Shop The Neighbourhood Reveals that Canadians Value Local Businesses But Spend Their Dollars Elsewhere
Montreal (Quebec), September 27, 2016 – In celebration of small business month, and the launch of its fourth annual Shop The Neighbourhood campaign, Yellow Pages (TSX: Y), a leading digital media and marketing solutions company, releases important findings surrounding Canadians’ attitudes and behaviours when it comes to their local shopping habits. As small businesses struggle to remain successful in the changing Canadian retail landscape, these findings reveal that Canadian shoppers continue to spend more money at large retail establishments despite a strong acknowledgment of the important role that small businesses play in our neighbourhoods and local economies.
While a majority of respondents report a preference for shopping local and agree they would rather live close to local businesses than large retailers, there is a clear disconnect between reported behaviour and attitudes toward shopping local. Of those surveyed, more Canadians shop at large retail establishments versus small businesses at least once a week and 64 percent report spending more than $100 at large retailers in the last month versus 40 percent spending an equivalent amount at small businesses in the same timeframe.
Given this, it’s no surprise that a majority of Canadians cite higher prices as a deterrent to shopping locally. Interestingly, the findings reveal that, when price is equal, a majority of respondents will choose to shop at local businesses versus large-scale retailers. However, even a small price discrepancy (e.g. five percent cheaper at the large retailer) will decrease the number of Canadians staying true to local shopping by as much as 33 percent, even if the local business is located closer than the large retail establishment.
In addition to larger retailers offering competitive pricing that undercuts small business revenue, the existence of big box shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday creates further competition for these mom and pop shops. While approximately four-in-ten respondents agree that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have a negative impact on local businesses in Canada, 39 percent are still most likely to spend their money at large retailers on these shopping holidays.
With this in mind, the need for programs like Shop The Neighbourhood is now greater than ever. For the past three years, Shop The Neighbourhood has offered Canadians a local shopping alternative on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year and one that tends to drive dollars away from local Canadian economies. The campaign quickly gained traction since its inception, with more than 12,500 businesses and one million Canadians participating in last year’s event and a resulting $155 million invested back into the Canadian economy. Now a year-round campaign, Shop The Neighbourhood encourages Canadians to adopt responsible shopping habits by supporting small businesses, not just on one day, but year-round.
“For over 100 years, Yellow Pages has championed the growth of small businesses and local economies, through its business operations and community activities, such as Shop The Neighbourhood,” says François Ramsay, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, at Yellow Pages. “This year, the campaign will continue to raise awareness for the importance of local shopping, but above all, in this fourth edition, we want to influence Canadians’ shopping habits and encourage them to take socially responsible decisions when shopping year-round.”
Key takeaways from the survey1 results include:
Canadians recognize that local businesses are integral to our economy and culture.
- 82 percent of those surveyed cite contribution to local economy as the top advantage of shopping at local businesses.
- 88 percent agree that local businesses play an important role in their neighbourhood’s environment.
- 71 percent would rather live close to local businesses and 66 percent prefer to shop locally than at large retailers.
Despite positive attitudes toward shopping local, more Canadians continue to shop at large retail establishments.
- 64 percent spent more than $100 at large retailers in the last month versus 40 percent spending an equivalent amount at small businesses.
Price continues to dominate as a deciding factor in Canadians’ shopping habits.
- 67 percent of respondents cite higher prices as the main disadvantage of shopping local.
- Even a small price discrepancy (5 percent) decreases the number of Canadians willing to shop local by 33 percent, even when the local business is in closer proximity than the less expensive larger retailer.
Canadians acknowledge that large-scale shopping events have negative impacts on local business yet continue to partake in these shopping holidays.
- 39 percent of respondents aware of Black Friday and 45 percent aware of Cyber Monday think that these events have a negative impact on local businesses.
- Yet 39 percent still plan to spend their money at large retailers during Black Friday.
Shop The Neighbourhood is recognized as an important contributor to small business success.
- 76 percent of those aware of Shop The Neighbourhood think that it positively impacts local businesses and 81 percent are more likely to spend their money at local businesses during this shopping campaign.
About Shop The Neighbourhood™
Shop The Neighbourhood is a Yellow Pages initiative to help raise awareness among Canadians about the importance of supporting small businesses and shopping locally. As a year-round campaign, Shop The Neighbourhood encourages consumers to make their purchases at small local businesses, as they are known to play a huge role in the social and economic environment of Canadian communities. In 2015 alone, more than 12,500 businesses and one million Canadians have showed their support in Shop The Neighbourhood, which resulted in over $155 million invested back into the Canadian economy. Join the movement at www.shoptheneighbourhood.yp.ca.
About Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages (TSX: Y) is a Canadian digital media and marketing solutions company that supports neighbourhood economies by helping local businesses reach new customers and foster stronger relationships with existing clients through its various media and products. Yellow Pages holds some of Canada’s leading local online search properties including YP.caTM, RedFlagDeals.comTM, Canada411.caTM, the Comfree/DuProprio network and YP NextHome, as well as mobile applications YP, YP Shopwise, YP Dine, Comfree, RedFlagDeals, Canada411 and 411.ca, as well as the Yellow PagesTM print directories. Yellow Pages is also a leader in national digital advertising through its various channels and services devoted to North American businesses. The company holds JUICE Mobile, an advertising technology company whose proprietary programmatic platforms facilitate the automatic buying and selling of mobile advertising between brands and publishers. For more information visit: www.corporate.yp.ca.
1 This survey was conducted online within Canada by The Harris Poll on behalf of Yellow Pages from August 16 to 19, 2016, among 1,027 respondents living in Canada aged 18 and older. The data were weighted by Age, Gender, and Region where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the Canadian adult population.