Independent retailers have taken on the challenge of increasing the awareness of Main Street retail and its community benefits. According to the Northwest Earth Institute’s Choices for Sustainable Living, “A dollar spent at locally owned stores is usually spent six to 15 times before it leaves the community.” Although keeping money in the community is reason enough to support independent retailers, indie store owner, Lesley Tweedie, says, “these stores have so much charm, individuality and passion,” which should also drive support for their survival and sustainability.
Less Dust Collectors, More Online Best Sellers
Tweedie’s contribution to the, “Save Main Street,” effort is to offer a one stop ecommerce shop for herself and independent retailers like her. Tweedie explains the inspiration behind her online marketplace, saying, “A bike helmet was gathering dust on the sale rack.” Many store owners are cursed with such items that linger too long. Tweedie’s online marketplace, www.LittleIndependent.com, provides owners a wider audience for their sale items, increasing the chance of a sale. In fact, LittleIndependent.com seeks to solve two issues concurrently:
1) For independent store owners it helps increase visibility for sale merchandise.
2) For consumers it provides easy, convenient access to deals at locally owned independent stores they value and like to patronize.
The types of stores that have found a home on the ecommerce site include book and music stores, infant apparel, gift shops, and home décor boutiques. For independent retailers interested in joining the ecommerce site, any sale merchandise in your store that is marked down at least 10 percent below its original price is eligible for sale on LittleIndependent.com. The website opened for business June 1, inviting independently owned brick and mortar stores to join its online marketplace. Retailers that are eligible include the following:
1) Operate out of a brick and mortar storefront with a street address and a telephone number. It is not based in a home, office, warehouse or vehicle.
2) Make sales locally in-store rather than online.
3) Privately owned, neither a franchise nor part of a national chain.
4) Sell retail. Do not sell wholesale.