Shopping local helps maintain local shopping options

Shop local is an oft-repeated mantra that is far too often honoured more in the breach than in the observance, but as we enter into that annual consumer frenzy that is the Christmas shopping season, it is important to reflect on how shopping locally as much as possible is in our own best interests.

Retailers must follow the basic laws of retail, that is, the markup on an item on their shelves must rise with the length of time an item will likely remain on the shelves before it is sold. The quicker a product sells, the faster inventory turns over, the more profit there is in putting a product on a retailer’s shelf. Experienced retailers are very aware of this law of retail, especially when the bottom line is reviewed come the end of the business cycle.

So it simply follows that the faster a local retailer sells a product, the more of that product they sell, the more money they make whereas the longer an item sits on the shelf, the longer a retailer’s capital is locked up in that item and they are not making money. That’s why it sometimes pays a retailer to mark something down below the cost that was actually paid for the product in a clearance sale—freeing up dead capital to be put to more productive uses.

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It stands to reason that if an Island business sells more product faster, then they can not only stock more of that product but they can do so at a more competitive price. By shopping locally, we as consumers on Manitoulin ensure that products are available to purchase locally, and the more, and more often, we purchase products locally, we not only create jobs in our Manitoulin communities, but we also keep local dollars working and circulating here on Manitoulin.

There are plenty of opportunities to stop in to local stores and see what is on offer. A consumer might even discover that there is no need to do any Christmas shopping off-Island at all this Christmas season.

A local retailer shared what has become an all too familiar refrain heard from customers entering their store for the first time: “I had no idea this store was even here.” Take the time this Christmas shopping season to take a look around your home community and discover what our Island retailers have to offer; you will likely find yourself pleasantly surprised—not to mention saving yourself a considerable amount of gas money.

In the coming weeks, check out local events such as the Mindemoya Ladies’ Night happening tonight (Wednesday), Christmas in Kagawong and the Manitoulin Secondary School Christmas shopping extravaganza (which are this weekend), Little Current’s Ladies’ Night, with the theme Pinot and Pearls, and Makers Market at the Island Jar, which both take place on Thursday, November 22.  While in Mindemoya to check out the delightful Journey to Bethlehem on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1, pop into some of that community’s stores—Mindemoya Christmas shopping spree also takes place on December 1.

This Christmas, discover Manitoulin. There is a sampling on page 14, and throughout this week’s paper.

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