I’m working with the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (YourNeighborhoodToyStore.org.) this holiday season. The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is a non-profit organization that provides leadership and resources to grow the specialty toy industry. They shared with me tips on why you should consider shopping at a local toy stores. Next time you’re in the market for a new toy, consider a trip to the neighborhood toy store. Supporting independent retailers not only fosters a sense of community, it provides real benefits to consumers and the neighborhoods they live in. Here’s a closer look at the top 5 benefits of buying local:
Spending your money at an independent retail store supports the local economy. Local businesses create jobs, fund city services through tax dollars and promote neighborhood development.
2. Community development
Local businesses foster community well-being by building strong neighborhoods, sustaining communities, and contributing more to local causes. Not only do these stores add unique character to the local neighborhood, they increase the quality of life for residents and contribute to the value of homes in the area. In addition, local ownership means local decision making by people who live and work in the community and are therefore personally invested in its success.
3. Reduced environmental impact
Local stores help sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers, which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution. Neighborhood stores require less travel for consumers, which decrease traffic congestion and carbon usage.
4. A diverse product selection
An abundance of small locally owned businesses, each selecting its own product mix, guarantees a much wider range of product choices for everyone in the community. In addition, independent toy stores tend to carry many of the high-quality, boutique and specialty products not typically found at big box stores.
5. Better customer service
Small business owners are committed to keeping customers happy. They tend to tailor their product offerings to meet the needs of the community, host local events and create incentive programs for loyal shoppers.
Adapted in part from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a national nonprofit organization working to rebuild local economies. To learn more, visit www.newrules.org/retail.
ASTRA members include independent toy and children’s product retailers, specialty toy manufacturers and industry affiliates
This is a compensated post as part of the ASTRA Ambassador program.