‘We’ve really felt the love’: Store owners notice more Calgary shoppers intentionally supporting local

Steeling Home owner Jennifer Leblond says they’ve done a lot of online sales and curbside pick-ups this year. (Submitted by Jennifer Leblond)

There is no doubt that this holiday season has been different than years past, but some shop owners say Calgarians have stepped up when it comes to supporting local.

“Normally we’re mostly selling dresses and holiday clothing, and obviously that’s not selling as well this year,” said Kari Owen, owner of Inglewood’s Adorn Boutique.

But despite that, she said sales in general are up this year.

“We’ve had a lot of people coming into the store actually and saying that they’re trying to do all of their gifts locally. It’s kind of like a fun challenge for them this year,” said Owen. 

Jennifer Leblond, owner of Steeling Home on 17th Ave, said normally in the last week of December the store is filled with shoppers. 

“It hasn’t been as busy as normal,” she said.

Kari Owen, owner of Adorn Boutique, said many shoppers have challenged themselves to shop entirely local this year. (Submitted by Kari Owen)

But she says Calgarians have shopped with them more online and made plenty of curbside pickups.

“We’ve really felt the love, the Calgary love, the shop local love. We’ve really felt it and we’re really grateful,” she said. 

“We’ve been around for a long time 28 years so people do know us, but we found a lot of new people came in who were really intentionally shopping local who probably never did before.”

Owen wants to see this trend continue in the future.

“Because it does make a huge difference for small businesses.”

In a year filled with uncertainty, the owners say it was good to know they could count on the support of Calgarians to see them through.

The City of Calgary launched a buy local campaign last year to get more dollars flowing into local businesses and support the city’s economic recovery.

The city encourages customers to use the #SupportLocalYYC hashtag throughout the holiday season to promote their favourite Calgary businesses and services.

It also put together a #SupportLocalYYC Marketing Toolkit​​​ to be utilized by local businesses, which includes marketing tips, print posters and strategies intended to help get customers in the door.

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