EDITORIAL: Shopping local at Christmas

It’s that time of year again.

The mall parking lots are getting busier. Shoppers are moving with a little more pace in their step, glimmers of desperation flash in their eyes.

It’s Christmas shopping season.

For the next seven weeks, the familiar seasonal melodies being broadcast over store sound systems will be accompanied by the serious musings of retail analysts forecasting a holiday boon or dour sales, depending on the mood and confidence of shoppers of course.

It’s frenetic. It’s not always fun.

But there is another way.

Every community has local shopping districts populated mostly by independent  retailers, for example the Heights in North Burnaby, Downtown and Sapperton in New Westminster. Most of those retailers don’t have the floor space and broad selection of the chain and department stores.

But they do have a passion for the products they sell, an intimate knowledge of their customers. Most have a stake in the community; they live as well as work there. And what they may lack in volume and variety, they more than make up for with uniqueness of their offerings and personal service.

Independent merchants contribute to the vitality and vibrancy of neighbourhoods.

Shopping local keeps more of your Christmas shopping dollars in the community.

And it might just help take some of the stress out of the season.


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