Before you shop, think local

By SHANE COLE

Guest Columnist

 

Think quick – do you like to go shopping – yes or no? That is not an easy question for most people to answer because there are so many kinds of shopping.

Routine weekly shopping takes us to the grocery store, the gas station, the dry cleaners and maybe out to dinner. This type of shopping is generally done close to home.

Fun shopping has the added excitement of a special occasion. Back to school, a birthday, or that perfect wedding present that will fill a loved one with delight. If you have ever been shopping with a teenager before prom or a bride-to-be, fun takes on a whole new meaning. What if you are looking for something unique for a baby shower or the grandkids are coming over. Decisions made shopping are often captured in photos, preserved for years to come and become part of who we are.

Emergency shopping is seldom fun. When the washing machine stops, our lives are in limbo until the unit is fixed or replaced. Emergency purchases often hit the bank account hard. Shopping for a new vehicle can be emergency shopping or a planned purchase. Planned purchases can be the result of months of research, comparison shopping, intense questioning of family and friends of their personal experiences with a mind boggling amount of options.

Dream shopping can start at an early age. From the glint of sunlight off of a chrome bumper of a 1957 Chevy, to that perfect cabin in the woods, to a piece of jewelry; once that seemingly unattainable item is identified in our minds, the “if only” or “when I win the lottery” seems to be the only way the dream will come true. That, or careful spending and saving with a specific goal in mind.

Where does all this leave our brick and mortar main street retailers? Consumers have many options at their fingertips to make purchases and have those purchases conveniently arrive at their homes.

But what if the purchase falls short of expectations? What if the color or fit isn’t right? What if the box was damaged in shipping even after shipping and handling up-charges were made to ensure safe passage? What if the package is stolen off your porch after being delivered?

Woulda, coulda, shoulda thought locally.

It doesn’t stop with just retail; it includes your local insurance, auto body and auto mechanic, accountant, interior decorator, chiropractor, financial planner, banker and the list goes on.

All of the 118 members of Little Falls Business Association appreciate your continuing to “Think Local.”

 

Shane Cole is president of the Little Falls Business Association.