"When there’s a choice of buying that holiday gift online, or from your local retailer, buy local and keep the money in your community."
Culver City, CA (PRWEB) November 22, 2010
This Christmas consumers can do their Christmas shopping and help their local economy at the same time, by buying from their local retailer instead of on the Internet. So says international retail authority Harry J. Friedman, who is spearheading a grass roots campaign to support putting cash back into the economy at the local level, and save jobs.
Friedman, founder and CEO of The Friedman Group http://www.TheFriedmanGroup.com, an international retail consulting and training organization acknowledges, “It’s no mystery that everyone’s concerned about the economy and knows someone that has lost their job. The average consumer feels helpless when it comes to doing something that will increase jobs.
“But there’s something simple everyone can do that can actually make an impact. Think twice before you buy on the Internet! When there’s a choice of buying that gift online, or from your local retailer, buy local and keep the money in your community. The network of dollars that revolve around merchandise being sold in a retail store can keep your local independent retailers in business; along with everyone from the vendors they buy their goods from to the local window washer. And the more merchandise sold in local stores, the more salespeople, cashiers and other staff will need to be hired. More jobs for those in your community.”
Friedman, author of the best selling retail book "No Thanks, I'm Just Looking," is also a strong proponent of retail as a place to build a great and rewarding career. “Most who enter retail do so as a temporary measure. It’s often seen as just a waypoint. A place to work while going to school or while looking for a ‘real’ job. Many people don’t know that you can make $50,000-75,000 as a salesperson in many retail stores – and even more as a store manager or district manager. Retail is a really a great profession, employing nearly 15 million people across the country, and can be an opportunity for quick advancement and a fulfilling career. Unfortunately, retail has done a poor job of conveying this message to the public,” Friedman confesses.
At this time of year, retailers typically staff up with part-time help for the holidays. The recruiting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas forecasts that retailers will add up to 600,000 jobs this holiday season, compared with a net gain of a little over 501,000 holiday jobs during the same period last year. If consumers buy from their local stores, not only will they help save jobs, but might influence retailers to add more jobs, both during the holiday period and the following year.
Friedman adds, “Look, everyone knows the value and convenience of the Internet, but do we realize what we’re doing to our local communities by making the Internet the first choice for purchasing? In some areas, the Internet is the final nail in the coffin that drives smaller retailers out of business. Whenever possible, consider shopping online to determine what you want to purchase – but buying from your local stores. A computer may help you find or compare products, but it’s still nice to touch and feel what you want to buy and get personalized help from a real live person, especially when you’re searching for the perfect gift for Uncle Louie and you don’t have a clue about what to get him. Your local retailers want and deserve the opportunity to earn your business."
5 Tips For More Enjoyable Christmas Shopping
1. When you find a store that treats you right, don’t stop with one gift purchase. See how many people you can check off your list to save time and a few blisters on your feet.
2. With concerns about the economy, many retailers will carry lighter inventories this holiday season. Use your computer or smart phone to search out the closest store carrying what you’re looking for. Especially if it’s a hot item that’s moving fast.
3. Consider avoiding the big box behemoths. Sometimes it’s worth trading a little savings for a lot of sanity. Plus the smaller independent retailers generally offer better service and more unique merchandise.
4. Look for retailers using “wish list” kiosks. Toys R Us, for example, offers up scanning devices while shopping to create a wish list that can be shared with family and friends, either at the store kiosk or online.
5. Set your sights on unique stores that separate themselves from the static sameness found in most mall environments. Stores like Apple and Bass Pro Shops make shopping an adventure. And look for stores offering pre-wrapped gifts with express-line checkout, personal shoppers, babysitting and ‘hubby lounges’ with big screens and snacks.
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