I try, when possible, to buy from sole trader stores as a way to support the local economy rather than the national/international chains.
There is a hardware store that I use when I can. Having called into the store three in recent weeks - the owner, who by the way is always cheerful, always with a greeting - not having the item I required I walked across the road to his competitor, also a sole trader hardware store. What a difference. While the second store is well laid out with items easy to find, unlike the store I prefer, the store at this second hardware is a sour, rude individual . Never a smile, never a pleasant greeting. It is as if your very presence is a disturbance to his routine.
The item I wanted he also does not stock. Unlike the store, I prefer where the owner tried to come up with various alternatives, the second store curtly told me no can help, turned away a continued playing with his phone.
While I don’t expect store owners to get on their knees in welcome, I do expect some form of mild greeting.
It’s an experience I have had with other sole traders in Kfar Saba and elsewhere in Israel.
Of course, it’s wrong to paint all with the same brush. The vast majority appreciate and understand that to retain customers, service with a smile is just as important as pricing.