Why to shop in local stores?

Multinational chains versus independent local stores. A big dilemma and an unanswered question for decades (not just) in small countries like Hungary. What are the pros and contras? And why this came up to me at all?

This last Sunday I took a walk in the city with my fiancee. Without any goals just to move a little bit after lunch and to enjoy the good weather between two rains…


We were talking and walking for hours when suddenly, just for a 10 minutes walk from our house, we stopped by the shop-window of a small, private optics. It was closed of course (Sundays…) but finally, after like six months of desperate searching for a good glasses for my fiancee we saw one.

Who wears glasses and who cares how it fits for him knows that finding a good piece might be extremly difficult. I don’t want to get in the details and start moralization about differentf eye-wears, contcat lenses and sun-glasses. But I must had mentioned this to aware: it is really a problem. Curiously if someone has smaller head or the eyes sit close or far, etc.

Well, like I said we had been looking for a good one for months especially in the malls where we go many times in order to save time and to get everything from one place. In the big chain-optics we found almost the same supply from frames. The same brands. The same quality. And the same prices. And also the lens: the same hyped, overpriced brand everywhere. If we asked for cheaper brand it had been gone hard to get offer for that.

So everyone can imagine how hopeful we became when we saw thatone in the window. The next workingday we visited that small shop and “voilá”: the one what we saw was not as good for her as we thought BUT we found an other three (!) frames which was good and fit very well. We just almost couldn’t choose.

And the prices! Before we got offers for one glasses included the lenses around 250 USD. Now we chose one dioptric glasses and one dioptric sun-glasses for 180 USD all together. And, the best: we haggled a little bit so we got almost 10% discount as well. Amazing!

We told to the owner our story in the last half year and he told: he knows that all this is a problem because for big chaines it worth more and also easier to serv the need of the “big average”. And also he knows that for some adults who needs smaller size glasses the Mickey Mouse-Hello Kitty-Hannah Montana child versions are not an option.

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So let’s see, what we found here? And what we gained by purchasing from this local entrepreneur?

In many places we can read about reasons, I tell now mine:

– Supporting local entrepreneurs (local stores) helps them to stay alive in the shadow of big chains.

– In the end it’s not a real dilemma who to choose. Again, unbelievable: bigger and diverse assortment for lower prices.

– In a short range this competition will cause lower prices and higher level service.

– As I got to know, local business keepers donate more often to associations/foundations and to the local community.

– Crowd: there is no crowd in local shops. This might couse personalized service, without pressure and rush.

– The lastone feels a little bit too idealistic but still … if the local business lives, she pays more Local Buiness Tax what might bring development for all the district.

– Back to service, customer service: the factory who made the lens of the sunglasses made a mistake so it was not sure that it will be ready before we were about to go out for a weekend. The owner promised that he will do everything in order to bring it back in time. Finally, we were lucky also, but if he wouldn’t have driven with his car to pick them, personally, we have missed the date. I can’t imagine that a chain worker would have done the same.

Well, the final conclusion is obvious. Give chance for the small, local entrepreneurs and local stores: you can never know what you win with it PLUS you might do good with your narrow environment as well.


Business Management Hungary


published on LinkedIn 16/06/2015 by Business Management Hungary