Friday, November 14, 2008

Local Love

You'll have to excuse us for saying so, but the Flyer has always been a bargain. Now we're bringing readers — and retailers — even more of a deal.

The Flyer is asking readers to pledge to spend $100 at locally owned shops this holiday season. In exchange, readers will receive weekly emails with "deals and steals" from area retailers.

"Right now, when the economy is what it is, it makes sense for people to try to spend locally as frequently as they can," says Penelope Huston Baer, Flyer advertising director. "We know it might be convenient to shop online or to shop the 'Big Boxes,' but if you do so, fewer of your dollars stay in the community."

According to Civic Economics, 68 cents of every dollar spent at a locally owned business stays in the community versus 43 cents if that same dollars is spent at a national chain.

If 1,000 people pledge to spend $100 at locally owned stores, the economic impact is $25,000 greater than if they had spent that same $100 at a national chain.

"We're not trying to encourage people to spend money they don't have," Huston Baer says. "Part of what we're telling everyone is to spend responsibly. But if you're going to spend, spend locally. It means so much to the community."

Shopping locally can also encompass area artists markets, consignment shops, and antique stores.

"I was talking with a local retailer and she said that she felt like so many people in Memphis wear the 'I shop in New York' as a badge of honor: 'I got this in Miami,' 'I got this in New York.' She wanted people to be proud so say they got something in Memphis," Huston Baer says.

"We're just trying to help our readers and our retailers find each other."

To make the pledge and get signed up to receive great deals, email "I pledge" to

Here's a list off the top of my head of local retailers (this is by no means all encompassing; it's what we call a start. And, yes, I alphabetized it.):

Baer's Den
Burke's Books
Divine Rags
Ella, Eve, and Isabella
Graham's Lighting Fixtures
James Davis
Lansky Bros. and Lansky 126 (which, btw, is actually having an expansion party and sale TODAY!)
Kittie Kyle
Mango Street Baby
Mode du Jour
Mona Spa
Oak Hall
Runway Boutique


gatesofmemphis said...

can any local retailer participate?

Michael and Jola said...

Wow ... interesting how all the local retailers we should support are the most expensive shops in Memphis. I'd like to see a quick salary study on the average Memphis Flyer reader and if they fall in the demographic that would patronize shops like this? I'm all for anti-Big Box but at some point someone is going to have to realize that not all shoppers who don't want to drop a C-note at Wal-Mart want to drop 4 C-notes at a local boutique. Memphis is just not there yet ... when you get legitimate affordable independent retailers ... you've got something. As much as East Memphis housewives squint their Botox-eyes and wish ... Memphis isn't going to be Atlanta or Los Angeles anytime soon (thankfully!). Ignoring the truly independent MIDDLE-CLASS shopper what you get is a collection of avante-garde Yuppie salons catering to the newly rich recently consumer-conscious sorority girls from Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. Somehow, I don't think $400.00 high heels carry the message the Flyer originally intended. When did the Flyer get taken over by the creators of Sex in the City? Their about 3000 miles to the right of their target audience...

Michael and Jola said...

dang ... i hate to have grammar issues with a nice rant ... "they're" ... not "their". what a buzzkill!

marycash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marycash said...

Gates: Yup, I'm pretty sure any local retailer can participate.

M&J: I think some, tho certainly not all, of the difference in price point is simple economies of scale.