The Proximity commerce, also known as local commerce, has been used from many years ago by our ancestors, that shopped in many small grocery stores, bakeries, butchers, produce stores, among others.
It’s important not to let the Proximity commerce, die off, as it provides employment to many people. The distribution cycle is much smaller, since the stores become the meeting place for the people in the local community.
The existence of small commerce helps local communities to stay alive; not only financially, but also in matters of security. It’s not the same to walk on empty streets tan busy streets where consumers like you are buying the basic needs.
The proximity commerce is not only to sell the products at a higher price, but it is also important to design a good shopping experience for the consumer.
Currently, proximity commerce faces many challenges beyond the pandemic and the different changes in consumer buying habits; that is why we need a transformation that includes the most advanced technology and at the same time does not take away its essence: interaction between people.
To ensure its survival in the future, it is critical to support the small local commerce.
What benefits do the local businesses bring?
1. They’re closer to you.
The consumers are not always aware that having different businesses close by could be considered a luxury, as you can live a simpler life without having to go about during the day to do your shopping.
2. They generate employment.
When you buy from a small store, you’re buying from your neighbor; that is why we have to be more careful where we invest our money, where we are contributing daily with our shopping
“According to a recent study from IDC about 24,000 consumers from 12 countries, after having a positive experience in customer care, 25% of the users venture to leave their opinion and 18% renews their products and services with the same business”1
In many cases, the local businesses offer products and services from their same area, instead of promoting those of other countries. Luckily, a growing number of consumers has become aware of the benefits to our planet when promoting local commerce, asproximity commerce brings sustainability in the way they consume and many of them consider this idea as part of their identity.
4. They bring life to the streets of the local community.
Just as we mentioned at the beginning, proximity commerce is the joy of your local community streets, as it is not only a point of reunion with the neighbors, but also helps the environment to be different and special.
5. They offer great customer care.
They offer great human warmth, as they are the type of store where the clerks easily recognize their frequent customers, they know their preferences and every time they return to the store they are greeted by their name.
The attention they give each customer is at a very different level that large businesses and shopping centers
Which has been the evolution of corner grocery stores?
The Corner grocery stores appeared in the era of the Conquest, when the ships made port with a large amount of merchandise.
“According to data from INEGI, the corner grocery stores employ 1 million 940 thousand 022 people, the equivalent to 26.11% of the total employment in the commerce sector of the country”.2
The word abarrote (colloquial) was first used when in the spanish settlements of America these types of stores were ‘abarrotadas’ (stuffed) with groceries and different products at the ships’ arrival.
Nowadays the, ‘abarroteros’ (local store owners) offer a larger amount of products; all this with the aim of remaining in the market and offering quality and a more direct treatment of their customers, which makes these establishments more profitable spaces.
The Convenience stores are also part of the proximity commerce and are characterized by being establishments with a surface smaller than 500 m2, they have store hours of more than 18 hours, and provide attention to the public 365 days a year.
When we refer to a convenience store, we’re talking about a place that meets the following characteristics:
They have at least a total area of 500square meters.
They work 24-7 the 365 days of the year.
They offer mostly food, drinks and cleaning supplies.
They are located at strategic spots.
“According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, the small convenience stores should be ideally able to store from 2,800 to 3,200 articles of up to 400 categories”.3
What are Fresh Markets?
A store model that has had so much growth and acceptance in the last few years is the Fresh Market, that operates under the specialty store mode and offers different categories of products like: meat, sea food, sushi, prepared meals
Besides bakery and flower arrangements. They also offer other categories of products like dairy products, bulk products, coffee, sweets, beer and wine.
The Fresh Market, is a source of unique experiences where you can find the pleasures of delicious, healthy and sustainable eating. That’s where the natural is born as the freshness of fruits and vegetables go straight to your table. In the Fresh Market eating healthy is also a pleasure. On the other hand, Fresh Markets are mostly concerned about leaving a footprint in our planet.
Which is the purpose of Fresh Markets?
Different from convenience stores, Fresh Markets aim for the shopper to live healthy, rich, and sustainable lifestyles.
The proximity commerce aims to supply the daily needs of the consumer, by avoiding any unnecessary travel and waste of time for you, as you can find it right in your neighborhood. By frequenting the proximity commerce you will have certain benefits like: personalized attention, care for the environment, help for your local community; among others.
Corner ‘abarrote’ stores, that have been in existence form the era of the Conquest, have evolved to store formats of convenience stores and lately to Fresh Markets. Each format has their own reason to be and it is worth it that we care for them all.