Oakland Grown.org Blog

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Independent Retailers Outperform Chains Over Holidays ,

Filed under: News — oaklandgrown @ 6:34 am

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (Jan. 15, 2009) – In an extremely challenging economic  climate, independent retailers are outperforming many chains, a national  survey has found.

 The survey of 1,142 independent retailers in a wide range categories
 (books, toys, clothing, etc.) and across all 50 states found that
 holiday sales at independent stores declined an average of 5.0% from the
 same time period in 2007. That compares favorably to most competing
 chains, including Barnes & Noble (- 7.7%), Best Buy (-6.5%), Borders
 (-14.0%), JC Penney (-8.1%), Macy’s (-7.5%), The Gap (-14.0%), and
 Williams-Sonoma (-24.2%).

 This week, the Commerce Department reported that December retail sales  overall were down a record 9.8% over December 2007.

 The survey also found that independent retailers in cities with active
 “Buy Local” campaigns reported much stronger holiday sales than those in  cities without such campaigns. “Buy Local” or “Local First” campaigns
 have been launched in dozens of cities and towns over the last few
 years. Independent retailers in these cities reported an average drop
 in sales of 3.2%, compared to a steeper decline of 5.6% for those in
 cities without an active Buy Local initiative.

 The survey was conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a
 nonprofit research organization, in partnership with several independent
 business organizations, including the American Booksellers Association,
 American Independent Business Alliance, American Specialty Toy Retailers  Association, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, Independent  Music Store Owners coalition, and National Bicycle Dealers Association.

 An identical survey last year likewise found that independent businesses
 in cities with Buy Local campaigns reported stronger sales than those in
 communities without such an initiative.

 “During this holiday season, many more customers mentioned their
 intentional shopping at local businesses,” said one survey respondent.
 “I think that the tough economy this year played a huge role in my
 customers intentionally shopping locally. They felt strongly about
 supporting those of us who are sticking it out,” said another.

 Ninety-five percent of the retailers surveyed said that the fact that
 their business is locally owned matters to their customers. That’s up
 from 82% in last year’s survey.

 “Once again, independent retailers in communities with active shop local
 campaigns have outperformed retailers in cities and towns without such
 campaigns,” said Oren Teicher, chief operating officer of the American
 Booksellers Association. “In the midst of a steep economic downturn,
 independent businesses have shown great resilience. Given the results
 of this survey, it’s not a surprise that an overwhelming majority of
 shoppers are telling independents that the fact that they are locally
 owned matters a great deal to them.”

 “This invaluable data is proving the case that communities are rallying
 behind independent businesses – and a strong reminder that these
 entrepreneurs are the bedrock of a local living economy,” said Doug
 Hammond, executive director of the Business Alliance for Local Living
 Economies.

 “Since the economic downturn began, we’ve seen an explosion of interest
 in communities looking to start Independent Business Alliances and buy
 local campaigns,” said Jennifer Rockne, director of the American
 Independent Business Alliance. “This survey shows such interest is
 justified. These campaigns are making a huge difference for local
 businesses and their communities.”

 “Even as household budgets shrink, many people are choosing to direct
 more of their spending to local businesses,” said Stacy Mitchell, senior
 researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which conducted
 the study. “This could be a key factor in getting the economy back on
 track. Study after study has concluded that locally owned businesses
 deliver more jobs and significantly greater economic benefits to their
 communities.”

 

 Contacts:

 American Booksellers Association (http://www.bookweb.org)

 Contact: Oren Teicher, COO, 914-591-2665, ext. 6611, oren@bookweb.org

 American Independent Business Alliance (http://www.amiba.net)

 Contact: Jennifer Rockne, Director, 406-582-1255, jennifer@amiba.net

 American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (http://www.astratoy.org)

 Contact: Kathleen McHugh, Executive Director, 312-222-0984,
 kmchugh@astratoy.org

 Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
 (http://www.livingeconomies.org)

 Contact: Doug Hammond, Executive Director, 415-255-1108 x100,
 doug@livingeconomies.org

Institute for Local Self-Reliance (http://www.ilsr.org)

 Contact: Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher, 207-774-6792,
 smitchell@ilsr.org

 ###

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One Response to “Independent Retailers Outperform Chains Over Holidays”

  1. Jessica Says:

    That’s great news! Independent Businesses rock!


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