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Louisville Saluted in Indie City Rankings

A recent study called the Indie City Index salutes Louisville for doing better that its peers in supporting independent retailers.

Called “more than a list of cool cities,” the Indie City Index assessed how much market share independent retailers held against chain competitors. Funded by the American Booksellers Association and produced by the firm Civic Economics, the study compared this factor in more than 360 MSAs in the U.S.

The ABA represents independently owned book stores with storefront locations. Civic Economics is an economic analysis and strategic planning consultancy with offices in Austin and Chicago.

For a city of its size in its region, Louisville is a top 10 market for independent retailers, the study said. Louisville’s peer communities were determined to have populations of 1 million to 3 million, and be located in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, or Alabama.

This region, in turn, was calculated to be one of five top regions in the U.S. for independent retailers, according to the study. When measured all MSAs, including New York City, Louisville was in the top third nationally, ranking 109 out of 363.

The thinking behind the study is that locally-owned and independent businesses recirculate substantially more money within the local economy than do their chain competitors. Independent retailers also contribute to a distinct sense of place that “endlessly replicated chain stores cannot match,” the study says. It takes the view that independent retailers add to consumer choice for goods and services, and offer ones unique to their markets, versus a selection determined by a national franchisor or chain.

In Louisville, this view is echoed by the Louisville Independent Business Association (LIBA), which promotes the idea to “Keep Louisville Weird.” LIBA seeks to “preserve the unique community character of the Metro Louisville area by promoting locally owned businesses.”

You can learn more about the area by visiting Louisville Real Estate.

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