What is a Ma and Pa Shop?

A ma and pa shop is a family-owned independent business.

Ma and Pa Shop Example

For example, franchises and big-box stores such as Target and Wal-Mart are not ma and pa shops. However, the small store down the street, with a local owner, is a ma and pa shop.

Why Ma and Pa Shops Matter

Ma and pa shops are often single-location retail stores that are small or carry specialty items. The advent of big-box stores, which can usually buy and sell at lower prices, has displaced many ma and pa shops, which do not have the same competitive advantages and thus often cannot compete on price with most retailers. Accordingly, they often compete on service.