Small Businesses Driving Retail Growth Year-Round

Date: December 01, 2015

MasterCard Advisors, Deloitte Find Small Businesses Growing In Popularity, Particularly During Holiday Season

As businesses across the US take stock of results from Thanksgiving weekend, the start of the busy holiday shopping season, research suggests consumers are increasingly relying on small, local businesses for their shopping needs. CNBC reported on its website that “small retailers have been outperforming their larger counterparts for more than a year,” and the trend is expected to continue. Data from MasterCard Advisors shows that “small business retail over the past 20 months has accounted for 72.4 percent of the growth in total retail sales.” Additionally, the data show that in the past year small business retailers have “made up 39.6 percent of total retail sales. That’s the highest penetration MasterCard has seen over any 12-month period since it began tracking the metric in 2004.” MasterCard Advisors’ Sarah Quinlan, predicting continued support for small businesses, explained, “People want a differentiated experience and inventory, and their purchases reflect that.”

Meanwhile, a holiday spending survey of more than 4,000 consumers done by Deloitte “found that uniqueness is one of the main reasons why shoppers will shop local this holiday season.” Of the respondents, 70% “said they will visit small businesses or boutiques.” Of those, 59% said the main reason was to “support the local economy.” This was followed by 54% who “said they would do so to find one-of-a-kind gifts.” Deloitte leader of retail and distribution practice Rod Sides said, “I do think that uniqueness is what everybody’s chasing. Whether it be a unique experience or whether it be a unique gift, those local boutiques kind of have that flair.” In addition to supporting small businesses year-round, “consumers appear even more interested in shopping small during the holidays,” the Deloitte survey showed, with 72% of respondents saying “they would shop at a new or different store this season.” Of those, “more two-thirds said they would do so at a small or local business,” while another 26% said they would do so ta “festivals and fairs.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

Small businesses, particularly in the retail sector, rely heavily upon the holiday shopping season for their annual income. News that small businesses are popular among US consumers during this busy shopping season is positive, as is news that small businesses are growing overall retail spending throughout the year.

Additional Reading

Apparel News also covered the Deloitte survey results.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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