Loved this interview, @SarahGonzales!!
@meaghanbrophy, you bring up so many great points about the value-add that independent retailers bring to their communities, from special in-store events to customized services to keeping sales dollars local. The shop-local movement has a lot of traction in my area (north of Boston), but one thing I keep hearing from independent retailers here is that they have a hard time keeping up with the rent increases in neighborhoods where real estate is at a premium. (I recently read an interesting article in the Boston Globe in which a shop owner goes so far as to observe that, "If you don’t own the building, you don’t own the business!")
Independent retailers working and selling collectively would seem to be one answer to this challenge. What do you think are the key drivers of this emerging trend?