Buying Local pays

November 21st 2016
By: Melanie
Buying Local pays

St Albans and Harpenden have a whole host of great independent shops to buy your Christmas presents and festive foods from.  The internet has its place and can make it easier to compare the price of shopping but it is not nearly as much fun as a great High Street with markets and independent shops that add such character to a town or city.
If you value that character it is important to support your local shops. "Christmas sales can account for between a third and nearly two-thirds of a retailer's annual turnover,” says Clare Rayner of Retail Champion.  Not only will your spending boost the local economy, high streets populated with thriving independent businesses boost the price of homes nearby say American Express who have found that house prices near prosperous town centres have risen by an average of £40,000 more over the past decade than other properties.
Local shops also support local artists and designers, food producers and growers, so you're often buying products absolutely unique to your area. When it comes to gifts, quirky one-off items are what independent shops do best. Give your niece or nephew a handmade toy and you can be sure they won’t already have it. Buy a dress by a fledgling local designer and there is little chance of arriving at the office Christmas party wearing the same as someone else.  Artisan markets also help foster the talents of the next generation of British designers and retailers. "There is a constant turnover of new products, and sellers listen to customers' demands- you can suggest things too, so you can even have a bit of influence over the products on sale." Says Mike Cooksedge, founder of SeeMyLocalMarket. Enjoy shopping local in St Albans this Christmas.