I have been listening to the #horsemeatscandal with interest from the start. Why? Well I have a great interest in what I eat and where it is from. And for the past few years I have banned myself from shopping at the big four supermarkets. As I have watched first hand what these large companies do to the small guys. In addition even before the recession hit I had a growing theory that we were all getting rather fed up with the rule of big brands.
The recession has made us all think more about where, when, how and why we shop as we do. As we tighten our belts and think more about what we eat, drink and consume. The supermarkets have responded by becoming our corner shops and entering price wars with one another. But at what cost?
Have they now lost any trust we had remaining? Well as my butcher said this morning people have short memories. He is right but I am not so sure. I do think this latest scandal could be for the supermarkets what the financial crisis was to the banks and it could take years for supermarkets to regain trust.
And for a minority of people this will be the last straw so to speak giving a great opportunity for local shops and retailers to show that they can be trusted. They are authentic, local and offer good value. But butchers and local shops can’t sit back and hope and wait for this to happen they need to be visible in the marketplace.
If you are a local retailer and already market to your customers you need to continue to do so and get across those values that seem lacking from the big guys. And if you have never marketed to your customers this is the ideal time to do so. You have the opportunity to get existing customers to buy more from you and to attract new customers. But you need to let people know that you are there.
#Horsemeatscandal has handed local retailers an opportunity to stand out as authentic and local on a plate as it were! But only if you lift that plate up and make sure that people around you are aware of your dish? So what are you waiting for? Take this opportunity and lets get some business for local businesses. And for the rest of is lets shop local as much as possible allowing us to keep the uniqueness of our high streets.