Why Consumers Are Increasingly Shopping Local this Year

The effects of the global pandemic have disrupted the retail industry in more ways than one. With supply chain issues, fast-tracked digital and omnichannel efforts and massive shifts in consumers' shopping behavior, the retail sector saw tremendous change in 2020.

Financial constraints and other limitations imposed by the pandemic forced many small businesses to develop creative solutions to keep their doors open. Thankfully, our recession-resistant business model allowed our retail franchises to thrive despite changes in the market.

Consumers have had to rethink how they live and what they value, and many were hesitant to spend in 2020. While shoppers shifted their attention to their health and well-being and only sought out products deemed essential, they remained loyal to brands they trust and value - for many, this means relying on local shops.

The Call to Shop Local

Stay-at-home orders and other restrictions throughout the year proved a need to support local brick-and-mortar businesses as large ecommerce sites took the spotlight. Because many businesses struggled to stay afloat, the call to support local businesses became a widespread initiative within communities throughout the United States and Canada.

As many shoppers initially opted for online shopping in response to the pandemic, many small businesses struggled. For the local shops still standing though, consumers' overwhelming support helped, with over 82 percent of consumers saying they'd spend more to support local businesses after the pandemic. As confusion about the coronavirus eased and businesses reopened with new health and safety guidelines, shoppers were quick to return to in-store shopping.

According to Berns Communications Group's Retail Influencer Network, retail brands should expect to see a larger push toward shopping local in 2021. The network predicts a growing focus on localized assortments and smaller-footprint stores with micro fulfillment centers to meet online shoppers' delivery and pickup demands.

The Benefits of Shopping Local

According to a Mint Intuit survey of 1,500 Americans, most consumers shop small to keep money local. While there are several benefits to shopping local, many consumers are prompted to shop small to:

  • Help their community
  • Shop sustainably
  • Receive better customer service
  • Find fresh and more unique products
  • Get to know the face behind the business.

Today's consumers understand that shopping locally can have more benefits than shopping online or at big-box stores. They're becoming more community-conscious, and they want to invest their money into small businesses during tough times to give their money a greater meaning.

What Does This Mean For Winmark Franchisees?

Winmark Corporation® franchisees are uniquely positioned to cater to today's consumers, offering them a localized shopping experience, omnichannel and digital offerings and ultra-high value products that fall in line with their budget and sustainability preferences. Because of this shift in consumer trends, there has never been a better time to invest in a resale franchise.

Resale stores like Once Upon A Child®, Plato's Closet®, Style Encore®, Play It Again Sports® and Music Go Round® allow people to find quality used items at highly discounted prices and sell their own clothing, sporting goods, music equipment and more for cash on the spot.

Our retail franchises also help create a highly localized inventory built on environmentally sustainable practices, eliminating supply-chain disruptions that traditional retail stores often experience. While other retailers struggled to fulfill shipping and inventory needs last year, Winmark brands remain ahead of the curve.

Local small businesses like our retail franchises support regional economies in more ways than one. They help provide access to local jobs, help consumers keep more money in their pockets, support sustainability and decrease waste in their own communities.

To learn how you can make a difference in your community and cater to the needs of today's shoppers with a Winmark resale retail franchise, download one of our free franchise reports!

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