Small + Big for Local Retailers
One thing the US does particularly well is to build consumer rituals that are good for business of all shapes and sizes. Small Business Saturday is a great example of this mindset – a day where consumers are encouraged to show support of independent retailers by shopping local and helping those retailers who are so often at the heart of vibrant communities.
Small Business Saturday occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year as a way to support the backbone of America’s economy. This year Small Business Saturday fell on November 24th, and consumers flocked to show their community support by shopping at local, independently owned businesses that create jobs, boost the economy, and help preserve neighborhoods in their towns.
American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a way to help generate more awareness of local, small businesses. Last year, over 100 million consumers took part, shopping in local stores as well as at small online storefronts. The name of the event web site ‘Shop Small‘ has become the tag-line and call to action for the event. Last year Amex recorded a 23% increase in Card member transactions at small business merchants on the day, suggesting the event has become a successful initiative for all involved.
For small businesses coming-up against larger competitors, the challenge is to find and fight with your strengths, and tapping into the consumer trend of support for smaller, local brands is an effective strategy. It seems to me like an initiative well worth launching for our own small retail businesses.