The entire month of July is dedicated to celebrating Independent Retailers. National Independent Retailer Month is used to recognize independent retailers who support local economies.
Across the U.S., there are some 143,853 small business retailers who sell a diverse range of products. From groceries, and furniture to clothing and footwear to books and art supplies and everything in between.
The number of businesses in the Small Specialty Retail Stores industry in the US has grown 0.9% per year on average over the five years between 2017 – 2022. In fact, opening a retail store is a popular way to start a business thanks to its simple business model.
So, if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you can open a retail business either in-person or online without requiring a lot of capital. Besides offering much-needed products to the local market, independent retailers create vibrant local interactions that spruce up local community outreach and engagement.
National Independent Retailer Month in July 2022
The celebration is designed to garner support for smaller retailers and allow them to compete on an even playing field. It means supporting neighborhood corner shops, mom-and-pop stores, and other independent retailers to grow and stay resilient.
Small retail businesses are considered the backbone of the America’s economy, but post covid recovery, inflation, and gas price hikes continue to stifle their growth. Some 51% of local retailers are currently worried that skyrocketing inflation could force them to shut down their businesses, while only 36% of retailers have fully recovered, generating the -same monthly income they earned before COVID.
- READ MORE: Make the Most of Independent Retailer Month
In addition, a recent rent report reveals that the majority of U.S. small businesses (52%) have experienced rent increases over the past six months, up 6% from 46% in April. In addition to other inflationary trends, higher rents are elevating rent delinquency rates. Of that 52% majority, 18% say their rent is up by 10% to 20%, and another 14% say it’s more than 20% higher than it was just six months ago.
Retail sales in the first quarter of 2022, are at $959.2 billion, up from the $887.0 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2021. They are down by $52.1 billion from the $1011.3 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021.
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Why You Should Support Small Retailers?
Local small retailers bring a lot of value to the local community, below are some of their benefits:
Boosting the local economy: It is estimated that a dollar spent at an independent retailer is usually spent six to fifteen times in the community before heading out of town. Just $1 can create $5 to $14 of value in the immediate area. Moreover, small retail businesses are leading local employers that hire people from close surroundings, the community gets the taxes which keeps money within the community and the local economy keeps buzzing.
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Shopping locally is good for the environment: Besides local shops employing locals, they have a relatively lesser impact on the environment when it comes to car or public transport, thus decreasing carbon emission. In addition, because they are located within the town it makes them more accessible and within a walking distance to everyone while most of their products are sourced locally.
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They offer a better shopping experience: As opposed to multinational retailers, local retailers are a source of creativity and originality. Small businesses are mostly customer-oriented and understand the needs of their community while offering one-of-a-kind products or services that can be customized and personalized according to customers’ wishes.
Support local entrepreneurship: A local retail business is run by ordinary people, who are often our friends, family, neighbors, or acquaintances. These entrepreneurs have staked everything they have to build a thriving business, as such we owe it to them to make their dreams come true.
Some ideas to Make the Best of National Independent Retailer Month
If you are an independent retailer, you can access resources available at the Independent retailer month website that include logos, posters, and postcards designed to make the whole month of July all about national independent retailer month. You can also step up your marketing game by offering discounts, gift cards, special offerings, social media to share your business’s story, and organizing with other local retailers’ community events.
Ways to celebrate National Independent Retail Month:
- Don’t get caught up with offering discounts only. Remember the month is to celebrate independent retailers, try to show off your unique offerings, your backstory, and why customers need to buy from you.
- Focus on offering your customers one-of-a-kind experiences that they can’t get anywhere else.
- Use the opportunity to further connect with your customers by offering them to opt in to your email marketing to get future offerings available to them, or the opportunity to send out your monthly newsletter to keep conversations going and grow your email list.
If you are a customer, you can head down to your town’s retail district and purchase from them. You can also support your local retailers by helping to arrange shopping walks within your community to encourage shopping locally.
If you are looking to capitalize on the many days in the calendar that celebrate different occasions, here is the complete list for 2022.
This article, “July is National Independent Retailer Month” was first published on Small Business Trends