Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As you gear up for holiday shopping, you may want to consider the hottest trend in retail: buying local.
A new website, BuyLocalMN.com, promotes local businesses. According to the website, when you shop locally, 63 cents of every dollar you spend stays in the local economy compared to 43 cents when you shop at a chain store.
Local businesses, from homegrown food producers to gift shops, say they have noticed a surge in interest in keeping Minnesota dollars at home.
It’s not just about keeping local money here, it’s about quality, unique features and when it comes to food unparalleled freshness.
At St. Paul’s Farmers Market Wednesday, there were homemade pickles, earthy root vegetables, Wisconsin cheeses and free-range fresh Turkeys.
The White family came from Chanhassen to pick out a turkey which was priced at $3.19 a pound.
“We have been thinking this fall of buying more natural, less processed, more locally grown foods,” said Dan White.
The turkeys are from Bar Five, a producer in Arlington, Minn. For Bar Five, business has never been better.
“People have come to want to know where their meat comes from, how it’s grown and what its fed,” said Bar Five’s owner, John Wemeier.
In Minneapolis’ Linden Hills neighborhood almost every store is an independent.
From the toys at Creative Kidstuff to the gift shop Bibelotto to the Wild Rumpus bookstore, businesses say more and more customers want to buy local.
Tom Braun founded Wild Rumpus 19 years ago.
“In spite of all the competition from Amazon and internet sales, actually our sales have been better than they have ever been,” said Braun.
At Bibelot, shoppers say they love the quality and the experience of shopping local.
“We try and support the local merchants here. I would much rather do this than on Black Fridays go to Macy’s or something like that,” said shopper Barbara Lorig.
What a lot of these local stores also stress is a quality shopping experience, with individualized polite and helpful service. For any of us who have ever felt like just another number in the mad holiday shopping rush, that experience is priceless.