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There is an assumption that local shops run by local people have a competitive advantage over local shops run by multiples, such as Tesco. However, while independent operators may have some strengths, these may not be competitive advantages.
On two recent shop visits I was struck by the stories that the retailers told about their shop’s histories. In one case it was about how a former owner had developed the shop to serve the new train station. In the other, it was about how a former member of staff was remembered by naming the bakery area after her. In both cases these stories were not written down and recorded.
I suggested to both owners that some customers would really appreciate knowing about the local history of their independent store. Think about it in the same way that you advertise a local product that you sell. People buy into the story.
What is interesting is to see how Waitrose in Islington, a newcomer in a former Woolworths store, has filled its windows with local information.
Each of these posters tells the story about the local area. What is the reason that Waitrose is doing this?
Or look at Gap, which is telling its story to build a relationship with shoppers.