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We are all guilty of shopping for convenience, that easy click and your Amazon basket is full, and with a couple of clicks it’s dispatched and on it’s way to you without even having to leave your sofa! But do you really understand where that money goes? Do you think by shopping on online it won’t hurt the high street? Over 56% of consumers interviewed by inews said it was important for them to shop local this Christmas. In recent weeks major chains like Debenhams and M&S have announced that they are cutting staff or worse going into administration. There are, however, so many positives to shopping locally, I want to share 10 reasons to shop locally this Christmas.

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Supporting Your Local, Independent shops and businesses

I will admit that I am the first to pick up my phone and google an item I want to buy especially when I also have a reasonably good high street, with various boutiques and independent shops hidden down back alleys. Like many of us, I dread hitting the shops at this time of year. The thought of spending an hour in Primark makes me anxious, and with the current restrictions, I have been more inclined to avoid the bigger towns and cities.

10 Reasons to Shop Locally

  1. You are supporting your local community

Small businesses are vital for economic growth and recovery, they often employ local people, and they often supply services to larger businesses. Small Businesses integrate into the local community and tailor their services and products accordingly – therefore it is unlikely that a small business is going to move to a different city or country, therefore keeping jobs in your community.

2. It’s less stressful

Battling the crowds in a larger shopping centre can often take the fun out of Christmas gift purchases (if there is such a thing). Having to navigate multi-story car parks, having to pay extortionate parking prices, waiting in the cold to enter a shop due to limits, having to queue to pay for parking, it all takes extra time away from our busy lives. Still, shopping locally means you could be home having a cuppa before lunchtime!

3. You Find Unique, One of a Kind Gifts

The best thing about independent shopping is that their products are usually sourced locally rather than national chains and in some cases are exclusive to that store due to it being hand-made. So if you want a gift that isn’t just picked off the shelf, then it’s definitely the place to look.

4. Support Your Local Farmer

Have you ever considered sourcing your Christmas dinner locally rather than getting it delivered by a supermarket chain? It can be easy to forget that just down the road is a local farm shop with a deli, that stocks fresh fruit, vegetables and you can usually pre-order your turkey.

5. Purchase a Gift Card

Sometimes we forget that it’s not only the bigger businesses that offer gift cards or vouchers. It’s easier than ever now to treat your friend to a pub lunch, an afternoon tea or a new hairdo.

Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels

6. The Handmade Items

It doesn’t mean you have to stick to your local high street, not all of us have that option, but there are local independent creatives who make products/gifts from their kitchens. So when considering making online purchases look on Etsy, Not On The High Street, Amazon and sometimes even eBay.

7. Shop in Local Charity Stores

Most high streets have a charity shop, and you really can find some amazing bargains, I once bought a designer handbag for £50, and it was brand new just had been slightly damaged. They often buy in some gifts this time of year to, so don’t be surprised if you find a Cath Kidston bargain.

8. Support Local Creatives

It’s not always easy for local creatives to showcase their products or services, so they often partner with cafes, rent window space and partner with local businesses. So when you shop local, you give those creatives the exposure and funding they need to grow their business.

9. Better Customer Service

When you buy local, you experience the perk of purchasing from the business owner or someone who offers a more personalised or tailored service. Lots of smaller independent shops offer exclusive shopping evenings or a private appointment for certain items like clothing and accessories.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels

10. Environmental Benefits

We often get into our vehicles and head to the nearest city or town for a bit of shopping but staying locally could mean you could walk, get a bus or share a taxi. It also could be spending less on parking, less time in the shops and more time at home putting your feet up.

Avoiding The Shops

It has been a tough year for independent retailers, with many being closed for most of the year due to national and local lockdowns. When shops did open, many consumers avoided shopping, preferring to make purchases online or shop in larger stores. Some businesses have even said it isn’t sustainable to reopen due to costs, while others have sought alternative options by selling products online via their websites.

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Post Disclaimer

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  1. This is so true. I couldn’t agree more, since local businesses offer so much more! Many of my local shops are online!

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