We are all aware of wanting to keep our local economy thriving, and though the ‘shop local’ message is not a new one, the last couple of years have highlighted the need to support our smaller, independent retailers and traders more than ever before.
I recently ran a little informal poll among my Heatons friends, asking how much (or little) they shopped locally. Convenience or necessity often dictates that we shop online or buy everything during one big supermarket shop. I do both and so would never judge anyone on their shopping habits, but one reason for not shopping locally that emerged from my poll is something I find quite troubling. It transpires that certain of my acquaintances find shopping on our local high streets tricky because the shopkeepers are just too darned friendly! I know, sounds odd doesn’t it? But apparently, this very friendliness can add a perceived pressure to purchase. Interestingly when I spoke to a number of local retailers about this, they were a little shocked and every single one of them told me that they’d rather someone comes into their shop and browses but doesn’t purchase, than that they don’t come in at all. Of course retailers are in the business of selling, but they also understand that whilst someone might not find what they want on that visit, they might the next time, or they might pass on recommendations to friends and family.
So please don’t be too nervous to browse. Whether you do all of your shopping locally or just potter on our high streets now and then when you have time, it all makes a real difference to our Heatons economy. We’re lucky to have such welcoming local retailers, so please don’t let that very friendliness keep you away – every visit is appreciated, purchase or not!
Melissa (& The Moor Mag Team)