The renaissance of small boutique and local shops

In the early 2000s, some predicted that the Internet would take over, small boutique would suffer and new business giants would be born – but they would operate online. The truth is that new, independently owned “mom ‘n pop shops” are thriving.

From Amazon to Coffee Victrola – Room for all players

When Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017, many speculated that the online retailer was about to breach the final frontier: groceries. But large, online retailers aren’t necessarily pushing other players out. In many neighborhoods, previously unoccupied rentals are now occupied by independent wineries, bookstores or coffee shops and organic vegetables. Small boutique are thriving by positioning themselves as “specialty” spaces that focus on only one product (coffee) or provide a complete experience (a vintage clothing store that includes a small coffee bar). Individual consumers still want to feel a real connection with their communities. The local independent shops they support are a way to do this, while online shopping may only be for the sake of convenience. The individual consumer can do both.

Small boutique concept is changing business practices

Massive retailers like Amazon are today’s major players. As they’ve grown, they’ve disrupted the way business was previously done. Those who couldn’t innovate fast enough perished. Mom ‘n pop shops have the opportunity to re-write the rules: whom they accept as suppliers, what discounts they offer and how they interact with the customer. The “experience” of the product becomes just as important as the product. Small boutique laws also make it lucrative to be a franchisee or the owner of local independent shops. But it goes beyond simple tax benefits; these businesses can affect and interact with the consumer on a much more personal and direct level.

Managing small boutique depends on the interpersonal relationship built with a customer. Customers are encouraged to form a relationship with the product and be aware of its origins. There is a certain pride of ownership that is not just the business owner’s but the customer’s as well. By purchasing a product from these mom ‘n’ pop shops, a customer is making an ethical statement.