TRURO – Holiday shopping is in full swing and local retailers are hoping people will choose to shop small this year.
But that might not be an easy task, considering a recent survey shows big box retailers still hold an advantage over the little guy. Even though the majority of Canadians (66 per cent) value local shops, most still spend more at large retailers.
In the face of big-box shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a group of downtown Truro merchants and restaurants are banding together to draw customers to their businesses instead.
On November 26, holiday shoppers in downtown Truro will receive a holiday shopping passport that could be their ticket to winning a prize package of $800 in gift certificates. For every purchase they make at one of the shops, they’ll receive a stamp in their passport. It only takes five stamps to qualify for the draw.
The idea for the one-day event started with Mike Lesser, a long-time retailer in downtown Truro and owner of Etcetera Footwear & Fashions on Inglis Place. It didn’t take long for 15 other downtown merchants to jump on board, each of them contributing a $50 gift certificate to the prize package.
Across North America, the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday has gained traction as a day to support small local businesses. In Truro, the “shop small” campaign has been championed by the two entrepreneurs behind the Local Love Truro movement. Following the outstanding success of last spring’s “Little Local Love” shopping day and subsequent Local Love Truro awards, Samantha Madore and Michelle McCann are encouraging people to show a little “more” local love to the independent businesses who own shops, restaurants, and services in Truro.
“When they share their day on social media using #LocalLoveTruro, people demonstrate their support for each of the businesses they visit and the community as a whole,” said McCann, who owns Bold and Italic Social Communications. “We love seeing the momentum the hashtag builds as people brag about how great our town is to their social media followers and friends.”
While many people see the benefits to the local economy, others choose to shop local because of the relaxed and welcoming experience of downtown shopping.
“I love the personal nature of shopping local,” said Truro resident Keltie Jones. “The staff members are more knowledgeable and friendly than at the “big box” stores, and my shopping trips will often include a conversation with a friend as an added bonus.”
Horse-drawn wagon rides, carollers, and beautiful lighting displays provided by the Downtown Truro Partnership add to the festive experience of visiting downtown Truro’s shops and restaurants this season. Most downtown retailers offer extended shopping hours during the weeks leading up to December 25.
Holiday shopping passports for Saturday’s event can be picked up at any of the participating merchants, including NovelTea Bookstore Café, Beck and Boosh, and Inglis Jewellers.