Program encourages shopping local stores

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by QUITA CULPEPPER and photojournalist Robert McMurrey / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on November 23, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 23 at 7:41 PM

AUSTIN -- Shoppers started lining up early Friday outside popular stores like the new H&M at the Domain.

The National Retail Federation estimates shoppers will spend more than $586 billion before the end of December.

Nearly 70 billion of that will happen online.

So where does that leave Austin’s mom and pop shops?

Now there’s a program designed to get more people to buy local.

Hundreds take a stroll on South Congress over the Thanksgiving weekend, enjoying the sights and sounds SoCo has to offer.

Hugo Reta, co-owner of The Gifted, is enjoying the sights and sounds of shoppers.

His boutique, which features locally-made jewelry, furniture and artwork, is counting on big sales to stay afloat. He hopes people will stop by his store and bypass the national chains.

“We have very talented people in Austin,” Reta said.  “We need to be more conscious and support our local businesses and manufacturers as well.”  

Doreen Sims created theAustin Shop Crawl, which you can use to get steep discounts at locally-owned stores all over town this holiday season.

“Austin is growing, but our local stores need to thrive, too, and our local businesses,” Sims said.  “When you shop local you get amazing gifts, unique gifts, but you also help the Austin economy.”

Sims says for every $100 spent in Austin, $45 stays local. The Austin Shop Crawl lasts for the next five weeks.

“It's not just one day; it's not just one weekend,” Sims said.  

 At the Triangle in Central Austin, 17-year-old Lauren Clendennen is browsing through the clothing racks at a boutique called So La. She’s taking the "shop local" message to heart.

“I like the clothing here a lot; it has a very Austin style,” Clendennen said. “I think it will help build up the businesses and keep everything going and locally run. I like the local stores versus the big brand names.”

Click here for more information. 

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