According to a recent story from The Atlantic, independent retailers in small towns are losing serious ground to Amazon, and there’s not much anyone can do about it.
“Around 90 percent of independent retailers said that Amazon was having a negative impact on their business, according to a 2017 survey.”
The story goes on to explain that “the average American spends nearly $15,000 a year on retail shopping,” and the more that’s spent outside of the customer’s community, the more the community suffers.
“Money spent at an independent business generates four times the direct local economic benefit… in terms of employee pay, local charitable giving, and employee spending.”
And it seems that no town is immune, even ones that have been able to keep big box stores at bay, because this time, the enemy isn’t big corporate brands, but the townspeople themselves.
“[Small] towns… are learning that while they might have been able to keep out big-box stores through zoning changes and old-fashioned advocacy, there’s not much they can do about consumers’ shift to e-commerce.”
To combat the loss of revenue generated from small town businesses, some elected officials are pushing for the taxation of online purchases. However there’s no guarantee that will be enough to fill the void.
For now, more and more small companies are finding themselves caught between a rock and an Amazon-branded hard place: either join Amazon’s marketplace, pay their transaction fee, and compete with thousands of others to sell to customers or all over the world, or, not have customers at all.
You can read more about it at The Atlantic.