Blog Post - Emily

6 Reasons why you should support independent retailers.

Here at Urban Knit HQ, we have been getting to know our independent client base and discovering the key reasons as to why you should support these standalone retailers. Nowadays, indie shops are unfortunately becoming few and far between, and as such, now is the key time to understand what is offered when shopping independently and how you can support this truly unique industry in today’s marketplace.

You are supporting local entrepreneurs…
When you buy from an independent store, you are supporting an entrepreneur who decided to take a risk. You are supporting somebody who decided to act on their desire to offer something different to the local community. You are not just encouraging the sense of community spirit, but you are helping to build it. Many of these entrepreneurs are likely to recognise this and give back to the local community, perhaps even supporting or participating in local fund-raising events.

The range of brands on offer is endless…
Shopping independently is your opportunity to come across some fresh, undiscovered brands which are not necessarily available at your typical high street retailer. Or, there could be designs available from well established brands which have not been selected by high street buyers. Many start-up brands rely heavily on independent sales as a way to build their network, and buying a branded product from an independent retailer means you are satisfying more than one business.

You can find some real gems…
One of my favourite things about independent retailers is discovering one-off, timeless, quirky products which are not available on the high street. After a while, certain product types can become too manufactured and generic, you begin to see the same style in every high street store just with a different label on it. Independent retailers still offer the golden opportunity to experience complete awe when exploring their product range, and there is somehow a huge sense of satisfaction in knowing that you are one of few people who have just purchased a certain item.

You are not just entering a shop…
Many independent store owners use visual merchandising as a way to express their own creativity, which makes each store unique and extremely personal to the business owner. This is usually noticed the moment you walk through the door, and you could be pleasantly surprised by the amount of thought, effort and endless hours that have been dedicated into building these havens of imagination.

You are building a relationship direct with the buyer…
Each store owner is responsible for sourcing and selecting their own product lines, which is not a simple process especially when running a shop. There are store owners who regularly attend national exhibitions, and even scour the entire globe in search of unique, quality products for their shop floor. The decisions made when selecting such product lines is based entirely around you – their customer. Eventually, the owner will see patterns in what type of product works for their business. They will also notice patterns in specific product requests which are not currently sold but are sought after, and will make decisions around this also. If you are a regular, the shop owner will become to know you personally and it will make your shopping experience a whole lot more enjoyable.

Your purchase goes beyond the cash register…
High street purchases end up in the same, bottomless corporate bank account. Unfortunately, your transaction, although significant to you, is just another small percentage of their overall revenue. You could spend the same amount with an independent retailer and your purchase is guaranteed to be a significant part of their monthly intake, possibly even their own personal monthly income. Some store owners will go as far as writing a personal note on their receipt to sincerely thank you for your custom. Others may hand wrap your purchases in tissue paper with a gift bag at no extra charge, which is substantially more personal than a 5p carrier bag.

To keep up with Emily’s latest updates, you can follow Urban Knit on instagram at uk_urbanknit or search for #urbanknitontheroad.