Seven Reasons to shop locally this Christmas

Christmas sales can account for between a third and nearly two-thirds of some retailers’ annual turnover, so it’s not surprising that national retailers are running huge advertising campaigns to attract shoppers.

The rise in online and out of town shopping means that people often don’t realise that there’s already a huge variety of goods and services available on their local high street. To address this, Bangor has recently created a Business Improvement District, which is bringing businesses together to create a more vibrant and enticing shopping area along the High Street.

Haydn Davies from Bangor Business Forum said: “There’s now a great opportunity for people to buy quality products locally this Christmas whilst at the same time supporting local businesses which employ local people.”

“You’ll often get a better deal locally than you will online or from large-city stores, and it’s much easier to deal with a local shop if you need any after-sales service or advice,” added Mr Davies.

To support this new initiative, the Bangor Business Forum, together with academics at Bangor University, have identified seven reasons why shopping locally can do us all good this Christmas:

1. It’s sustainable

Buying produce like turkey and carrots that have been flown halfway round the world or wrapped in layers of plastic is clearly not good for the environment. When you shop at your local butchers, grocers, farmers’ market or baker, it’s likely that the produce has been made or grown locally. So in addition to knowing where the food has come from and the reassurance that it’s of good quality, you’ll be supporting local farmers and shopkeepers.

2. Your spending will boost the local economy

Compared to larger businesses, small and medium sized shops spend a much larger share of their income in the local economy, which provides a boost to the whole community.

3. You can buy something unique

Local independent shops often stock items which are made locally and aren't available elsewhere. So there’s less chance of your loved ones receiving two of the same thing at Christmas!

4. You’ll often get a better deal and better advice

The ‘personal touch’ is often missing in the large-city stores where you’re just another customer. Local shops will often work harder to please their customers as you’re important to them, and they’ll want you to return in the future. By shopping locally you’ll also meet friends and acquaintances over the Christmas period.

5. It sustains a real community

A busy and vibrant town centre helps to support the community in which we live, so we should show our support at Christmas time as well as during the rest of the year.

6. Save petrol

As we all know, petrol and diesel is expensive. So save on the cost (not to mention the time) of driving along the A55, and use the money you’d spend on fuel to buy your loved ones (or even yourself!) an extra special gift this Christmas.

7. Local cafes and restaurants

Local cafes and restaurants offer a huge variety of choices and often use local produce as well. Why travel for two hours in each direction when you can visit local cafes and restaurants which are often tastier and cheaper than those found in the large cities? You could arrange to meet friends or family for lunch or a drink before heading off to the shops again!

Sustainability expert Dr Einir Young from Bangor University said: “Buying locally has so many benefits, from knowing the origin of your food to supporting a busy and vibrant town centre which helps to support the community in which we live. Importantly, you’ll also get some great bargains of course!”

 

Publication date: 9 December 2015