Town Square

Shopping "Local"

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Nov 25, 2011

I had occasion earlier this month to attend meetings of locally- owned business, where the conversation was largely around how to boost their sales this holiday season, with a lace what it takes to encourage local patrons to patronize local merchants.

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Posted by Shop Mountain View
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm

There is little to nothing that local stores have that I am interested in. I am shopping in Mountain View--at Kohls Traget and BEst Buy. They have what I want. Overpirced boutiques do not fit the bill--Palo Alto did not want large stores in their borders, now they will pay th price. For better prices, better choices and easier parking shop Mountain View.
Plus if you shop outside PA there will not be a traffic problem in the city--after all there is always too much traffic.

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Posted by shopper
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

The problem with buying local is that different stores are to spread out. Downtown Palo Alto has too many boutiques and not enough stores selling anything else. With the sluggish traffic around town and high gas prices, shoppers don't want to make more than a couple of stops to do all their shopping.

There used to be multiple bookstores downtown, record stores, non-designer clothing stores, etc. Were they all driven out by lack of demand? Or greedy landlords charging too high rents?

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

One simple thing folks could do to help local business, and the economy and society in general:

Don't patronize merchants that employ illegal immigrants.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Your idea is one of those feel good ideas that sounds good until reality sets in.

A trip to Target or Walmart enables most shoppers to get almost all the things they need to buy in one shopping trip. From gifts, gift wrap, decorations, cards, etc. to the household supplies for hosting a large family gathering, an hour walking up and down the aisles is all that is needed plus another trip to do the same at a decent sized grocery store and it is all done.

A frivolous day of drinking coffee, idly walking around stores where we end up with impulse buys that no one really wants followed by eating lunch and people watching while soaking up the holiday atmosphere, is all that downtown provides for most of us.

Costco, big box stores, Stanford Mall brand name stores and online shopping, are what most of us will be doing.