Loving the Locals – You and Your Shops

5 Jun
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Adele from Whare

Many readers of this blog will have already identified that I am passionate about buying local. I strongly dislike going to malls to suffer through the Generic Shopping Experience. I think it’s crazy to not know what the weather is like because you can’t see out a window. Also, the music is exceptionally bad.

I was delighted this week to see that local homeware store ‘Whare‘ was re-opening just down the road from my house. It’s a significant moment because like so many businesses in Christchurch, Whare was forced out of both of their premises following the earthquake in February 2011. Adele and Andrew had worked hard to grow their business. Within minutes, their livelihood was at serious risk. With retail space virtually impossible to find post-quake, a little bit of Whare was installed in Adele and Andrew’s suburban garage, where they traded for two years. I loved that every time I visited, there were always other customers shopping. People choosing to buy locally.

As quaint as the garage-Whare was, it’s great that Whare has stretched its’ legs out in a more conventional retail space. Today there were people browsing and buying. None of their money was going to an overseas-owned Mall Monster. Quite a bit of the money was going to New Zealand artists and craftspeople. Once the overheads are paid, I hope Adele and Andrew go out for a lovely slap-up fancy dinner (to a local restaurant of course). It’s been a rough couple of years and they deserve it.

Lots of places around the world no longer have local shops. This is quite sad. Sometimes Malls seem to be the only answer. You can, of course, be super-sneaky, and find a small business online in your area, and support them. Then you get the bonus of a package arriving in the mail.

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