I’m sticking with the Gloucestershire theme from my last post: this one’s for the art enthusiasts.
I’m quite vocal about supporting local art shops as well as the online establishments. If we don’t support small businesses we’ll lose them, it’s that simple. Yes, I know that prices can be better online, and in the present climate saving pennies matters, but isn’t having a local art shop worth paying a little extra for?
In my experience, and without exception, local art shop staff have superb product knowledge and are helpful in answering any product queries customers may have. I certainly enjoy the hands-on shopping experience more than negotiating my way around a website.
My local art shop in Stroud is the Kendrick Street Gallery. Not only did they order products specially for me, but we had a good arty chat and they were helpful in suggesting places I might source a specialist product that they couldn’t supply.
I was particularly interested in two innovations they’ve introduced. The first is a “Talk & Shop Session” available to local groups (minimum 12 attendees). Staff offer a free talk/demonstration on a range of art materials including watercolours, pastels, pencils, acrylics and oils.
The second is aimed at tutors and their students. The Gallery will stock specific items to support a class and offer a 10% discount to students. (Students are required to show a card or enrolment slip identifying the class they attend.)
Just two reasons why the Kendrick Street Gallery was voted Small Business of the Year 2010 in the Stroud Life Awards. Local art shops may not always be able to compete with big companies online, but they can compete on value.
Before reaching for the mouse, why not check out what your local art shop can offer? It’s up to all of us to support both online and town centre businesses if we want both to succeed.