recent years, some businesses, particularly larger companies, chains, and global corporations have moved away from sustaining locality as a key value. Instead, retail monocultures have become more commonplace, establishing businesses into communities that don’t necessarily contribute to the local area as much as residents would appreciate.
During the UK’s lockdowns, there was a surge in support for local businesses, one that was also backed by social media platforms, such as Facebook. This was because many businesses and suppliers had their production and distribution hindered by COVID restrictions, leading a greater number of people to turn to local businesses instead.
This has led to a revitalised interest in developing communities and championing businesses, especially retailers, that prioritise the local area. And, as COVID concerns continue, this prioritisation is likely to continue. And, as a retailer, there are many ways you can connect with and better support your local community, each method with its own benefits.
Sell Local Products
One of the most direct ways to connect with your local area is to offer a platform for its products. By doing so, such as selling a locally made item or one unique to the region, you are not only supporting the local economy and industry but you are all offering a unique product that many will be unable to find elsewhere. This creates a good reason for customers to visit your store, especially those from outside of the area.
Exhibit Local Design
Whether you use standoffs to host the work of a local artist or design your store to echo a local aesthetic, your celebration will mean a great deal to the local community. Many businesses choose to embellish their displays with the flora and fauna of the region, which is a pleasing way to decorate a retail space while also tailoring the design to the locality.
Share Your Space
The physical space of your store can sometimes be used for more than sales and using it, outside of or during regular hours, to host events, can be an excellent way to connect with your local customer base. For example, many bookstores have supported their business by opening their doors to local authors and book clubs, giving customers more of a reason to support their business over online competitors.
Start a Community Board
If you have the wall space or extra cable displays to create a community board, you can host and promote various local events. For many businesses, such a space can be used in tandem with their own products, such as a music shop allowing music teachers to advertise their lessons, which benefits both parties.
By placing your business into a local area, you are inextricably linked to its community, and, as you will soon come to know, the more effort that is made to connect with and support the area, the more it will return the favour.