What do we lose when we lose a local bike shop?

What do we lose when we lose a local bike shop?

The pandemic has hit us all. Just as the name implies, all of the aspects in our daily lives have been influenced, some lucky ones less, some more. We can learn a lot from this.

One example is that solidarity and caring for the local community goes a long way in helping and improving our situation. Cornerstones of many economies and communities lie in local, small to medium, shops that we all know and love.

If you ask anyone about their favourite store of any time, chances are you will hear a heartwarming tale of owners that went out of their way to provide unmatched customer service. 

1. Global practices in local areas

This is, among other things, that we will mention, the crucial thing that separates them from big mega corporations. Besides that, stimulating the local microeconomy is the basis of many global and foreign states.

Like the German model, for example, to which we can look up. While it’s easy to get discouraged when you think of yourself as a lonely individual when it comes to this place, local stores thrive and need any customer they can get.

With your support, and changes to it can be noticeable and immediate when compared to global mega corporations.

2. The ups and downs

To be fair, we need to mention things that people consider downside as we are trying to be objective here. But, as mentioned, these are only perceived as downsides as the reality of things is a bit different.

Besides thinking that individual actions don’t make a difference, (which is false), one more argument for not using local businesses are the prices. 

Public opinion and opting for shopping online are lower prices. Yes, at first glance, everything is a bit cheaper when you are slouched in the comfort of your home and clicking online.

Let’s take bikes, for example. You want to buy the first bike for your kid. The bike gets delivered and promises an easy assembly, which in most cases is not the case. If they don’t provide the tools, you have to use your own tools if you have them.

If not, or if you don’t do a proper job, the bike won’t be safe for driving and, that’s not something you want to give to your kid.

That initial save you made has now turned into a headache as you need to take the bike for assembly or quality check to the local shop. And let’s say that somewhere along the road, any piece gets damaged.

Yes, you have a warranty but accomplishing your right in claiming it and then going thru shipping and receiving is a pain that most of us tend to avoid.

Also, good luck if your ideal bike doesn’t come in the colour you want or if you made an honest mistake and bought something that is a bit off in size.

3. Local patriots

Now, let’s look at how this process goes when you go to your local bicycle shop. First, more than the human touch, local shops offer the physical feel of the product, something that is not replicable online.

Your kid can sit and try out anything he likes and, this makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Let’s say that in this example, you found the right bike but, the colour is off, for example.

Local shop owners can do custom orders and find small quantities of any product more quickly due to their flexibility and commitment to each customer.

After all, custom tailor-made orders, are what their business depends on. Then comes the part of safety checks and adjustments that need to be made, which is often included in the price and, many bike shopkeepers gladly offer them.

The whole process is much warmer and humane and, by the end of it you have a new contact made, your kid has a perfect bike that he wanted and, your local shop gets more business.

Everyone wins. Now, along the road again and, something breaks on the bike. In this example, you can bring it for repairs to the same shop you bought it from and, it gets done in a lot quicker time.

No need to go thru the hustle of shipping and receiving as you will get a hearth phone call, after all, is fixed and done.

4. A wider picture

Photo by Eric Crawford on Unsplash

One more thing going in favour of any local business as the cornerstones of communities is that they are often the leading drivers behind communal activities. Since we are on the subject of bikes, it’s not uncommon for such stores to hold or organize bike riding lesions.

Or excursions, picnic trips, scenic routes and various tourist activities. Some even organize local bike races with various age groups. As with any hobby, such places are a great source of knowledge for enthusiasts and first-timers. This goes double as well for seasoned people.

Offering knowledge and insight into any hobby is something that local shops strive for and are in the league of their own when compared to any mega-corporation. As you can physically interact with owners and workers, the flow of info is much smoother and direct.

This is something that cannot be replicated when you buy something online. Besides all of the benefits of supporting any local stores that we mentioned above, one more thing to mention here is employment.

As these shops rely on local people to work there, with the rise in the number of local small and medium shops, you can see the improvements and changes to your local community.

As they thrive, it reflects on the people moving in, houses getting built and, families moving in. With that come more activities that can start to get organized and, once it all gets going, the feeling of a thriving and vibrant atmosphere gets established. Something that is truly a wonder to experience and, we all wish for it.

In short, shopping online from large block retail chains holds certain short-term gains. In the long run, we are all at a loss. With limited or no human interactions and head inducing follow up services, many people wonder why they even opted for that.

On the other hand, long term investment into your local shops yields positive benefits on a larger scale. Which are something that we all could use in the present and future times.

Supporting your local communities starts with you and, that can be the driving force of positive changes around you. As the saying goes, be the change you want to see in the world. Buy local and think global. We wish you all the best in this endeavour!