Main Street Resurgence
With the rise of rent at the malls, the exit of large chain stores and competition from online shopping, we continue to see stores move out of malls to lower cost locations. What does this mean to the retail business market? Many rural areas and small towns are experiencing an increase in “mom and pop” businesses. As main streets fill with a variety of places to eat, discover entertainment and experience interesting shopping options, small towns are experiencing an economic resurgence.
It’s tough for a small town retailer to compete with online retailers in terms of price and convenience. Entrepreneurs are employing dynamic strategies to succeed. First is great customer service and a friendly hometown atmosphere. It’s about the customer experience and a large part of that is collaborating with fellow businesses and supporting local events. The more that’s happening, the more places there are to shop and eat, the more customers are motivated to spend time downtown. That collaboration includes working with city officials to ensure safety, a pleasing pedestrian experience, clean streets and easy parking. It’s a village approach.
Beyond the friendly atmosphere, creative retailers are supplementing local sales with selling items online. These online sales can make a big difference. When there are slow days in the store, there’s opportunity to work an online business strategy that grows.
As our malls shrink and large chain stores close, opportunities are growing for dynamic entrepreneurs and main street champions. It’s an exciting time to live in a small town.
Written by Blog Contributor: Holly L. Gibbons