Earlier this month, Eric Adams and his son visited several downtown New Albany stores to do some early Holiday shopping. Shopping local is part of Adams usual routine with his family.
“I like it, and we do it as much as we can,” Adams said as his son played an antique child’s piano at the Antique Attic on East Market Street.
Shopping local has become a popular movement across the country because supporting local stores is good for our economy. According to elocal.com, if the citizens of an average American city were to shift 10% of their spending to local businesses, it would bring an additional $235 million per year to that community’s economy.
“It supports the community, and it supports us instead of the big chain stores! What people need to do in order to help the economy is shop local. When you buy local you support local families and keep people in business, and that keeps jobs going,” said Angela Shaughnessy of Downtown Style, where flat irons, curling irons and gift certificates are popular items.
When you shop at independent businesses (that means businesses that do not receive marketing help from a larger brand) more than half of the money stays in the community. Chain stores only yield about 14% of their revenue to the local economy.
“Money stays local and isn’t going to a big chain store. The money isn’t going to Ohio, Michigan or wherever. Local people are working and more money stays in community,” said Todd Antz, owner of The Keg Liquors, which during the Jingle Walk will offer 10% off of wines and New Albanian beers offered for tastings. The Keg is known for its extensive variety of world-renown wines, specialty craft beer and fine liquors, and this year Antz is offering Woodford Reserve Bourbon Balls among his Holiday Gift items. For those who prefer beer, the New Albanian Brewing Company will debut its bottle launch of Naughty Claus during the Jingle Walk.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is referred to as Black Friday because businesses have enough sales to push out of the red and into the black in one day. Katrina Jones, co-owner of Antique Attic, explained that the local shop owners prefer the term “Plaid Friday.”
“It’s more positive to do Plaid Friday shopping, and then you can come back on Saturday for Jingle Walk,” said Jones.
While shopping on Plaid Friday, keep an eye out for special deals on items you will only find here. One of New Albany’s newest editions, The Opal Gypsy, will have select items marked at 50% off on Plaid Friday and during the Jingle Walk. The Opal Gypsy offers unique gifts and accessories, clothing, and even local honey. Nearly half of the items in the store are made by Southern Indiana and Louisville-area artists
“Support your community and local business owners,” said Opal Gypsy owner Shanda Sillings-Roderick.
“Specialty what I do, and that’s probably similar to what other smaller stores do. You’re not normally going to find what we sell in a Walmart,” said James Gaetano, owner of Jimmy’s Music Center, which is home to music lessons, a recording studio and band rehearsal space. Gaetano said many people order instruments online thinking they’re getting a better deal, but they don’t have the option of having someone set up and tune their instrument, and have fewer options if there’s a problem with the purchase.
“We match internet prices and our prices are comparable to box stores,” said Gaetano.
The Holiday Fest and Jingle Walk are this Saturday November 24th from 1-6 and will culminate with Light Up New Albany.