Shopping small and Shopping Local

June 2021

Shopping small and Shopping Local
Pink&Green is a small business. So, it’s obvious enough that we urge and implore you all to do your shopping small and do your shopping local. Why wouldn’t we?

Shopping small and Shopping Local - graphic of local store

The Covid19 pandemic has shown a surge in shoppers turning to local businesses. Both to bricks and mortar stores and those like us that exist in the ether. Yet there’s evidence suggesting that this UK shift to shopping local could last well beyond the pandemic. As indeed this article in The Guardian reports. A survey run by Barclaycard shows that nine out of ten people who shopped close to home during lockdown restrictions, say they’ll carry on doing so.

It further goes on to describe how online retailers like us and small grocery stores are most likely to reap the benefit of permanent shopping habit changes.

But why the continuum?

It’s easy enough to understand why people would embrace shopping in their locality at the height of the restrictions. Independent retailers began delivering. Or offering click and collect. Or some other extra services. Local independent shops tend to be smaller. So many shoppers found themselves drawn to what perhaps felt like a ‘safer’ shopping experience.

As this article from Yours.Co.UK on the shopping local topic reports. They quote Andrew Goodacre, BIRA CEO -British independent Retail Association. He said: ‘Generally, what’s happened is that in lockdown, people realised what was available to them close to home. And what they found has been a pleasant surprise. Thus, they want to keep shopping there.’

‘After all, for many months the government was not encouraging the use of public transport. So, people didn’t make the trip into the big cities or shopping centres and found they could often find exactly what they needed nearby.

Thus, in the months between March and June 2020, sales in small, independent local stores rose by an eyebrow raising 69 per cent. Further, a quarter of British shoppers said they were visiting local stores more than they ever did before the pandemic. Besides that, some retailers, with shops in several locations, reported better sales in their stores on local high streets compared to those in the city centres.

Shopping small and Shopping Local - graphic about supporting independents.

Indeed, Swindon is seeing that wisdom borne out. Friend of Pink&Green, Born Again Swindonian is a long-standing regular shopper at an Italian delicatessen in the town. From the beginnings of the pandemic, the proprietor delivered wine and foodstuffs to her door as she was shielding.

And it’s interesting to note too that, during the pandemic, Swindon’s Commercial Rd, the location of said Italian deli, has transformed itself from banks, building societies and job agencies to a world food hub, with most cuisines you can think of represented.

Top tips for shopping local

Our friend Born Again Swindonian has a super guest post from Swindon artist Dona Bradley on her blog all about the whole shop small and shop local ethos. In it she gives some top tips to get the most from your local shops. In summary:

  1. Find your locals – keep your eyes peeled when you’re out and about.
  2. Shop early and avoid pinch points.
  3. Contact them! If you’re not sure of the process or the options or delivery times get in touch
  4. Be a returner & shop with them often.
  5. Follow them on social media.
  6. Join them and support them. And that way you’ll get special offers or early access to new products or event bookings.

All this is as applicable to businesses like ours as it is to artists and artisans and food stores like the Italian delicatessen mentioned above. Show them some love and support and they’ll surely love you in return.

To encourage you to shop small and shop local we’ve made any orders on our website postage free for people living in the SN1 post code.  If you live in that postcode we’ll hand deliver your order to you.

So what are you waiting for? Visit our online store here and have a good old browse!

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