With the new year now underway, many of us will be trying to save a few pennies after the Christmas splurge. But how did you do your Christmas shopping?
The Guardian recently reported a continued upward trend in consumers choosing to Christmas shop online rather that in-store in 2019 compared to 2018 – with many retailers offering huge last minute discounts in an attempt to increase footfall. And this is resulting in an increasingly common sight in town highstreets up and down the country: empty shop windows and ‘CLOSING DOWN SALE’ signs.
While online shopping boasts a range of benefits – sometimes being cheaper and often being easier than driving, parking and battling crowds – does it come at too high a price?
It affects us all
There is an interconnectedness within local communities. When we shop local rather than with large online retailers, we keep money within the local community. We help to support the family-run businesses that are the lifeblood of our local and rural high streets and who need local support to keep them in business. Spending local can also have unseen flow on benefits: money earnt by local, independent shops may flow out into the wider community as salaries, payments to local suppliers, spent in other local shops, cafes and recreational places.
An under-supported high street means less employment and local facility making a less desirable place to live (which can then impact on our house prices!). So we’ll all have a vested interest in fixing this, in supporting the local businesses, keeping their livelihoods afloat in order build healthy and sustainable local economies within our towns.
It affects the environment too
You might save yourself a bob or two by shopping with larger online giants but have you thought about the environmental impact this may have? Local retailers often have a significantly lower carbon footprint than those of online retailers due to the fact they aren’t delivering your items across the country – or the globe!
What you can do
- Shop local: Ditch the device and pay a visit to your local high street, support those independent businesses that are owned and run by your neighbours and make your local community unique.
- Invest local: Investing your money locally could not only earn an inflation-beating rate of interest , but you’ll also be helping local and rural businesses, who may not have been able to access funds otherwise, grow, develop or diversify.
Next time you’re planning what to buy your family for Christmas, why not start with your local high street and see what’s on offer. You might not find everything you’re after but you may well be pleasantly surprised at what you do find in that family-run, fourth generation-owned toy shop.
To find out more about investing local and becoming a FOLK2FOLK Lender, call us on 0333 455 1902 or visit www.folk2folk.com/investing. Capital at risk. No FSCS.