The Collective member Kim Hayman, owner of home interiors and interior design company Applemoon Interiors, is bucking the trend of Britain’s declining high street in making the decision to open her SECOND high street store in the village of Rustington near Chichester.
To celebrate the opening of Applemoon Interiors, Rustington, and for that matter, to celebrate ALL independent businesses operating up and down Britain’s high streets, we’ve joined forces with Kim to give you five solid reasons why you should shop on your local high street:
1. You get a more personal, tailored service
“Despite the reported decline of the high street in recent years, I am bucking the trend in opening a second high street store. I believe there is a need for a really beautiful store full of interesting things for the home, with friendly knowledgeable staff who can assist with everything from a lamp or rug to made to measure curtains, wallpapers and paints. We offer a real one stop shop for interiors that totally reflects our customers’ personality and style. Interior products can be bought online but nothing can replace the feel of materials in your hands and the true colour and scale of items when you see them in real life.” says Kim.
And Kim’s personal, bespoke approach does seem to be what shoppers want. A survey carried out earlier this year found that 81% of high street shoppers trusted advice provided by local shops and businesses, over national chains.
It also found that:
• 74% prefer shopping locally to online.
• 80% trust the advice provided by local shops/businesses over national chains.
• 48% seek advice from staff before making a purchase.
• 90% enjoy talking to staff in their local shops.
• 80% believe their high streets need more independent shops.
• 81% prefer face-to-face transactions to online
2. You help to build your local community
Bookshops, cafes, florists, wine retailers and craft shops often drum up custom by hosting events from reading groups, knitting clubs, tastings and children’s events. If local businesses are not supported, these fun local groups tend to disappear too.
Kim totally agrees: “We love opening our doors to people who are curious about soft furnishings at our workshops and teaching them how they are made. It’s a wonderful opportunity to for us to meet our customers, share and show off our expertise in our craft. We also intend to have further masterclasses collaborating with other local businesses. We are lining up a Christmas wreath making demo and a beautician to do a skincare workshop in January. We have a beautiful space here at Applemoon Interiors and so we love the chance to share it with people and to build a real community around us.”
3. You boost the local economy and increase the value of your home
Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, an estimated 63p stays within the local economy, compared to 40p for a larger business. What’s more high streets populated with thriving independent businesses boost the prices of nearby homes. Research by American Express in 2013 found that house prices near a prosperous town centre rose by an average of £40,000 more over the previous decade than other properties. Meanwhile, a higher prevalence of charity and discount stores tended to decrease home values in the area.
Kim says: “I can’t comment on the economics, but I can confirm that Applemoon Interiors employs 5 people who all live locally in the Chichester / West Sussex area and I am extremely proud of this fact. Our small, but growing, family run business is definitely an asset to the local economy. The opening of my second premises has created 3 new roles and, if we continue to grow as planned, I hope to add to my team steadily.”
4. It is more ethical and you will find something far more unique and quirky
When you shop local, be it your local butcher, baker, farm shop or greengrocer, it’s likely that a decent percentage of the produce has had a short field-to-fork journey. What’s more, independent shops often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere. These items may have been made by local artists and designers, food producers and growers, so you’re buying products absolutely unique to your area.
Kim confirms: “My absolute joy and passion is finding and sourcing interiors products that can’t easily be found on the high street and bringing them into my customer’s homes or workspaces.”
5. By supporting local entrepreneurs you can sometimes try before you buy
Independent retailers can use their discretion to reward regular custom, and it can mean you get discounts on the items you actually want to buy, rather than being tempted by multi-buy offers in the big chains.
Kim agrees: “It’s a pleasure to be able to work so closely with our customers and offer such a personal service. We totally understand how important it is to try things out and take your time to get things right. We do allow our customers the opportunity to try before they buy with some items as well as offering an interior design service where I actually visit their home and listen carefully to the customer. Instead of buying ‘off the peg’ in the high street and, perhaps, making expensive, impulsive mistakes, we can offer our customers our professional advice about our extensive range of fabrics, wallpapers and paints, to inject much more of a sense of individuality into their home. The cost of the initial consultation is refundable against a confirmed order or design service proposal.”
Thank you Kim. All wonderful insights into why we should all shop local and visit our local independent shops on our high streets.