I’m feeling a little sad today. There is a lovely little shop local to me called Blubarrys. They sell dancewear and accessories and I have been buying Jessica’s ballet shoes, dresses and leotards there since she was 2 and first started dance. It’s a lovely little shop run by the nicest people. The service is excellent, the people who own it are lovely. I’ve always enjoyed my little trips there with my daughter and have always left feeling really happy. It’s a shop I rely on, as I want my daughters ballet and tap shoes to fit well and be checked on her feet by an expert. It has never even occurred to me to see if I could get the same products cheaper online.
Image from Google Street View
However it seems I was alone in this. while driving past the other day my daughter noticed a sign in the window saying that all the stock was reduced for closing down. We doubled back round and popped in to ask. The owner explained that they were closing as people just weren’t using the shop anymore. Seeing how sad she seamed to be losing her business broke my heart. Imagine losing something you had worked so hard on for so many years!
And the shop is not alone, out of the ten or so shops on that stretch of road there are several closed and boarded up. It makes the area look run down.
You hear about small businesses having to close all the time, usually we talk about big companies coming in and taking over areas and putting smaller independents out of business, but in this case there are no other dance shops, just the internet where sellers having lower overheads and shoppers have the convenience of shopping from their sofas. the impact that I have from shopping online hasn’t ever really occurred to me before, but this has definitely got me thinking.
It’s not all down to the government and larger companies to help out small businesses it is our responsibility as consumers to think a little more about where we shop. It’s not just about supporting that one business, it’s about living in an area that isn’t full of boarded up shops. It’s also about getting personal service which you get so much more of when the business and products really matter to the person selling them.
I came home feeling deflated and sad because I wish there was something I could do, I don’t want this shop to close and I don’t want to buy Jess’s ballet shoes online. The only thing I can really take from this is to try harder to support local business from now on.
I would really love to hear people’s opinions and experiences on this one so please comment below.