During this scrimp-and-save holiday shopping season, the problems hitting major chain retailers are being felt by small, locally owned stores, too.
Locally owned stores must show how they’re different from chains while proving they can compete on price, said Humphreys, retail groups and store owners. That’s doable for mom-and-pop stores in established shopping destinations filled with independent stores and regular customers, such as Decatur and Little Five Points.
Retailers hope that “Buy Local” mentality will do for stores what it did for organic food and farmer’s markets, said Eric Levin, owner of Criminal Records, which has been in Little Five Points for 18 years. He also owns Aurora Coffee stores in Little Five Points and Virginia-Highland.
“I feel very good about the rest of this month —- I don’t know if we’d be doing well if we were somewhere else,” said Diane Capriola, co-owner of Little Shop of Stories, a bookstore that moved to a larger space on Decatur Square in April. “Now I’m thinking ahead to January and February —- looking beyond this, and not knowing.”