Why More New Jersey Consumers Are Choosing to Shop Small

New Jersey small businesses weigh-in on the growing number of consumers choosing to shop on Main Street

New research shows a shift from malls and box retailers towards the shops and restaurants on Main Street and local New Jersey press reached out to Main Street Alliance of New Jersey leaders to learn more.

Barbara Stanton of Heritage Lighting and Jeff Beck of East Side Mags were interviewed by a reporter from New Jersey’s 101.5 and provided quotes for a piece highlighting the report from Reis, a real estate research and analytics firm. The firm linked shopping trends to the decreased vacancies in Main Street business districts and the increased vacancies in malls and shopping centers.

“The kind of customer we attract is not interested in looking at masses of goods. They want an edited collection,” said Barbara Stanton of Heritage Lighting. “I can’t imagine the type of shop I have being in any mall. Many customers want to be able to enjoy a shopping excursion, not go into a giant store that’s impersonal. They want to be able to have lunch. They want a pretty setting. They prefer to deal with an owner or a shopkeeper rather than a faceless, corporate façade.”

“People enjoy coming to the downtown area for the different shops, restaurants and just to walk around,” said Jeff Beck of East Side Mags. “We foster a community environment. You’re outdoors. You’re soaking up the sun. You’re walking around. There’s a breeze. It’s just a nice environment.” 

Stanton said downtown shops are attracting a cross-section of customers — millennials and boomers, first-time homeowners and those who have been in the same house for decades. “Customers are increasingly shopping in local stores because they want something more experiential. They don’t want to go to a mall and just pace down the aisles and pick one — they want things that aren’t common,’ she said. “They want handmade goods, they want to know a back-story on something, and we definitely talk to people, give them ideas, and try to help them get what they’re going for.”

Stanton stressed “people value attention, and there are many sellers who don’t offer any of that in a mall. At a local establishment, that’s what we’re all about.”

Whatever their reason is, more and more consumers are turning to Main Street retailers for their shopping needs, and we’re welcoming them with open arms.

Quotes featured in this post originally appeared in an article on NJ1015.com

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