Ecommerce store shoppers

Save yourself the hassle, buy local this season

Persistent supply chain issues and global shipping delays continue to cripple many national retailers and e-commerce sites as the Christmas shopping season approaches. Take advantage of the reality of less enticing doorbuster deals due to record inflation and you’ve got a recipe for a gift-buying headache.

Fortunately, the independent brick and mortar businesses that are at the heart of the Valley’s economy are well positioned to rise to the challenge and assuage your wishlist worries.

Trade experts predict a substantial increase in spending this season due to a combination of rising wages and savings. Holiday sales could increase as much as 10.5% this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The unemployment rate in the United States is at a level not seen in half a century, the paychecks are bigger, and people are willing to spend. This is great news, given everything that businesses large and small have been through over the past two years.

Still, experts suggest that a pesky shortage of shipping containers and delivery drivers could thwart some of Yuletide’s enthusiasm, especially for online shoppers. According to Adobe Analytics, which tracks online retail sales, the number of “out of stock” notices on e-commerce sites increased 325% in October, compared to the same month in 2019. This trend may continue. to chase.

And even though the item is in stock, buyers can expect delivery sticker shock due to fuel costs, as well as shipping times that are sooner than ever. (Seriously, get your packages in the mail this week.)

Luckily, there’s an easy way to avoid late-arriving gifts and out-of-stock notifications – head to one of the many small local businesses in the valley and see what’s really on the table. shelf. These business owners have worked hard to overcome supply chain setbacks and hiring challenges, and you are sure to be greeted with a friendly face and top notch customer service. Meanwhile, your shopping cart will be filled in an instant – with no additional shipping costs or annoying shipping delays.

While Small Business Saturday Weekend has traditionally kicked off small shops, many local businesses have adapted alongside larger retailers to expand offerings throughout the season, making it more convenient than never the local.

This year, the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce is extending Small Business Saturdays into “Small Business Season” to reflect changing trends. Promotions for local Kalispell businesses will run from now until Christmas Day. Likewise, the Whitefish Chamber is expanding its holiday shopping promotions through the Christmas promenade on December 10th.

And don’t overlook the many local artisan bazaars and exhibitions planned over the next few weeks, where you’re sure to find a variety of unique creations made in Montana. (The Flathead Artists and Craftsmen Show at the Fairgrounds ends today.)

This is the season to think local, shop small, and support our small businesses and all they do for the good of the valley.

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