Friday afternoon — Black Friday — I met my brother at the Home Depot in St. Louis Park. My son had spent the night with his cousin and it was time to fetch him. St. Louis Park happens to be equidistant from our homes.
Earlier that morning, my daughter, my other son, and I went Christmas shopping at Creative Kidstuff and the Bibelot — two other smallish, local businesses in St. Paul. Our car was full of packages and freshly washed after our trip to the farm on Thanksgiving.
A clean car, we all know, really makes a bumper sticker shine.
My shiny black “Shop Independent Stores” sticker shone like a beacon in the West End* shopping district.
A not-so-polite fellow walked by my car and bellowed “Well that’s just hilarious, I guess convenience trumps values.”
This was not the place to tell him why I was there, but it did make me think.
As much as I shop independent, I still shop at chain stores.
If I need milk, Sara Lee bread, and mittens; I’ll go to Target vs. Korte’s or Mississippi Market and who-knows-where for the mittens–if I’m short on time or shopping with my 3-year-old. For Levi’s jeans I go to Macy’s. Would it be better if I bought a different brand at Hot Mama, a locally based regional chain?
What do you buy that you can only find at a chain store?
* There are independent shops here, too: Primp and Creative Kidstuff, at the very least.