Internet Startup Focused on Independent, Local Retail Stores Celebrates a Milestone

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Little Independent is a Chicago-based online marketplace for sale items at independent retail stores. The website’s public beta launch was on June 1st and already 23 independent, local retail stores have joined the site. Little Independent offers brick and mortar retailers an innovative new way to access new customers and turn inventory more quickly.

Little Independent Home Page

Landing page for www.littleindependent.com

“A store an the end of a long dirt road in the middle of nowhere would probably not be very busy. Stores located in busy shopping districts benefit from the neighboring small businesses.

Little Independent has been accessible to the public for one month. The website’s public beta launch was on June 1st and already 23 independent, local retail stores have joined the site. The same varieties of stores that can be found on Main Street’s throughout the country are featured on the site. The diverse mix of stores includes shoe stores, pet stores, bike stores, women’s clothing boutiques, children’s clothing stores and artisan gift stores.

“Our goal in the website design was to give visitors a similar feeling to walking down a street of unique and intriguing storefronts. We wanted to showcase the stores so that shoppers are enticed to peak inside,” says Little Independent founder and retail storeowner Lesley Tweedie.

The site promotes discounted, sale merchandise from each of the independent, local stores. Inside the virtual storefronts, shoppers are presented with items for sale that have all been marked down by the storeowner at least 10% off the original price. There are discounted accessories including purses, jewelry and shoes. Pet collars and beds and children’s clothing are also available. There is a wide selection of merchandise to discover but the unifying characteristic is that every item is offered by a brick and mortar, independent retail store and every item offered has been marked down at least 10%.

Little Independent provides storeowners an easy way to share their sale rack with shoppers across the country. Working together, these retailers can reach more shoppers than any one of them could alone. “A store an the end of a long dirt road in the middle of nowhere would probably not be very busy. Stores located in busy shopping districts benefit from the neighboring small businesses. Little Independent seeks to give stores an online equivalent to a bustling Main St.” says Tweedie.

It’s been one month since the sited launched to the public and new stores are joining the site and adding sale items all the time. While currently all the stores selling through the site are in the Chicago area, there are plans to reach out to the entire country. The founder’s goal is to increase the number of items offered so that there will be more content for shoppers to discover.

“We’re very active on Facebook and Twitter and with advocacy groups like Local Fist Chicago and Independent We Stand. We’re new and most shoppers and storeowners don’t know about us yet. We want to explore all the ways we can find to reach independent retail stores and shoppers.”

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 68% of money spent at independent business is returned to the local community vs. only 43% spent at a national chain.

Little Independent’s mission is to be an advocate for independent retail stores and to give savvy shoppers an easier way to find great independent stores and sale merchandise. “We want to preserve and promote independent businesses throughout the country because they are so valuable to local communities,” offers Tweedie. “We believe that independent stores can work together to support their businesses and reach a wider audience. We spent over a year in planning and development to get the website designed and launched. We’re so happy that our first month of being accessible to the public has gone so smoothly. We’re excited about all the possibilities and opportunities that are yet to come.”

About Little Independent:
Founded in 2010, Little Independent is a Chicago-based online marketplace for sale items at independent retail stores. Its mission is to be an advocate for independent retailers and to give savvy shoppers an easier way to find great independent stores and sale merchandise. To shop or sell, please visit http://www.littleindependent.com.

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Lesley Tweedie
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