Editor's note: This is the first of three stories in a series related to the Retail and Restaurant Study results released by the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce's Retail Development Committee in April. The study surveyed consumers in Adams and surrounding counties to find out where they shop and how they perceive local retail offerings — restaurants, furniture outlets, clothing shops, grocery stores and more.
When a customer from outside of Hastings walks through the doors of a locally owned business, such as Bruce Furniture, the 40- or 50-mile traveler can expect to be treated as if he lived just a few blocks up the street.
Owner Doug Bruce says that the personalized, friendly treatment he intends to give every customer is the key for local businesses to attract and retain customers.
And Bruce's inklings are backed by the response of consumers who participated in a recent retail study.