November 22, 2022 Message to the Membership

Posted on November 22, 2022 in

November 22, 2022 Message to the Membership

For many of us, this upcoming weekend is just another weekend. Albeit the last weekend in November, it’s yet another reminder that almost another full year has gone by and we’re fortunate enough to be another year older. 

For some, however, this weekend is the ultimate weekend to shop. The tradition of Black Friday, which is an American one by the way, has somehow snuck its way across the border into our annual holiday traditions. 

Black Friday, though it has fairly dark roots dating all the way back to a stock market crash on Friday, September 24, 1869, with other dark connotations between then and now, has somehow over the course of time turned into a positive story – particularly for retailers and their customers, who are patient enough to withstand the hordes of people and competitive spirit that sometimes prevails. 

Me for one, will not be among those horrors – I mean hordes – of people. I would much rather do just about anything than to be subjected to that barrage of people, particularly doing that sort of thing. It’s bad enough to go shopping when the stores are near empty, but I digress, that’s just my personal opinion. 

I raise this because – for those thousands upon thousands of you who actually enjoy this – I encourage you to Shop Local. I capitalize this term because it’s worth capitalizing as it needs the emphasis. It’s also the name of a longstanding campaign that was started decades ago by our friends at Rawlco Radio, whose slogan is to Shop at a Store With a Door. Again capitalized, well, you get the idea… 

These past nearly three years have not been easy on our retailers, who are usually the primary sector benefiting from the Christmas shopping season. So it’s more important than ever before for you to support your local retailer. 

These are the folks that employ your kids – oftentimes giving them their first job. Or they could be employing those of your friends, or of your neighbours. Or they might be providing a career for an up-and-coming professional, or for a retiree that’s looking for part-time work. They are the ones that will take the time to train newcomers. They are the epitome of the phrase, the Mom and Pop Shops. 

Aside from that, they are also the ones that will be asked upon to support the local soccer team, or youth group, or be asked for donations to whatever charity of the day. And they are also the ones who will, assuming they actually have the capital, ability, or inventory to do so. 

Interestingly, one of the reasons the phrase Black Friday came to be is because it’s said that retailers were in the red for the first 10-plus months of the year, but were finally able to turn their books around – into the black – on the Friday following American Thanksgiving. 

Think about that for a moment. You work all year trying to keep your losses at a minimum in the hopes that your year could turn around in the final six weeks of the year. Yikes. I don’t think many of us would have the stomach for that.  

Oh wait, aside from farmers, I don’t think that many of us would have the stomach (or nerves) for that. 

But back to Black Friday. It’s gotten even more contemporary, by incorporating Small Business Saturday (and Sunday) along with Cyber Monday. Again, I encourage you to apply each of these marketing schticks to your local vendors. 

Particularly the cyber part. It’s more often than not that a local shop will have some form of online presence, and within that presence is usually the opportunity to purchase something. So check out what the local shop has online before going anywhere else. 

It’s a frightening thought to think of a city without an ample supply of retailers. But that’s precisely what could happen, should online shopping continue its upward trajectory.  

It’s estimated that $5.5 trillion will be spent worldwide on online shopping this year. If that trend keeps on, soon we will be nothing more than online stores with giant warehouses scattered across the country.  

And with driverless vehicles on the horizon, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out where this could lead, and how it would impact our economy. 

Shop Local. At a Store With a Door. Your neighbours will thank you, and so (hopefully) will your kids, or your grandkids. 

Keith Moen 

Executive Director 

Sign up for NSBA News
Subscribe to our email list for our weekly newsletter, upcoming events, and all the latest.

Sign Up Now