Top News

Buying local has a lot going for it


In an area that’s had its share of disappointments on the retail front, Pictou County was eager to welcome a newcomer on Friday. Michaels Arts and Crafts opened its doors for the first time at Highland Square Mall and, judging by the lineup to get in, there’s plenty of enthusiasm.

Some of the people whose comments were sampled by The News at the opening said how happy they were to have a store close to home stocking the materials they need for their hobbies or crafts. It will mean not having to travel a distance to find their supplies.

That’s the name of the game in retail – convenience and customer satisfaction.

Others referred to the wide range of goods the outlet offers, saying people unfamiliar with Michaels might be surprised at what they can find.

It’s no secret that Pictou County – and Nova Scotia in general – is home to a lot of talented artisans and crafters. The number of craft fairs and markets with handmade items attests to that.

Having another well-known presence in Highland Square Mall is also a boon to that retail centre, which has experienced some losses in past years.

This new opening, in fact, comes just a week after Future Shop closed its doors for good at its freestanding location at the mall. When that news broke, just days earlier, it likely came as a shock to a lot of people.

Some then rationalized the closing as a reflection of the stiff competition in the sale of appliances and electronics and entertainment gear. But for more regular customers, it created a big hole in our local retail lineup.

It just goes to show, shopping locally and supporting stores in your own area has more going for it than just loyalty. It’s about local jobs, the local economy and a local commercial presence.

Once you lose your critical mass, you risk watching more bits go piece by piece. If that happens, making that excursion to Halifax or Maine won’t be for the heck of it, it’ll be because there’s no local option.

Recent Stories