Don’t let Cyber Monday stop you from Shopping Small and Shopping Local. We had a well attended Shop Small Saturday and we appreciate our customers coming out to support us.
In the past year alone, over 90 million square feet of brick and mortar stores closed their doors forever. Small independently owned retail spaces are endangered, thanks to online giants like Amazon. According to Forbes magazine, businesses close because they don’t meet consumers needs. While I can agree with that statement in principle, local retailers provide much more than shopping to the community. Research finds that consumers are looking for locally sourced, ethically made, environmentally friendly, artisanal and authentic items to enhance their lives. Local retailers go out of their way to provide these options to shoppers. When I buy for our boutique, I consider all these principles. Buying American means the person producing our clothes is earning a livable wage. The items are ethically made following environmental regulations and all the money stays in the U.S. in the hands of small businesses. Our clothing is high quality and timeless which means it will last several years reducing the amount of clothes ending up in landfills. You won’t find our store having crazy discount sales 70 – 90 % off. We don’t do a false markup then put them on sale at what should be the actual price. Because we purchase from small business who pay fair wages the markup is not like you find at big box stores.
Online Holiday sales are expected to rise 15% this year driven by Amazon and mobile sites. Amazon expects to garner 40% of the holiday sales which comes to $38.8 billion, much of that money leaves local communities going into the pockets of a few lucky individuals. Online apparel and shoes sales are projected to rise 23% this year. Does that mean our local boutiques will lose income this year? Yes!
Consider the contributions our boutiques on the 300 block make to your community. For every $100 you spend at local boutiques, $68 stays in the community providing taxes, jobs and money for other services in the community. We put less strain on the environment, no Amazon boxes or styrofoam peanuts for the landfills. When we get a box of items for our boutique it contains dozens of items to be sold in stores, lower shipping, gas and waste. We nurture our community, providing charities with donations, gifts and sponsorships. Our kids go to schools, take dance classes, entertain themselves locally. We provide entertainment for you on a beautiful day for window shopping while walking, picking up unique items for friends and family and starter jobs for your kids. Visitors come to our community to shop in our stores, wander our aisles while hanging out with friends.
YOU NEED US AS MUCH AS WE NEED YOU to provide a vibrant community. There are 196,000 households in Lancaster County, more than enough to sustain our reputation as the Place to be in 2018!
Thanks for listening,