Stumbling to the coffeepot this Saturday still groggy and struggling with not tripping over my own toes, the concept of shopping hadn’t yet bounced through the brain.
Two cups and six yawns later, it was time to consider productivity after a morning’s constitutional.
Next came the weekend musts of laundry, lawn piddling and a leisurely chat with the neighbors.
Alright, ready, set ... wait a minute ... I live in El Campo. I have no idea which stores, aside from the big box ones, are still open.
Somebody ought to do something about that.
Luckily, I work for a newspaper – a fact quickly translating as not afraid to offer an opinion on anything from the proper design for gnomes to the national policy on troop deployment and every local concern in between.
Therefore, if we are going to “Shop LOCAL!,” we need some place to do it, especially on weekends and after the traditional work day ends – and we need to know when.
Ideally, being a newspaper publisher, I’d call for these retail stores to advertise, i.e., buy local themselves. It sure is nice to thumb through a paper and have all the information right where you can see it, tear out what you want, etc., etc. Isn’t it?
One way or another, however, I think it’s time for our merchants, the chamber and any retailer organization unite for two purposes: create one weekday for the month and one Saturday with extended hours.
Twilight Tuesdays on the first Tuesday of the month or Moonlight Mondays? Or how about Wild Wednesdays? Or maybe Second Saturday Savings?
With the success of the Chamber’s Hometown Holiday Shop Hop and the support for Small Business Saturday, store owners should know the dollars to make it a lucrative endeavor are there.
However, shopping habits take time. One trial won’t be enough to bring the steady weekend business back. It will take time and the building of trust.
How many times have you trounced down to Mom & Pop, Inc. somewhere in El Campo only to discover: it has no Saturday hours, they only last a couple of hours or the hours have arbitrarily changed?
It sure would be nice to Shop LOCAL! when working folk can during the week and when us Saturday slow starters want to, wouldn’t it?
Something to ponder.
What do you think?
– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.