In an age of big box retailers, many believe that small retailers simply can’t compete with large ones like Walmart or Home Depot. But the era of the big chain dominance may not be able to completely snuff out the mom and pop stores of the world completely. Innovative and dedicated small business owners are finding a way to survive by providing more personalized services, and connecting with customers in a way that mega-chains simply can’t do
Baron’s Major Brands, a small chain of appliance retailers in Nashua, New Hampshire, stay competitive with large chains like Lowes by teaming up with 6,000 other independent national retailers for a combined purchasing power of $9 billion. Baron’s executives explain that the strategy works because they are leaner and more flexible as a collective than big-box stores who are encumbered by stock options and overhead. Plus, being a local company helps Baron’s focus on the specific needs of its customers. National chains must consider the needs of the national customer.
Glenn’s Appliance & More is located at the Maple Tree Mall in New Hampshire, where it is more easily accessible to customers in Manchester, and new customers in Goffstown. The Krulls are the owners of the store, and perform their own deliveries and maintenance calls. And with fewer advertising dollars than their competitors, Glenn’s still relies on word of mouth to bring in business. Krull believes the store’s success is due to the relationships he forms with his customers. His team emphasizes quality work and pride in their products.
Krull believes his 30 years of experience in the home appliance industry allows him to select the best appliances for his customers. This compensates for having a smaller selection than the competition as he can assure the quality of his products. Plus a smaller selection gives his employees fewer models to study, as employee product knowledge is a key ingredient in developing trust between consumers and small businesses.
Small businesses are managing to not only survive, but thrive in the big-box era. Small businesses that sell items like appliances, clothing, firearms, etc. are able to succeed due to forming relationships with customers and through online sales. EMB is the number one online firearm merchant account, and small business account manager in the region. Contact us to learn how we can help expand your business online.