I went around to local businesses while organizing for Small Business Saturday. In every store, I found something I didn’t realize that they carried. Every single store. I’m not making that up!
I knew my favorite women’s shop had kid’s clothes, too, but I didn’t know about the new line of watches or the plush stuffed animals for kids. The sewing center has adult coloring books. The Radio Shack (yes, we still have one) has barbecue spices and KitchenAid mixers. The kitchen shop has kids’ books and scientific toys. Who knew?
The T-shirt shop has added leggings and hats and gloves. The refunked furniture (painted and refurbished in a fun style) store has kitchen collectibles, the kind of old glass stuff you can still use. The shoe store has Under Armor hoodies that made my 22 year old nephew excited to shop local. The furniture and decor place has sunglasses and runners’ belts and clothes. The cosmetics place has the artistic silver jewelry her husband makes but also has soaps and candles and gifts.
My point is this: retail stores in small towns are branching out.
And it’s not just my town. As I visit other towns, I’m seeing the same trend. Rural stores are carrying a more diverse selection of merchandise. It’s long been true that rural stores tend to be more generalists than specialists because we have a smaller customer base to draw from. Now we’re seeing a subtle shift to diversifying into entirely new areas.
Have you seen this in your town? Or are you maybe doing this in your own store?
- Small town retail trend: shared spaces - April 10, 2017
- A blue Brag Basket - March 24, 2017
- Tiny businesses in storage sheds: a rural economic development tool - March 19, 2017
- Your secret advertising tool: empty buildings downtown as billboards - March 13, 2017
- What businesses work in towns under 500 - March 6, 2017
- Rural business idea: renting wilderness offices - February 27, 2017
- How to start a big business in a small town, when the big dream seems out of reach - February 13, 2017
- My trends reports and more guest articles on other sites - January 23, 2017
- Innovative Rural Business Models spread opportunity in small towns - January 9, 2017
- When Google Maps has your small business listed in the wrong place - January 2, 2017