Local retailers work to keep customers in face of internet deals
On Tuesday, Amazon offered deals for their third annual Amazon Prime Day that seemed hard to beat. New bargains every five minutes and, for Prime members, free delivery straight to your door. Many local retailers are finding it hard to compete with those internet deals on price alone. That’s why some say they’re working to keep customers in other ways.
B and J’s Sporting Goods in Midtown is a good example. Manager Mike Olson said the store has been in business since the 1950s, long before the internet was around. He said sales have probably been impacted by online shopping, but customer service and local knowledge keep their customers coming back.
“We’ll show you what to use and where to go,” said Olson. “We’ll take the time. I get people all the time that are real grateful for that. I had a guy the other day, I showed him how to repair his waders and he thanked me three times.”
Dee Tanner manages Siri’s Boutique, a woman’s clothing store downtown. She said personalized service is one reason why they have loyal customers. She said being able to try on the clothing is another.
“We had a lady the other day who ordered three different dresses for her grandson’s wedding online,” said Tanner. “Either it was the fit, the quality, or the color wasn’t right. She came in here and found exactly what she wanted.”
State Labor Economist Neil Fried said nationally, retailers are feeling pressure from e-commerce and suspects that Anchorage is no different.
“I’m sure its putting pressure, I have no doubt, on some of our retail categories. General merchandise, clothing, electronics, those kind of things are really being effected by e-commerce,” said Fried.
Local businesses may have to keep working if they want to keep customers by excelling in areas where the internet can’t.
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