Shoppers, retailers and business analysts are paying more attention to the impact of small businesses as Small Business Saturday approaches Nov. 24. The campaign encourages consumers to buy local from a brick-and-mortar small business.
“We all understand that there is a tendency to simply order online and avoid shopping local, but supporting local retailers is very important to our economy,” said Ara Topouzian, president and CEO of the Troy Chamber of Commerce. “They are creating jobs, employing people within the community. Also, you may be surprised that many retailers are matching online prices.”
Randy’s Eli of Troy Menswear has operated on Rochester Road, north of Long Lake Road, since 197
Norman carries a full line of dressy and casual menswear, noting that “some of my General Motors guys wear jeans (for work) every day.”
He recognizes that many people buy clothing online these days.
“With online shopping, you lose the personal touch,” he said.
Norman added that when customers come in once, they usually come back in again.
“People are wonderful. Hopefully, they continue to come in because they appreciate the service. They’ve got to find a reason to come in. The reason is service,” he said.
Norman said that service includes free, prompt alterations and his own expertise in helping his customers “pick out what they need.”
“If you’re in retail — you’ve got to love what you’re doing,” Norman said.
Michel Massoud, of Massoud Jewelers, agrees.
He is the fourth generation of his family in the business, and he works with his father, Samuel, and brother, Andre, at their store on Rochester Road, south of Wattles Road. The store was established in 1990.
Michel Massoud said they pride themselves on being craftsmen and artisans, rather than salespeople.
He said that although technology has allowed them to better service customers throughout the country — their customers come back to their Troy store for appraisals, service work and repairs, which they can’t find online.
“People who have moved out of Michigan still come back,” he said.
He explained that most people want to do research on jewelry online before they make a purchase decision.
“But most of the time, they still want to consult with us to guide them to the right diamond, the right ring. Walking in is more preferable. You need to see it before you make a decision,” he said.
Michel Massoud said that unlike big stores, “where the salesperson’s only goal is their commissions, and their knowledge about workmanship is almost nil, Massoud’s pride themselves on customer satisfaction and their unique designs.”
Lucinda Hoose, who owns LaVida Massage, which operates on Long Lake Road, north of Livernois Road, said that their customers typically live or work in a 5- to 7-mile radius of the center, which offers massages, stretching, facials and waxing. Each LaVida franchise is individually owned. The Troy location has operated since 2010.
She said she decided to locate the business in Troy because her partner, Mark Axler, had lived in Troy since 1977.
“It’s a really nice community. A lot of our clients have been coming for years. We try to stay positive for the community,” she said.
The center will collect toys for Santa’s Toy Drive, hosted by 104.3 WOMC Detroit radio and the Salvation Army.
She said that the days around Black Friday are busy days for them.
“People can only shop so much. When they get sore from shopping, they want a massage,” Hoose said.
Hoose said some people like a massage to relieve pain and some want a massage to relieve stress.
They also sell essential oils and gift cards for products and services. Shopping for these products in the store, rather than online, allows the customer to try them and ask questions, Hoose said.
Check out Randy’s Eli Menswear of Troy at 5067 Rochester Road or call (248) 689-2010. Massoud’s Jewelers is at 3970 Rochester Road. Call (248) 524-1154 or visit massoudjewelers.com. LaVida Massage of Troy is located at 73 E. Long Lake. Call (248) 813-1330 for more information.