As we edge closer to Christmas, there's never been a better time to 'Shop Local'. I've seen a lot of posts, articles & comments about this recently, and with 12 years as The157store under our belts, we've got our own views on the matter.
3 Reasons why people from Portsmouth & Fareham should shop local.
Reason 1 - Unique Products
Small businesses usually only have one or two people sourcing their products. Because of this, there's a more personal edge to they way they approach their buying. Starbucks, for instance, will source their coffee with one goal in mind - Lowest cost possible. A small cafe might look for other things, like better taste, unique batches, more regular menu updates etc.
Small businesses make a keen attempt every day to one-up their chain-based rivals. Whether that's quality, cheaper prices, better usage, quirky versions, or simply exclusive products not otherwise available. This means that the ranges you browse in Indie stores are much more diverse & functional than what might bombard your e-mail inbox from Mr Mike Ashley and his monikers (Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Debenhams all owned by him).
Reason 2 - Where do you want your money to go?
Stats provided by Gov.Uk show that when the average consumer (you) spend £100 in a multi-national chain, only £25 of it goes back into the local community. However, when you spend that £100 in an independent store (or two), £68 goes straight back into the local community. This is because of localised tax systems (cough cough, Amazon) & community based funding projects. (Based on averages across the country over a period of time).
So not only are you getting unique products and making small business owners smile, your very own children will see the benefit when their school is newly refurbed, or your car will thank you because you local roads get re-paved quicker.
I read this in a paper the other day...
"If Starbucks, Google & Apple all paid their U.K. taxes in full & on-time, the extra funds going into the British Government could BUY everyone on minimum wage a house or flat, as well as a new car. On top of this, there would be enough left over to provide food & shelter to every homeless person in England for 18 months..."
But, this doesn't happen because of tax-avoidance, overseas accounts & general crookery.
"When you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in..."
Reason 3 - The big-boys are going bust, but us Indies are still here!
City centres are plagued by empty store units, flat & housing developments & expensive rents. However, the small businesses trading in and around town centres are still there! Use them! As a human customer, you are genuinely appreciated by human small business owners. However, when you buy on Amazon, you're just a statistic on the spreadsheet of a tax-evading corporation. What do you want to be?
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To help you shop local, here's just a handful of small businesses & traders in Fareham and Portsmouth that you can visit now! Click on the titles to be taken to their facebook pages, leaving a 'LIKE' is a great way to start supporting local businesses!
The157store (of course!) - We're an independent menswear store & official stockists of Pretty Green, FILA, Ellesse, Lyle & Scott, Ben Sherman, suits & more! As seen on Netflix & TV with Mary Portas. Fareham, PO16 0DZ.
Heathen Chemistry Records - An indie record store specialising in new & used vinyl records. Indie rock, blues, metal, britpop & jazz. They've got the lot, including memorabilia & Hi-Fi. Fareham, PO16 0EL.
Katie's Vinyl Bar & Kitchen - A stylish pub & restaurant with a strong musical inspiration. Regular live music & even a small music store on the first floor. Gosport, PO12 1EA.
Craft Crazy Fareham - A giftware & jewellery store with gothic, fantastical, & mythological inspiration. Self proclaimed 'Home of the Unusual'. Established in 1993 - so they're clearly doing something right! Fareham, PO16 0EF.
Hillfield Trading (Shop Southsea) - A melting pot of local creators, traders & general makers! Unique furniture, clothing, accessories, homeware & gifts, with a barber shop out the back! Southsea, PO5 3AY.
High Street Sweets - Fareham's biggest & best range of retro, imported & unusual confectionary. Family run, and their range of hand-made hampers is perfect for Christmas! Usually made to order too! Fareham, PO16 7AW.
The Crafty Makery - If you want to start a project, create something new, get into arts & crafts or generally just pickup a new hobby, this is the place to go. Regular workshops & a wide range of resources make this the perfect space to create. Fareham, PO16 0EH.
The Garden Shed & The Spinnaker - One family based team, two cafe's! The Garden Shed (Fareham) is a light & airy cafe with fresh food, coffees & cakes. The Spinnaker is largely the same, only with a stunning view of Old Portsmouth & Spinnaker Tower. Got to be in the running for best breakfast in Pompey too! Fareham, PO16 0EF. Southsea, PO1 2JE.
Solent Shoes - A newly formed business supplying specialised shoes to improve foot-health. Wide fitting, arch supporting stock with a keen eye for style. Portchester, PO16 9PP.
The Wave Maiden - Southsea's best kept secret. Unique craft beers & ales, and a large menu for all, including one of Portsmouth's best Vegan ranges. I can recommend the Mango Cider, too. A regular range of events from cinema nights to live music. Southsea, PO5 3LT.
One Legged Jockey - THE place to go for pre-owned vintage clothing. The owner used to trade in the same building as The157store owner (Andy) back in the 80's & 90's. Southsea, Marmion Road.
Wedgewood Rooms - An iconic South Coast Venue famous for bringing the biggest, newest & up-and-coming acts to Pompey. They also have a hugely popular comedy night, as well as club nights for varying genres. A bucket list music venue. Southsea, PO4 0JW.
Guitar Centre Southsea - Whilst we're on the topic of music, here's one for the guitarists out there. New and used guitars, plus maintenance services & equipment. A cave to explore for any musician in Pompey. Southsea, PO4 9EZ.
Tonic Music - this one is a personal favourite. A music store full of vinyl, accessories, memorabilia, hand made goods, instruments, and much more. But what's important is that all profits go to Mental Health Charities. They also run workshops for instrumentalists & they simply have an amazing range of gifts & music. All in aid of a poignant cause. Southsea, PO5 9EY.
PLUS, many more to be found when you put down your screen & visit one of the gleaming smiles awaiting you at the addresses above! ;)
Thanks for reading!