For those who feel they save money by shopping on the Web, it turns out they may be mistaken. Strobler Home Furnishings co-owner Beth Fisher says her business, like many other locally owned brick-and-mortar stores, has made it known that they will match a genuinely lower competitor’s price.
So why pay the extra for shipping for a faceless out-of-town Internet vendor? Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to have a knowledgeable sales person in selecting that perfect item? Local vendors who may not be able to match a lower price ask this provocative question: Are the savings from buying on the Web really worth it, considering how locally owned businesses care more about the communities where they live and work?
According to recent studies, money spent at a local business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy compared to money spent at a chain-owned business.
Beth says, “When you find a lower price on the Internet for an item, a lot of times you’re not comparing apples to apples, or the company is not reputable or is not going to give you good service.”
In a city where new local stores and restaurants are opening on every street corner, why spend the time inside, behind a computer screen, feeling overwhelmed by all of the tabs recently opened searching for that perfect pair of lamps? Local stores like Strobler strive to develop personal relationships with their customers to keep them coming back. For many storeowners in Columbia, customers have evolved into friends. Now, isn’t that more fun?