National Independent Retail Associations
Many retail shoppers today are looking for merchandise they want, not necessarily items they need. They search for the unique and exciting, not the usual. However, what they find is virtually the same merchandise in every store they visit. This sameness does nothing to inspire customer loyalty or promote driving a few extra miles to another store.
Vendors sell the same package deals to retailers at the same markets season after season. This reduces retailing to a price competition. Successful, independent retailers know they cannot win a pricing war, but they can win big at value.
Customers reward the stores with the best value at the cash register, but make no mistake; price is only one piece of value. Value includes the bright, clean store stocked with unique appealing merchandise and staffed with knowledgeable customer-oriented sales representatives focused on customers’ satisfaction. Value means a good location, adequate parking, a well known brand and a varied merchandise selection at a fair price. It is a store that is the happening place. The store is a stage–a place to excite, involve, educate and entertain customers.
Successful independent retailers must be open to innovation and walking away from the “sea of sameness.” Find your niche and create a retail experience that your customers will look forward to. Retailers cannot sit back drifting with the tide. If they do, they may find themselves drowning in the sea of sameness. As an independent retailer, your choices are to innovate or evaporate.
Below you will find several national independent retail associations that understand and promote this philosophy. The future of independent retail is strong, however the fight to stay relevant and on-trend is more important than ever.