By L&T Publisher Earl Watt
Items on store shelves will be flying off for the next several weeks. This is the part of the year where retail stores rely on holiday shopping to make their year financially successful.
For our local stores, this is a vital relationship between their stores and customers, but with the excitement of shopping out of town so strong, why should you shop local?
Here are a few reasons to consider.
Who will be there to help you at other times of the year?
Buying products out of town might seem like a fun thing to do, but if that product needs serviced, do you want to haul it out of town to get repaired?
The local stores have invested in this community with shops and technicians to help you right here. If local stores couldn’t sell the products in the first place, they couldn’t afford to only offer service later. If you want quality service behind your products, buy them local.
What happens if you need a return or exchange?
When you buy an item out of town and perhaps didn’t take into consideration if it was the proper product with the right plug-in or attachment, you are looking at a second trip to return it.
Shopping local, however, will save you a trip for returns, and you might even avoid the need with local expertise helping make sure you get the right product the first time.
Shop with people that shop with you.
We all work here, and we sell our products and services locally. Guess who our customers are? The local folks who also sell products and services here.
Why wouldn’t we support them at this time of year when they have supported us all year long?
If you want more local options, you need to shop local more often.
Have you ever been disappointed that there was a product you could not find in town?
Chances are you are not alone. But have you ever asked a local store to carry that product? Local stores will carry products they can sell locally, and if they are aware of a popular product, they will likely add it to their inventory.
If you want to see additional business come to town, they first need to see that the local economy is humming. When you shop out of town, you send the message to potential new businesses that you won’t support them, either. But when the local economy is strong, other businesses will want to expand here.
Shopping in town makes an investment city-wide.
Thanks to the 1-cent sales tax, every local purchase helps improve Liberal’s public areas as well as helps improve housing and retail recruitment. When you shop local, you are helping keep your property taxes low.
Many out-of-town visitors are taking note. Liberal is a cleaner, more well-rounded community with lots to offer, and you make that happen every time you make a purchase at a local store.
Why buy at the same store out of town?
Liberal has a number of chain stores, and it makes no sense to go out of town to shop the same store that is available here. You will get the same product, but you will have taken money out of the local economy.
Your shopping dollars are what make the local economy run.
When you buy products locally, your money provides jobs locally. When you shop out of town, your money provides jobs out of town.
Tips for buying local first.
The experience of shopping out of town has some appeal, but you should be targeted in what you get elsewhere.
Before shopping out of town, have a plan. Make a list of the products you want, and review the list first to see which items are available locally.
Buy those items here.
If there are items you can’t get locally, talk to your local merchants about the possibility of adding them in the future.
Make sure all your consumable products are purchased locally, like batteries, wrapping paper, packing material, etc. This is the same anywhere, but it benefits Liberal, and you, more when you buy it here.
If half of Liberal’s population brought $100 of their out-of-town shopping back home, that would be $1 million spent locally.
That means those local businesses would have $1 million to invest right here in Liberal.
It would also mean an additional $10,000 in 1-cent sales tax collections.
Give your community a gift this season by shopping locally, and you will help make Liberal a better place to live, work, play and shop!