There’s no doubt that everyone wants to shop more locally and support their communities. But what are the differences between shopping at a local grocery store vs shopping at Tesco? What impacts will it have on the economy, environment etc?
We’ll be comparing shopping local vs shopping corporate.
Table of Contents
1. Keeping your culture and community alive
Local communities can be largely defined by the sort of businesses that reside there. It also has a part in the overall satisfaction of the people who live there and the value of homes and properties in the area.
Older buildings and shop fronts often used for local businesses have character, cultural relevance and stories that carry on throughout history. Large corporate supermarkets are purpose-built for convenience. Compared to older buildings, they’re clinical, lifeless and less likely to make the same personal impact on community lives.
However, convenience isn’t the determining factor when it comes to purchasing choice.
What’s the main reason people choose corporate over local?
If given the choice to spend less on food and living essentials from a corporate supermarket chain than from a local business, the majority would choose the former. With over 5.8 million people in the UK, both in and out of work, claiming Universal Credit to afford the cost of living, price dominates the community agenda. Being able to stretch very little money far often outweighs the larger implications when making purchasing decisions.
Why would shopping locally help to keep the community alive?
Smaller local businesses generally take up little infrastructure and more efficiently utilize public services relative to chain stores. This means there’s more room for local businesses to preserve the heritage of older buildings and even restore some needed facilities to improve their place in the community.
Local community business owners are more invested in the community’s welfare and future, since they themselves are most likely community residents themselves. The customer service experience will be of much greater quality this way, as it’s very unlikely for front of house staff and other employees to ignore customer needs or be rude if they will see the same people often.
2. Giving cash to normal people instead of corporations
When shopping at large corporate chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s or ASDA, it’s unclear where exactly the money is going.
“It’s also been reported that local businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to local non-profits and community causes. Also that 75% of small business owners donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations each year.”
How would shopping locally help the economy?
Small local businesses provide the most jobs nationally. At the start of 2021, small businesses accounted for three-fifths of the employment and around half of the turnover in the UK private sector.
Purchasing something from a local business is like a bid on its growth and prosperity. Customers are actively choosing to give money to the people they see and live with on a regular basis. And the more those people choose to spend that money locally, the more that will feed the local economy.
3. More tailored to you
With corporate businesses comes uniformity. All products need to be made exactly the same so as not to deviate from customer expectations after seeing it advertised or simply comparing the same items in store. This takes away from the uniqueness of discovering a piece of furniture or item of clothing that’s been custom made.
Not only that, but the range of choice is very limiting. The customer doesn’t have as much choice when it comes to personalisation and knows very little about where items were sourced and how they’re made.
How is shopping locally more tailored to individuals needs?
Choosing to purchase from a local business offers more individuality and character in what’s sold. The customer is able to see directly where it comes from, who made it and the effort that was put into producing it. They might even know more about the creation process and become more involved and caring for the items that are owned.
4. Helping the environment
The UK supermarket industry emits 17.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, which is about 19 times more than commercial planes. This is primarily due to relying on importing goods from overseas countries and using up a lot of fuel and resources in the process.
They also use a worrying 114 billion pieces of single-use plastic each year with the items they stock. This is because it’s cheap and quick to make.
Why would shopping locally help the environment?
Shopping locally reduces carbon emissions that are spent when importing items from overseas and across larger distances. Additionally, the more jobs available in local communities, the fewer people are going to have to commute, which means more time and less traffic and pollution.
The more communities band together and decide to shop locally, the more self-sufficient and environmentally friendly they’ll become. They can also learn to be more eco-friendly with packaging choices and have the power to reduce or even eliminate single-use plastic.