Friday, November 21, 2008

Shop Local Montclair

I'm often bragging to my friends and family about how wonderful my neighborhood is (which in case you did not already know, is Montclair, NJ) and attempting to convince them all to move here. Within walking distance from my front steps are great restaurants, grocery stores, fitness facilities, the library, an art museum, and a bunch of great independent retailers. Stores include home decor shops like semplice and Color Story Home (both of which I love), my favorite children's clothing store Minnow and hands down my favorite adult clothing store Cisco Station (which always has a great collection of Orla Kiely bags, dangerous), as well as many antique and vintage shops, knitting shops, shoe stores, wine shops, paperies, the list goes on and on.

It's sad to say that my lovely and diverse neighborhood could be in danger because of the horribly scary economic climate in which we are living. Independent retailers get hit harder and faster than the big box and chain stores and those big boys are even getting hit hard. Stores like Linens 'n Things and Circut City are going out of business and everyday I am bombarded with emails offering me at least 20% off from this retailer or that. What can you do to halt the process of more and more empty store fronts popping up around town? Encourage people to support their local retailers and shop locally this holiday season. Kelly DelRosso (co-owner of semplice) has come up with a creative way to do just that.

With the cooperation of neighboring shops she has founded ShopLocalMontclair. Kelly explains that "After almost 11 years of business, we have never had a Pre-Holiday Sale. But, after a walk through the mall and the daily barrage of emails from chain stores, it seemed evident that our customers will expect local sales as well." She, as well as neighboring shops, recognized that there is strength in numbers and that it would be more beneficial to put competition aside and work together. This is what led to the creation of ShopLocalMontclair, a place where almost 30 shops are advertising pre-holiday sales that will change on a weekly basis. Along with stores there are local restaurants that are offering discounts or a free gift if you show them a receipt from one of the participating shops.

If you live in the area take some time to look around the site, I'm sure you will find some sweet deals and the added benefit of being able to cross some loved ones off of your holiday shopping list without having to set foot in a mall. If you live in northern New Jersey you know the malls around here are god awful this time of year. And for those of you who may be reading this and don't live in the area think about your own local retailers and how they could use your support during these difficult times.

As soon as I found out about this campaign I knew my weekend plans were set. I can't wait to spend the afternoon strolling around my lovely neighborhood with a few girlfriends, getting a jump start on my holiday shopping, and having a yummy lunch (or perhaps brunch) at Raymond's. Especially since, as the website says "shopping one of the energy efficient, heart-warming, self-sustaining contributions you can make to your community."

Here are some links articles about the Shop Local Montclair campaign:
Baristanet - November 19, 2008
Montclair Times - November 20, 2008
Montclair Kids - November 20, 2008
ShopLocalMontclair - Press Release
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  1. I just found your blog by clicking on your name after you left a comment on This Young House. I live in South Orange and hadn't heard ANYTHING about Shop Local Montclair!!! I plan to do some shopping this wknd, and I'm thinking the creaters should put up fliers at the South Orange train station so more people (like me!) will know about this!!!!


  2. Glad you popped over to check out my blog. I passed your suggestion on to Kelly, who runs shoplocalmontclair. Hopefully she will take your suggestion into consideration. She did mention that ads will be running in several newspapers this week and new specials should be up on the site soon.