In light of my recent blog postwhere I confessed that I hate shopping, I thought I better share with you how I do like to shop.
Have you heard of “Small Business Saturday”? I like the sound of that better than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I love the concept of shopping local at your mom and pop stores. The idea is becoming more mainstream as organizations like the 3/50 Project get more and more press coverage. The idea behind 3/50 is simple; find 3 brick and mortar stores and spend $50 a month in them. These could be local candy shops, gift stores, clothing stores, photo development stores or even restaurants.
This is the statistic that sold me….did you know that if you spend $100 at a local brick and mortar store, $68 goes back into the local economy through taxes, payroll and other expenses. Spend $100 at a local chain only $43 goes back into your local economy. Buy online and $0 goes back to your town.
I had coffee with a girlfriend on Saturday (at a locally owned coffee shop) and she was telling me how much she enjoyed Black Friday shopping with her daughters when they were growing up. However, this year she said it seems like the charm has been taken away as many of the sales are starting even before Thanksgiving even arrives. She confessed that she is not going to do her traditional Black Friday shopping and instead do her shopping online.
Then today I saw on facebook the idea of flash mob shopping. The idea is simple, pick a store and text all of your friends and all show up at the store with $20 to spend. Wouldn’t this be a great way to surprise your local brick and mortar store? Maybe give them a shout before hand to warn them of your cool idea so that they can be properly staffed. Now this a tradition that I could get behind and support!
So this year when you are doing your holiday shopping, stop at some local stores and spend some money. Want a few other reasons to shop local:
- I personally think that I get better customer service. The stores remember me and when I come back and say things like, “Melissa, we got those dog bones back in that you were looking for”.
- You are often offered a cup of coffee or tea. This allows you to take some time to relax and enjoy your shopping. I bet you didn’t know that shopping could be relaxing!
- There are never long lines and crowds. No Black Friday rush at these stores. No long lines at the register either. No news stories of people crushed while trying to get a flat screen television at 4am.
- They find local artists and sell their wares as well.
- You find unique gifts that will make every person on your list smile.
So as you spend you hard earned dollars, think about the impact it will make in your community. You have control over which stores get your money, and as my friend Diane told me “you vote with your feet”, and in this case, your wallet.
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.
- Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/ to learn about how Melissa can help you!
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