Local businesses are urging Utahns to shop less this holiday season | Jobs Reply

SALT LAKE CITY – As we enter the last weekend before Christmas and the start of Hanukah, it’s expected to be a big shopping weekend – and many local store owners are hoping people will “shop a little.”

“Business has been good. We’re very happy with what’s going on,” said Bill Sartain, owner of Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City’s Foothill Village. “We are a close shop and know most of our customers by name, including their children’s names.”

He says it’s that personal service that has kept his customers coming through his doors for the past 34 years, rather than shopping at a big box store or department store.

Yvonne Willden, owner of Quilt S’More in Gunnison where she has run her quilting and tailoring shop for nearly two decades, agrees that it’s that personal service, knowledge and comfort that her customers experience.

But he says he understands that everyone is going through tough economic times.

“It’s really slow. I mean, you know, I’m just thinking about the economy and gas prices and interest rates, it’s out of control,” he said.

Willden says that’s all the more reason to shop local and support local businesses in your town.

“I’m a big believer in local stores,” she said. “I mean, even if you pay a few dollars more, you know, what if everybody’s shopping on Amazon and it’s offline, you’re going to be sad when all the stores on your Main Street are empty.”

He says you may save a little on the price of an item by buying from the big brands, but in the end, you’ll be paying a much higher price.

“Down here in our little places, it’s a really big deal,” Willden said.

According to a new NerdWallet survey conducted online by Harris Poll, 37 percent of 3,000 adults surveyed said they shop less for personal information. 30 percent said they were willing to spend more money to buy less, and 30 percent said they were willing to wait longer to buy less.

“We hear that and we always tell people, please check our price,” Sartain said, “And see if that’s really true. I think that’s the illusion associated with small businesses, that because we’re small, we sell, and because we’re a store, we charge more. But if you look our prices, you will find that we are very competitive on price.”

Sartain says come that special day, you’ll be glad, too, that you shopped at a place where they go the extra mile to know what will work for you and your family.

“With a little personal attention, we hope to reduce that buyer’s remorse sometimes when kids play more with the box than they do with the toy.”

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