Why are small independent shops sometimes more expensive than large chain stores or online?

Ever walked into a small independent shop and seen something listed at a price slightly more than you've seen listed online? I have and i'm sure many others have. 

As s shop owner though it can be really upsetting when a visitor moans about a price difference of say 5 / 15p. They would state in their most patronizing voice 'well i can get it cheaper online' as loud as they can for the owner / worked to hear despite the listed price in the small shop being the RRP price of the said item. I've had my shop now for over 10years so I've got a thick skin when it comes to things like this but when i hear this sort of thing whilst shopping in other small local shops, especially new start ups, it does frustrate me a little as many people just don't understand how hard it is to keep independent shops running. 

The problem is, you getting your products online, or in large chain stores like many others is the reason why small independent shops have to charge the recommend retail price rather than being able to offer discounts like they can online and in big chain stores. The reason those places can offer discounts from the RRP is usually because they buy in such large quantities the wholesalers offer them better rates and prices. 

Another reason when considering online only retailers is that they don't have the overheads that many shops do. Shops on highstreets have to pay rents, business rates and other bills that in most cases are much higher than those trading from non highstreet spaces. By the online only retailers having less overheads they are able to slash their prices as they don't need margins to be as high to be making enough profit to survive. 

If you all switched to purchasing in your small local independent shops within just 6 months it could have a massive impact on your local economy, not only will that keep the shops alive it will mean they have more buying power with their wholesalers and can ask for better rates and prices which could in turn mean they can price match against the big chain stores and offer exclusive discounts. 

It's important to remember that retail rates for smaller businesses are most often between 20% & 45% so they are not making big margins on the products. Often there is VAT to consider too, on most items 20% of the sale price is going straight to the tax man! 

Please try and support local where you can. I know that things are tough for all and in some cases saving that extra 5p / 10p on things can make all the difference but when you factor in postage costs, costs of driving to a shop further away etc is it really worth it? When that sale could make a BIG impact on a small local business, it could mean the difference between them being able to stay open or having to consider closing. 

I may not have explained things as clearly as i'd like to but i wanted to attempt at least to explain why sometimes small shops have to charge slightly more than large chain stores and online. If you want this to change then you can make it happen by supporting local as much as possible, if everyone does this it will enable them to have more buying power with wholesales and in turn have rates that are as good as the big chains and online retailers. 

I didn't have any relevant pictures on my camera roll so here is a cute picture of my dog Lexi asleep in the sunshine instead. 

Have a great day all!