As former outdoor industry sales reps, and sales managers we have been into 1,000's of shops all over the country. When talking to shop staff and owners we were always hearing similar stories about their loss of in store traffic and sales as a result of discounting happening on the internet. We'd ask "what are you doing about it" and often would hear crickets.
We knew shops needed to be able to compete better and gain exposure beyond their brick and mortar locations or they would slowly disappear. Yes most have websites but you simply can't have a website and expect more sales.
Most local shops will offer competitive deals in store but they face a finite amount of walk in traffic resulting in less opportunity to expose deals and sale items. individual shops alone have a tough time competing with all the deals easily found on line. Mutiple shops all advertising their deals in one place is much more powerful and better exposes their deals to a much larger audience resulting in a better chance for more sales.
Back in 2014 we launched our first site to help local bike shops expose their closeout, demo, and sale bikes, and to drive consumer sales back to the local shop. We created a site where lots of shops could easily list deals giving them much more exposure on-line and help them compete better. Since then we have expanded into other outdoor industries retaining our original core values - We are committed to bringing the consumer the best deals on products and drive those sales to the local shop.
We all love deals but we think that supporting your local shop is important to your community. If local shops go under the whole social thing will crumble.