This season's holiday shopping is breaking records. The National Retail Federation estimates that all U.S. purchases during the final weeks of 2012 will hit $586 billion. This includes the $59 billion weekend stampede of Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), Small Business Saturday (focusing on hometown merchants) and Cyber Monday (for online buying).
Significantly, the federation predicts that Internet sales will climb to 16 percent this year -- or about $93 billion of the $586 billion total.
We offer this holiday thought: When you purchase from local stores, you're boosting your own local economy, providing hometown jobs and prosperity. But if you order through the Internet or catalogs, the benefit mostly goes out of state.
Isn't it better to help your neighbors instead of faraway operations?
In the mid-Kanawha Valley, shopping malls and midtown stores are a dynamo for local commerce. They keep paychecks flowing to tens of thousands of employees -- and those workers spend their income mostly at home, multiplying the local boost.
We think "Shop Local" is a worthy strategy during this booming retail season.