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Wednesday, 17 January, 2018
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Shop Local

Date: 15 August, 2007

By: Chief

Imagee have all heard, read about or watched on that heinous contraption called the television horror stories of consumers shopping in, and subsequently purchasing a product from, a national or multi-national chain store that turns out to be, as usual, a piece of crap. Then said consumer has to jump through all kinds of hoops to get a refund or exchange. Sometimes these attempts are successful. Sometimes they are not.

As with all chain stores the head office, to be sure the corporate office, is not at all concerned with:

No indeed. All the head office is concerned about is company growth and happy shareholders. Joe Customer is not even entered in that horse race. In fact Joe Customer be damned.

That being said my question to people who basically shop only at large chain stores is — why shop the chain stores at all? Why not shop local?

Furthermore, if you do only shop at the big chain stores — quit your whining. You have brought your woes fully and solely upon yourself.

When you think about it the large chain stores treat every customer or potential customer as dirt. Chain stores spy on you (surveillance cameras are everywhere). Additionally, chain stores think that anyone entering their store is a thief. Customers are not customers — they are merely numbers. And quite a few chain stores want to inspect your bag and check your receipt prior to you leaving their property. In other words — spend your money here you wretched thieves. As far as I'm concerned — chain stores blow.

Shop your local stores

Absolutely. That is the only way to fly. Let me tell you the 'mom and pop' stores are where it is at. And it always has been that way. Even if you pay more for a particular product, it is worth it. Indeed, it is worth it in spades.

One of the really cool things about 'mom and pop' stores is that it is very, very easy to know if a store is a good one or a bad one. There are two distinct ways of telling:

Both methods will tell you all you need to know. I have and continue to use both. I am not at all bashful about asking 'who does this the best'? Or 'I need this done, who would you recommend'? Believe me it works.

Reputation will make or kill a small business. Make no mistake about it. So if members of the community say 'shop here' or 'don't shop there', there is a very good reason for it and, to add insult to injury, the bad business will not be in business for very much longer. Survival of the best wouldn't you agree?

Where I live there are a number of small local businesses and each one of them is a good one. Some of them have been in business for just slightly over 100 years. That is no joke. However, most have been in business a few decades at the very least. Without any doubt the 'crown jewels' for each one of them are:

You simply cannot beat that with a brick stick. Furthermore, when it comes to those things, no chain store can hold a candle to a good local store. It simply cannot be done.

There are numerous other benefits to doing your trading with local merchants. But the biggest and by far most important is the local store gives back. They give back to the local community. How? Simple. The 'mom and pop' stores:

There are other reasons as well, I'm sure. But to me anyhow, those are the major ones.

I do have to admit that on occasion I will shop at a major chain store. I do this only if my local store cannot get the product I specifically want or need. An example of what I am talking about is Ridgid tools. I really like Ridgid. Both their power tools and their hand tools. They are great tools and will last forever. Our local hardware store carries the Ridgid line of hand tools but cannot get Ridgid power tools. Why is this you ask? Because Ridgid appears to sell only to specific 'distributors'. Distributors such as Home Depot. This is really terrible, but until Ridgid opens up its power tool line to all merchants I'm stuck purchasing Ridgid power tools at the nearest Home Depot. Like I said — it sucks. Other than that I do my trading locally.

So there you have it folks. All the reasons to do your trading with your local businesses and, at the same time, all the reasons not to spend your hard earned money at any large chain store.

Naturally the final choice is up to you, but when you purchase a product or service or both consider who you are helping and who you are hurting. If you have teenagers looking for summer work or full time work you can help out by shopping local.

That said, the following is a list of local businesses that myself and my wife frequent. Yes it is shameless promotion and I am extremely proud to do it:

Support your local businesses — there is no better way.

[Ed. note: This story has been updated.]

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