Fed Up With The Mall

27 Nov

ditchthemallAlright readers, I am embarrassed to tell you I recently drove an hour to go shopping at the mall when I should have just stayed home and shopped at the small businesses here. Even though I talk about shopping small on the blog and all the time in my day job at the chamber of commerce, a few big stores still drew me in with the freebie money they sent me for my birthday month. Now, I have a really difficult time letting free money go to waste, but my trip was not worth it. The whole mall experience actually made me a little angry.

I have gotten used to the friendly ‘hello’ when I walk into a small business, and I missed that in the big stores. It was a boring and unproductive shopping trip. I have been on a mission to find some tall boots that fit my short legs (which I have since deemed impossible), so I stopped at DSW figuring I could find something in their huge store. I was wrong.  I was in that store for 30 minutes trying on shoes of all types, and only one of the ten sales staff ever even said hello to me. It was awful! So I left empty-handed (and no one even gave me a ‘thanks for shopping’ or ‘have a good day’ on the way out).

We have an awesome shoe store in Grinnell, Brown’s Shoe Fit, so I headed there last weekend (I know, I know, I should have just saved myself the drive and bought something there in the first place). Their staff greeted me by name and gave me the one-on-one attention and help I didn’t find at the larger stores. (I did officially give up on finding a pair of rider boots, but I walked out with a cute pair of short booties which are the new trend right now anyway.) This experience reminded me of how valuable the shop small experience is.

Small businesses are counting on you right now, and many of them plan to do the majority of their sales for the entire year in these weeks leading up to the holidays. Many business owners have risked everything, including their house, to keep their doors open to you.

I know some of you reading this are probably scoping out Black Friday deals right now, but would you make sure to find out what deals the small guys are offering this weekend? You might be surprised. They may not have glossy ads in every paper or a flashy commercial running on TV, but they still have lots of fabulous gifts just waiting for you. Let’s ditch the mall and shop small! span>

Will you join me in celebrating Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday this weekend? What are you shopping for? Let me know what awesome gifts you find-I still have a ton of shopping to do and could use some ideas! Please consider taking my 100% local gift challenge.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for all of my readers here on the blog. Your readership and comments mean so much to me. I am blessed to be able to spend my weekend with family, and I hope you are able to enjoy the weekend as well.

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