Local retail is an important development for Barcelona. Small food stores, household products and clothing stores and other regional retailers in almost any district in town in addition to bigger companies on the principal streets of every area play a huge part in the standard of living in the city.
New customer habits imply that retail has been hugely affected and lots of local mom and pop shops have shut down, causing a social problem in the city.
One of the reasons is that these small, neighborhood retailers need support and the barrier to success in retail is high. Additionally, smaller companies often don’t have the ability to be competitive (vouchers, aggregated buying, etc.) or even the turnover or logistical infrastructure to provide online sales.
Technological knowledge and internet-use is usually lower compared to large retail centers. The challenge is to find innovative solutions to help small retailers be competitive.
Putting together a program where small mom and pop retailers have access to the bulk buying discounts and services that larger chains have will go a long way to helping the economy.
For example, if the only way to buy an oven, kitchen appliances or a vacuum cleaner is through Walmart or Amazon, it means that many family businesses can be out of business and families will lose their livelihoods. These days, smart people are learning to work with IT and set up online stores. But that’s not so easy for small business without a background in building online businesses, so a smart city initiative to help with the transition.