In increasing numbers, Americans are willing to spend more money for goods to buy them from a local retailer, and are willing to travel out of their way to do so.
Those findings came to light in a recent survey conducted by The UPS Store. The company also said its survey showed that the vast majority of respondents see small independent retailers as vital to their local economies, and important job drivers in their communities.
In a story from GlobeNewswire posted May 12 on the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.com website, The UPS Store officials said their survey showed that the number of people who chose to shop at local stores even if it meant paying more for an item than they would have paid at a big box chain store increased by 41 percent this year from 2013. Additionally, 36 percent more consumers than a year ago said they traveled out of their way to patronize their local retailers.
Results of the survey, conducted as part of National Small Business Week, also reveal that 90 percent of consumers believe small businesses are an important part of the U.S. economy, and 94 percent of respondents agreed that shopping at smaller local retailers was important to their local economies.
“We know firsthand that small businesses make a big impact, providing products and services across the country,” Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc., said in a prepared statement. “They provide more than half of all new jobs in the U.S., and are a vital part of our neighborhoods. We are honored to support them, and are encouraged to see that consumers agree and are willing to go out of their way to support them as well.”
Survey respondents also said that they didn’t just shop locally for entirely altruistic reasons. Consumers reported to the survey’s conductors that they found a better variety of goods and more interesting items for sale at local stores than at chains. They also cited the better customer service they received from local merchants as a motivating factor in their decision to shop locally.
Consumers Now More Willing to Go Out of Their Way to Support Small Business. Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch. May 12, 2014.