The Detroit News has a guide to Black Friday shopping in the metro Detroit area – “Black Friday” being about time of year when store owners began to turn a profit and operate in the black. They also have a shopping blog … or at least renamed their usual blog. The Lansing State Journal reminds you not to forget about Cyber Monday.
After reading the above articles – which are heavy on the Wal-Marts and the Crate and Barrels – I’d like to further remind you not to forget about your neighbors. Online and off, check out your downtowns and those of neighboring cities and towns. You’ll probably find some nice deals and also gifts that look like you worked a little harder to find something special. Beyond that, studies demonstrate that dollars spent at locally owned businesses generate substantially more economic impact in communities:
Economic Impact Analysis: A Case Study, Local Merchants vs. Chain Retailers (pdf) The study indicated that for every $100 in consumer spending at Borders, the total local economic impact (LEI) is only $13. Conversely, the same amount spent at BookPeople, for example, yields $45 in LEI, more than three times as much.
To connect with the local and statewide shopping scene in Michigan, parking the car downtown and walking around is a great start. You might want to check out Absolute Michigan’s shopping section or our list of Michigan Chambers of Commerce. You can also try a search for whatever you’re looking for in the box at the top right (antiques, jewelry, toys). So many Michigan-owned stores have online outlets as well, so checking out sites all over the state may yield good results! You can also keep an eye out for cool holiday art/craft fairs like the Ypsi Shadow Art Fair.
In fact, there are so darn many communities, stores and gifts that there’s no way we could list them all here. We can (and will) ask you all to post a comment with a gift or shopping experience that YOU recommend. If you own a store or sell something over the internet, we invite you to post it here. Also, if you have any more articles on the benefits of local shopping, post those too! We do ask, however, that your links be to Michigan-made products – we have this “All Michigan, All the Time” policy…