We sometimes buy things from Amazon. I shop at a couple of online grocers who carry specialty items I can’t get from anyone near me. We are not perfect beings and I despise helping a billionaire like Jeff Bezos get richer. But Amazon didn’t become the monolith it is without doing a few things right.
We now have an Amazon fulfillment centre just a few kms down the road. So, isn’t it sort of shopping locally to keep local people employed there?
There are no easy answers and I refuse to judge anyone else, or care if they judge me, for the choices we make.
Focusing on Local
Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday. This day devoted to supporting small businesses was launched by American Express in 2010. It puts the focus back on our neighbours after so much attention on big box fiestas like Black Friday, which is today. (The day when retailers can get “in the black” always comes after US Thanksgiving Day.)
Canadian retailers that take part in the American tradition of Black Friday don’t bother me. Retail is a tough business. If they import another reason to get people into stores, more power to them. It doesn’t lure me in but that’s probably because I don’t need stuff and don’t have kids who want stuff. But as we approach Small Business Saturday, I wanted to share the thoughts of a small business owner from London, ON.
When Derek was in the wooden-furniture-and-lamp-making business (a side hustle) Duck and Dodo took some of his steampunk lamps on consignment. We’ve watched this little shop grow into a lovely market space on Adelaide St. just north of Commissioners. I try to stop in as often as I can because the merchandise changes and evolves. Owner Tiffany made a thoughtful post about Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
“I am only one person . Unlike Walmart or larger chain stores, I don’t have the buying power meaning my margins are already so tight that huge discounts is money directly from my pocket, taking away from payroll budgets, ability to buy cool products and just make this day sad. So for those two big reasons we are strategic with our sales , only bringing them out to clear room for new products, or at an end of season
What we would ask from our customers is to just simply remember to pop by and support us this weekend. Take advantage of the great deals offered by big box stores ( I already got some new underwear hahah !! ) And then pop over to your favourite small business that needs your support during this holiday season.”Duck and Dodo via Instagram
This weekend is one of the biggest of the year in our village. It’s Port Stanley’s Dickens Days, where the town transforms into a Victorian-era Christmas scene. Carolers serenade shoppers. There’s cider and horse-drawn carriage rides. And a bunch of optimistic small business owners hope we will all give them a fighting chance by shopping locally.