Wherever I go, I always try to check out the local retail scene. Lately, from Austin to Ann Arbor, I see extensive “Buy Local” marketing campaigns.
It’s great to see there are two broader efforts to amp up this worthy cause. First, there’s the national 3/50 project. (Thanks for pointing me at this Anne Marie Jonah). You can see their clear and gorgeous home page below, which pretty much sums up the key reasons to care about buying local.
Now the international trends newsletter Springwise reported on an effort, starting in Portland, Oregon (natch), to create a loyalty rewards program with transferrable points between 50 local shops. It’s called Supportland.
The end goal is to make this a national network. It’s exciting because because it can remove a significant barrier to creating local rewards programs. Namely, it’d be pretty hard to rack up enough points at say, a luggage shop or jewelry store, to bother particpating in a program. With cross-store point system every purchase counts. It’s great to give local shops one of the tools that the big guys have, to date, pretty much corralled.
And from a sheer economic standpoint, it will alleviate some of the concern any shopper would have about overpaying by not comparison shopping. I heard a great story about this general point, and reasons to buy local, from a journalist at Fortune, David Whitford. He said,
There’s a corner store at the end of my suburban street. I used to really resent that something like a quart of milk could cost a fair bit more than at my grocery store. But then I realized. I really like walking to this store. It provides a great service to me. The rent, being in the center of my town, must be substantial. And then I decided I would rather gladly pay an extra nickel or two for the milk to keep that store in my neighborhood.