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10 Reasons To Ditch The Mall

10 Reasons To Ditch The Mall

When my kids were young, after school they walked from their middle school to my husband’s office in the village. They strolled past a small grocery store, past the coffee shop and past the drug store–all locally-owned businesses.

One day, I stopped at the drug store before picking up the kids at the office. The pharmacist proceeded to tell me that my kids had stopped in for an after school snack. He mentioned that he ordered my favorite type of natural toothpaste, and added that my best friend had just been in to pick up birthday cards. The pharmacist took a sincere interest in all the village happenings. In fact, it wasn’t just him, most of the merchants in the village created relationships with the neighborhood.

I conveyed this story to one of my teaching colleagues the next day and she sadly shook her head, lamenting that her only pharmacy choice was a CVS in the mall. Her small town had been stripped of its downtown and replaced by a big mall.

This story may seem cliché, but local shops offer services and products that cannot be found at the mall. Consider these 10 reasons to ditch the mall:

10 Reasons To Ditch The Mall And Shop Local

1. Reduce Environmental Footprint

Vibrant, compact villages and towns are prime for bike-friendly communities. People drive less, and reduce urban sprawl that adds to animal habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

2. Strengthen Your Community

Local businesses build strong neighborhoods. People are more likely to connect and make contributions.

3. Support Local Decisions

Support local business decisions, as those choices impact the community.

4. Strengthen Local Economy

Shopping locally helps create jobs, and invests in neighborhood improvements that promote community development.

5. Create Jobs and Preserve Living Wages

At the local level, jobs are created. In some instances, small businesses provide better wages and benefits than big-box chain stores.

6. Preserve Local Culture

Local art and history are preserved and kept alive. Big-box chain stores tend to be devoid of cultural value.

7. Entrepreneurship

Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit contributes to the economic foundation of communities and allows those with low-wage jobs to advance.

8. Foster Creative Product Diversity

Small stores can bring more innovative handcrafted items. Big mall stores limit the incentive for creative product ideas.

9. Small Businesses Create Inventory for Local Shoppers

Local shops can offer services and products based upon the interests and needs of their customers. Large chain stores depend on national sales plans. This provides a more generic product.

10. Preserve Local Character

Help create and celebrate a community culture by purchasing local goods.

Do you shop local?

For more, check out Smart Growth America.

Read more: Bath & Shower, Children, Christmas, Community, Community Service, Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Eco-friendly tips, EcoNesting, Green Gifts, Hanukkah, Holidays, Holidays & Gifts, Life, Make a Difference, , , , , , , , , , ,

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.

76 comments

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8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Living in a small town there are a couple of rather small malls around, one has a local grocery store, some chain stores, some local stores, the other mall is so small it just has a food store, a dollar store, a hair cut place, a drug store and a few other things that I forget.

Like small shops and generally go there or to other small towns as well but not their malls.

5:04AM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

Thanks for sharing

10:49PM PST on Jan 4, 2012

the mall is mostly for vanity. drugstores and small shops are most for necessary items.

3:11AM PST on Dec 15, 2011

I'm trying to go as much local as possible...

11:28AM PST on Dec 5, 2011

Oh and K-mart and Bank of America too! LOL

11:25AM PST on Dec 5, 2011

Gotto love this article on the same page as huge advertisments and sponsors from Target and Macy's-REALLY????

11:23AM PST on Dec 4, 2011

Local shopping villages/areas always have a nicer atmosphere too.

11:06AM PST on Dec 3, 2011

Show your support for OWS. Do not purchase Christmas gifts this year. Make them instead. This will hurt the 1%.

9:43AM PST on Dec 3, 2011

I like trying to support local small businesses before seeking out large multinational corporations.

2:00PM PST on Dec 2, 2011

thank you!
i have a part time job at a local shop, i love knowing everyone incolved in the business, from the owners to the sales people.
and you deffinitely can't get the things we sell at the mall!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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