In the age of immediacy, we often expect to buy what we want, how we want, when we want.
Whether online or in store, large-scale chain shops promote themselves as selling all you could possibly need in one place. However, what these stores offer in convenience, they sorely lack in meaningful experience.
Moving away from corporate chain brands to shop locally has a huge number of benefits.
As vocal supporters of independent trade, we at Buy-From Shropshire consider three ways in which buying locally can change lives.
1) Closer connection to the origin of produce
Part of the beauty of buying locally is the chance to know exactly where the products have come from.
Often with local food sellers, you will be able to find out information in a level of detail which supermarkets would struggle to compete with. When buying locally, it’s possible to discover which farm the produce is from, how animals were reared and the conditions in which fruit and veg have been grown.
With other products such as gifts and clothes, there are some real gems if you search locally. The selection of hand-made and quirky items in independent stores has incomparable sentimentality compared to mass-produced pieces from chain stores, and it is a lot more unlikely to encounter other people with the same things.
2) Increased social interaction
Another huge perk of shopping locally is the personal, in-depth chats that you can have with sellers.
As supermarkets constantly strive to make shopping as quick and easy as possible, the rise of self-checkout machines and online shopping is leading to a rapid decrease in human-to-human interactions for shoppers.
As the Office for National Statistics revealed that there was a 5% increase in England of adults reporting feeling lonely “often” or “always” in 2016-2017, it is vital to tackle the growing issue of loneliness; a small but significant way to help improve the issue is to increase opportunities for social interactions, investing time and money into local businesses which continue to maintain the human touch.
3) Supporting the local economy
Not only does shopping locally support independent business owners financially, but it also helps the shops to develop, opening up opportunities for further employment and skill training for more people in the area.
Additionally, when shopping at local rather than national shops, your money goes back into your community and it goes so much further.
At large-scale shops with branches across the country, each pound can seem like a drop in a bottomless ocean; locally, however, the money helps shop to maintain their business, which allows the high street to maintain its unique charms, which allows your local community to grow, expand and thrive.
Published by Buy-From Shropshire on (modified )