The beginning of December is a strange limbo time, much like the week between Boxing Day and New Years Eve. The Black Friday sales are over, and most people are waiting for Christmas… and the sales which come in the new year.
Our founder, Alex, recently wrote a piece on why we don’t take part in Black Friday. It’s a great piece and we encourage you to read it but to summarise it’s partly because it can be harmful to independent shops and small businesses. Reducing stock prices down to a point where the profit margin is almost non-existent is detrimental to the growth of a business especially if potential customers will wait until a sale is on to purchase anything.
This isn’t to say that we don’t appreciate the love of a good bargain at FINDRA. We enjoy rewarding our customers with occasional discounts to thank them for continuing to purchase our products. Is it not better for a business to offer bundle deals and discounts because they want to, rather than because they feel they have to?
In recent years, especially with the expansion and growing influence of social media, movements to support independent shops have gained traction. One, in particular, is ‘Just a Card’. It may sound like a strange name, but it comes from the owner of a closed art gallery who said, “If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card‘ we’d still be open”. Well, that’s more than a bit heartbreaking. It’s the raw reality of how difficult it is for small businesses to survive.
Line this up with the statistic that 7,000 women a year start a new business in Scotland and you’ve got a recipe for independent shops to reignite high streets again. Obviously, it’s not as simple as these companies just existing so this is where you come in.
The Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) found that “for every £1 spent with a small or medium size business, 63% is re-spent in the local area – compared to 40p in every £1 spent with a chain or larger business”. This keeps the surrounding communities thriving, other small shops trading and make areas nearby more desirable to live in. Small businesses are far more accountable for their processes, their suppliers and treatment of staff than the larger competitors. You can establish a relationship with an independent shop and become a valued customer, even know everybody by name. You can help someone’s dream of a successful business become a sustainable reality. Quite broadly, shopping locally is much more pleasant for everybody even if this does come at a slightly higher price tag than, say, the Fast Fashion shops on the high street which in itself is a whole other blog post.
Small Business Saturday
The first Saturday in December in the UK is allocated to celebrate the campaign. The FSB has found that on this day, year on year, customers are spending more on UK small businesses. In 2017 it was an increase of 4.3%; 2018 was an 8% increase, let’s make 2019 even better!
Happy shopping, dear friends of FINDRA.