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What Retailers Can Learn from the Butcher and the Baker

By: Brittany Engelmann-- 2017-06-01 5:00 am --

No one can argue that there are changes coming to the retail industry.

Consumers are looking online for convenience and spending more of their money on Amazon and EBay.  Brick and mortar shops are closing in droves. The industry at large is going through a sea-change.

If you look more closely, however, there may be at least a small element of market correction.

Specialty professions such as butcher, baker, barber, and bartender, have been making a huge comeback in American life thanks to a movement toward quality goods.

There’s a reason that shops and occupations such as these are being hailed as the jobs of the future. They offer something that can’t be mass produced or replicated.

Artistry and quality provide a reason for shoppers to emerge from their self-imposed social media bubbles. Because they really want that specific product.

Consider the butcher, says this Marketwatch story:

What’s changed is that there is a renewed relationship between worker and product, and between customer and product. The techniques that these butchers use are actually very traditional, as is the knowledge they have. But now there’s a focus on things that weren’t really focused on 100 years ago—there’s a lot of attention paid to the sourcing of the meat, how it was treated, whether it is local or organic, and so on. That’s a huge part of it now. There’s some new creativity in how the animals are broken down, though the basic cuts are pretty standard. But a lot of butchers are also recommending parts of the animal that used to be pretty unconventional to eat.

So what can a retailer take away from this resurgence in craft professions?

Look to the core of what the trend says. As the American marketplace shifts its attitudes about mass production, and demands more quality for everyday items, they’re looking for authenticity and comfort. They’re looking to feel good about their purchases. To feel special and smart.

Retailers may have an opportunity to tap this vein of desire for authentic, specialty products and feature those.

Is there an opportunity for you to partner local specialty shops and distribute their goods and wares? Find out: get to know your local butcher and distiller, or arts and crafts maker.

Is there an opportunity for you to sell a product that only you know about? Does your grandmother have the perfect cookie recipe? Sell those treats on your counter and build a following around the dessert.

Does your cousin make incredible Moccasins? Feature them. Tie them to your store’s identity. And make sure to surround your identifiable product with impulse buys, like these from DollarDays impulse buys category.

You can’t deny that a large portion of the future of retail will be automated and online, and customer will flock to the internet for easy-to-order items. 

But personality and specialty go a long way. You don’t need to be a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker, but focus take away a lesson to feature a specialty item or line of products that only you have and that matches with your core identity.

It’s simple supply and demand for the maker economy.