There was once a time when the majority of Canadian consumers appreciated the convenience of large retail chain stores. The ability to get everything you needed in one shopping trip all at a decent price seemed too good to be true. Over the years, the services offered by mega stores have grown. Not only can you purchase clothes, toys, and household appliances, but now you can also pick up your groceries or even get a haircut.
Yikes! The overwhelming amount of services megastores offer seems to be enticing, especially for a busy parent who is dragging their kid along with them to go shopping. But over the years consumer attitudes have been shifting, and Canadians are increasingly interested in buying local.
Despite the discounts that retail giants have to offer, many Canadians are doing their best to buy locally in an effort to support the economy. The biggest push in consumer attitudes happened recently in the wake of tariffs set by the U.S. on Canadian steel and aluminum back in May 2018.
Besides supporting the Canadian economy and your local businesses, what other advantages are there to using local services and purchasing locally-made products?
- Job creation
- Keeping money in the community
- Building relationships in the community
- Local businesses often give back to the community
- Local businesses add character to a community and offer incentives for outsiders to visit
- More consumer options
- Reduce environmental impact
With all the advantages of supporting your local business, it might come as a surprise that mega retail chains even succeeded in the first place. Because many large retail businesses bring with them the promise of new jobs and economic growth, the offer can be tempting for many communities. The unfortunate truth is, though, that the revenue earned by these businesses gets sent to their headquarters, instead of remaining in the community.
What to Look Out for in Your Local Business
Now that you know the benefits of buying local, what exactly should you be looking out for when it comes to purchasing the products and services you need? You should never lower your expectations because of a want to purchase locally: in fact, locally run businesses should generally offer you better service and higher quality products than the bigger chains.
For instance, consider what to look for in a local pharmacy when you are seeking professional advice and quality service from a pharmacist. Pharmacies actually play an important role in their community, and typically a pharmacist will take the time to learn the unique needs of each person that comes to visit them. It’s important that medications be administered correctly and that you are receiving all of the support you need while undergoing any type of treatment. Pharmacists are not just there to sell you a product: they are also there to listen, guide and help you live a better quality of life.
So before you waltz over to the nearest chain store, consider doing your research and finding out more about your local businesses. You might be surprised to discover gems in your community that you may have overlooked before.