• The Villages Mag

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Opening a shop can be an exciting venture but also quite daunting. There are so many reasons why many take this bold step. Some spot a gap in the local market, some want to fulfil a lifelong dream, some want to use their skills and experience and be their own boss. However, it can be fraught with insecurities. Will my business be welcomed? Do people need my products/service? Will I be able to earn a decent living?

For independent shop owners their business can be about so much more than just success and profit margins. It’s about being a part of the local community, developing relationships with local people and fellow business owners. Whilst all shops and businesses contribute to local life, the independents are not restricted by corporate rules and regulations, fixed services and pricing. Often run by the decision-maker, independents can offer their own bespoke shopping experience, tailoring their products, services and pricing to meet customer demand and expectations.

Becoming community hubs, local shops are integral to local community life. They can be friendly and welcoming places to stop by and catch up with the local gossip and news. They can also go that extra mile - carrying shopping to cars, offering a delivery service, giving directions, and recommending other local businesses. Local shops are also more likely to invest and support local community projects and events.

There are many challenges for our independent shops - high rents, lack of suitable parking, traffic issues, large national stores and internet shopping, all of which can severely affect footfall. But without a doubt your local independent shops will value every purchase you make and provide you with great customer service.

Marie Bennett

The Print Room

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