Garrity Perception Survey Shows New Mexico Residents Have a New Perception of “Local” Business

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – New Mexico residents prefer to support local businesses, but just barely. According to the 2013 Garrity Perception Survey, an almost equal number of residents indicated that “local” doesn’t matter. The survey, which sought out purchasing preferences of New Mexico residents, also revealed that adults view national and big box stores as “local” businesses.

Residents were asked their preference for shopping for products and services. Statewide, 47 percent of adults say they prefer to buy from locally owned stores, compared to six percent who prefer to buy from national franchise stores; 41 percent indicated local or national ownership does matter, five percent said it “depends” and one percent didn’t know.

The local preference is strongest in North Central New Mexico where 65 percent of all residents say they buy from locally owned stores. The Albuquerque Metro and Southwest areas of New Mexico both fall below the state average for supporting locally owned business. Interestingly, the Southwest part of the state has the highest preference for national franchises.

When asked to give reasons why residents prefer to buy products and services from local businesses (unaided responses), 58 percent say it is to support local business, 44 percent say to support the local economy. and six percent say they trust local businesses more (than national franchises). Awareness, location, service and price were given as ways locally owned businesses could increase their market share.

Residents were asked “which local businesses have you purchased products or services from in the last month?” Of 396 different responses (participants were allowed to name as many local businesses they’ve patronized in the time period) Walmart, Albertsons and Smiths were the most mentioned; La Montanita Co-Op was the fifth most mentioned. Only three New Mexico owned businesses made the top twenty of most mentioned “local businesses.”

“New Mexico residents have a new definition of a ‘locally owned business,’” said Tom Garrity, president of The Garrity Group Public Relations. “While a vast majority of ‘local’ stores included locally owned businesses, the top responses were all national franchises. This should put owners of local businesses on notice that they need to build awareness, increase value and not take customers for granted just because they are ‘local.’”

New Mexico consumers are making personal connections with ‘local’ employees and businesses that happen to be national franchises,” says Garrity. “And there are a number of New Mexico businesses that are doing a great job of connecting and creating relevance with customers.”

A few of the many local businesses mentioned by New Mexico residents include John Brooks Grocery Store, Kellers Meats, PicQuik, Johnny’s Mini-Mart of Alcalde, The Range Café, Dions and Sadies.

Some of the national businesses and franchises identified by New Mexico residents include Target, Trader Joes, Verizon, Comcast, Starbucks, McDonalds and Macy’s.

The Garrity Group, a “locally owned” New Mexico public relations firm, commissioned the survey (in its third year) from Albuquerque-based Research & Polling. The scientific survey was conducted February 21-26, 2013, included 400 adult residents, the results have a 96.5% confidence level.

The entire 2013 Garrity Perception Survey will be released after Memorial Day. It is the only research project that measures how New Mexico residents view the favorability of industries, trust of professions and identifies how they access news and information.  This year’s survey also tracks travel trends and purchasing preferences of New Mexico residents.  To get your free copy and a schedule of webinars visit www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.
 
The Garrity Group is a New Mexico-based public relations firm that helps small businesses to be heard and large organization to be understood.  Learn more about our successes  through GarrityPR.com, @Garritypr on Twitter and through Facebook.com/GarrityPR.
 
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