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Our View: Check out the finds in Lake Havasu City’s small shops

November 23, 2018

The world of retail selling is topsy-turvy these days, with hardly a week passing without word of a large chain closing or seeking bankruptcy protection.

Online sales are the big market share gobbler, affecting big box brick and mortar stores in the same way big boxes did small local businesses a couple of decades ago.

Most big box chains are morphing, seeking success in digital sales along with physical stores.

In much the same way, successful small retailers changed to compete against the high-volume chains. Those smaller stores get a bit of celebration tomorrow, with Small Business Saturday putting attention on the importance of that size of store in a community.

The successful ones have carved out niches. They are specialists in a smaller number of products. They seek out offerings that are different than the big stores. They develop knowledge about those products and can pass it along to buyers.

Small retailers in Lake Havasu City were among those who’ve battled back from a large recession along with the increased competition in retail.

As a group, they deserve support because the city is better with them in business.

The local stores have deeper community roots. They are very likely to support local needs, whether it is backing youth sports or local events.

Besides that, local stores add employment and sales tax dollars.

The latter is especially noteworthy, as only online retailers with a physical presence in Arizona pay the state sales tax without including local sales taxes.

For shoppers, discovering these niches of retail is a reward in itself. The jobs, community ties and sales taxes turn local shopping into a bundle of benefits.

In the minds of large retailers, Black Friday sort of began a month or so ago rather than the traditional spot of the day after Thanksgiving.

Historically, an out-of-town shopping experience to a large city is on many holiday calendars. Granted, larger cities offer larger selections, but it comes with bigger crowds and the expense of travel.

Whether shopping large or small stores, keeping it local assures at least a tax benefit to the city. Small Business Saturday is a good reminder, though, of the pleasant experiences and finds available in the smaller stores of the city.

— Today’s News-Herald

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