“Buy Local” campaigns were a big part of the holiday shopping season last month, and it seems that they had a positive effect for independent retailers. With the shadow of the big box stores and mega-chains looming large, there was significant effort made to keep consumers focused on the little guy. A new survey has demonstrated that this was a sound strategy, indeed.
According to a national survey conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, smaller, local, independent retailers actually outperformed the major chains this past holiday season. In fact, independent retailers enjoyed a spike of 2.2 percent over last year’s holiday season. It should be noted, however, that despite the bump, retailing overall was down for December by 0.3 percent.
“This survey adds to the growing body of evidence that people are increasingly bypassing big business in favor of local entrepreneurs,” said Stacy Mitchell of the Institute, which released its findings last week. “Amid the worst downturn in more than 60 years, independent businesses are managing to succeed by emphasizing their community roots and local ownership.”
In particular, the aforementioned “Buy Local” movement was partly credited, since cities in which that marketing campaign was strongly present experienced a 3 percent sales growth for independent retailers.