The Growing Importance of Buying Local
I have never bought anything online. Actually, that’s not completely true, I’ve purchased airline tickets and made hotel reservations and such. So what I guess I really mean, is that I have never bought any thing online — nothing tangible like clothing or any of the myriad of other stuff that Amazon and the thousands of other online retailers are selling these days.
There are several reasons I have buckedthe trend of buying ever more merchandise online. First, I was never much of a shopper in the first place, and as I’ve gotten older my needs have become even simpler. Having no real need to accumulate more stuff, I’m just not a “prime” customer for Amazon or other online vendors.
But even when I do need to make an occasional purchase, I have no interest in doing my buying online. I actually much prefer going to the store and just picking up what I need. Why wait for delivery, overnight or otherwise? Plus I can get an actual hands-on feel for what I’m getting. For me, that is particularly important when it comes to clothing. I honestly can’t even imagine buying a pair of jeans just by looking at a picture on my computer. What about the fit? Same goes for shoes and pretty much every other clothing item — I need to try them on and find out how they really look and feel. I know, I know, you can do that when your online packages arrive at home. But shopping by trial and error through the mail just seems like such an inefficient process.
There is, however, an even more important reason I have no great desire to shop online. It’s because I’m also a big believer in buying locally whenever possible.
Over the 20-plus years we have been doing this magazine, I have met and worked with hundreds of local shop owners. I have seen their dedication and commitment firsthand, not just to their customers, but to their communities. Taken together, local retailers — and increasingly restaurants, too — make up the foundations of our downtown business districts. Not only do they need and deserve our support, but in doing so we are also helping assure that our downtowns — the physical and social hubs of our communities — remain not just viable but vibrant. We need retailers at area malls to prosper as well, not just for the sales tax dollars they help generate — though that is important — but because they, too, are integral parts of our communities.
With that in mind, this holiday season keep in mind the indirect impact your purchases can have, and consider buying local whenever possible. If we all do a little bit, it could make a big difference. And if you simply must order online, then consider going to the websites of local stores. Many have significantly ramped up their online offerings and you’ll still be shopping local.
Of course, the holidays are about much more than just shopping, so be sure to also check out our Out & About section on page 21 for an extensive listing of wonderful upcoming seasonal events.
As always, thanks for being a reader, and our sincere best wishes to you for a joyous holiday season and a prosperous new year!Edit Module