Is it just me or is there a shift back to local retail and away from shopping malls?

Here in my hometown of Melboure Australia I’ve noticed high street retail becoming revitalised. In my local shopping centre in the last six months an ailing milk bar (convenience store) has closed and been replaced by an Italian deli, three restuarants have opened and two new coffee shops have opened. The local two screen cinema has been re-developed into a four screen centre. There are some new (non national chain) retailers opening too. Not just in my local suburb but all around the city.

On the Internet there’s a push for local content and consumer generated content (through citizen journalism sites). This report shows the importance of the internet when consumers are searching for local shops.

What does all this mean?

Is local back in vogue?
Are consumers showing they want choice rather than the limited offerings of the national chains? One can only hope so.

Independent retailers and small businesses do more to support and enhance the culture of a city and, indeed, country than the national chains every day.

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