November 22, 2011

Remember to “Shop Small” this holiday season


This is a friendly MobyLives service announcement: Black Friday is looming and major online retailers have already aggressively begun promotions in order to gobble-up business from traditional brick & mortars. Big top retail stores will promise deep discounts on product and open for business at some ungodly hour to capitalize on the nation’s largest shopping holiday: the Friday after Thanksgiving.

There is a more enlightened (and saner) alternative to risking your life at the door of a Walmart on Black Friday opening or shopping for Product X from an online retailer. You could always shop local.

In its second year the now not-so-small Small Business Saturday initiative has launched a social media blitz to get people to pledge to “Shop Small” on Saturday, November 26th. Participation is simple and information as well as information for small business owners wanting to take part in the initiative can be found on the Small Business Saturday website:

The 2nd annual Small Business Saturday® is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.

On November 26, we’re asking millions of people to shop small at their favorite local stores and help fuel the economy. When we all shop small, it will be huge.

Disclaimer: The Shop Small initiative is sponsored (owned by) American Express, so liking the Facebook page will only land you in their less than subtle marketing influence. The goal is yet important and one worth being conscientious of over the holiday season. Support you local indie booksellers by making at least half of your book purchases from them. Most of them can get a special order in just as quickly as a chain bookstore and all of them will be able to give recommendations unlike anything you’d find online or from seasonal help at a chain.

As the chain stores begin to shrink the space they devote to books, indies become more and more important. So if your buying books on this upcoming Saturday skip the soullessness of Amazon or the hassle of finding parking in front of huge chain store. Really, you’d be doing yourself and the small business a favor.


Paul Oliver is the marketing manager of Melville House. Previously he was co-owner of Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia.