Locally-owned retail stores beat the 2014 holiday performance of many national chains, according to the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA) annual post-holiday national survey of independent businesses.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, in partnership with the Advocates for Independent Business, surveyed 3,000 locally-owned businesses for the data. Among independent retailers, which made up roughly half of the sample, revenue increased overall by 5.1 percent in 2014, versus 2.3 percent in 2013. Holiday sales at specialty stores grew by an average of 4.8 percent, ahead of the 0.9 percent decline in December retail sales reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
However, nearly three-quarters of the local retailers surveyed said that online retailers not needing to collect sales tax has negatively impacted their sales. In addition, difficulty accessing credit continues to be a barrier for new and growing small businesses.