Thursday, November 13, 2008

One Holiday Thought.........SHOP DOWNTOWN!

downtown st louis santa

A Big topic of discussion this year is holiday retail shopping. Turn on the news. There's talk of the economy and its effects on how much a person will spend on gifts this season. Our thoughts aren't how much, but where our money is spent.

Growing up in suburbia, no one really had to worry where they shopped. Most shops were owned by big business paying minimum wage to its employees. My wife, on the other hand, grew up not far from me but had an entirely different outlook. There were the malls and all the big box retailers, but there were a few strip malls nearby her home with mostly independent businesses. It was important to her to support them because without LOCAL SUPPORT, the storefronts that made up that community would be empty.

Looking at the downtown streetscape, what's different? Particularly around the residential areas, take out the Sprint store and what's left? Small, locally owned and operated independent businesses; many of which are owned by downtown residents!

There was a big increase in store openings in the past year which really helps everyone. Turning around empty or unsightly street level retail does more to change public perception of an area than having 100 occupied lofts sitting above them.

Earlier in the year, we posted about shopping downtown. That was more about the city not being supportive of the downtown retail district.

This is the call to all city and downtown residents and workers. With the economy suffering and retail sales lagging, it's more important than EVER to take care of your own neighborhood by SHOPPING THERE! From my experience as a realtor, downtown residents always get excited by stores and restaurants opening up in and around their building. The thought of these same residents leaving the downtown area to shop would be a disappointment.

Last week, Mrs. G was out with a friend from Springfield MO, enjoying THE LONDON TEA ROOM and Sushi at Wasabi when they did a little window shopping at the new ladies accessory shop D'Elegance, someone pulled them inside and they began holiday shopping. Do your part by adding your "wish list" items from stores downtown and supporting them! Not only will it benefit the owners, the local residents but also will keep tax revenue in the city. SHOP DOWNTOWN!

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