It’s that time of year again, when the magic of the holiday season is reduced to a frenzy of Black Friday blowouts, Small Business Saturday sales and Cyber Monday madness.
Our suggestion on how to maneuver through the holiday shopping madness? Take a deep breath, go for a run and then visit your locally owned and operated running store. Seriously, take a pause on online shopping and realize the enormous benefits of supporting your local running shops.
Here are five reasons to start your holiday shopping at the nearest locally owned specialty running store this week.
1. You can find a gift to change someone’s life.
Whether you buy someone on your a list a pair of running shoes, a new running jacket, a foam roller or even a gift certificate, you’ll be inspiring them to run, improve their fitness, take care of their body and generally be inspired for all that 2018 holds in store.
2. You’re supporting a local business.
Locally owned running stores are part of your community—both the running community and the local business community. Local running stores give back to those communities and the regional economy by supporting kids programs, school programs, local races, local charities and numerous local health and fitness initiatives. And, according to the Small Business Administration, if you spend $100 at a locally owned business, $68 goes back into the local economy. If you spend $100 at a national chain, only $43 returns to the local economy. If you spend $100 at an online retailer, none of it goes back to the local economy. Ignore the tease of free shipping from an online retailer in exchange for the expert shoe-fitting, great customer service, local inspiration and deep community involvement of your local store.
3. Running is the gift that keeps on giving.
Giving the gift of running from your local running store goes a long way. By encouraging someone to run (either to start running, to join a training group and to train for a specific race in 2018) you’re really giving them a gift that can be everlasting. The excitement and satisfaction from getting fit, achieving goals and looking forward to the coming year is downright inspiring and can last a lifetime.
4. You will inspire yourself.
You know how when you go holiday shopping you always see a few things you’d like to put on your own wish list? Or maybe, just maybe, you go holiday shopping and find a few things for yourself? That will definitely happen when you walk into a running store. Not only will you see new gear and accessories that will inspire you in the same way you’re hoping to inspire those you are shopping for, but just the aura of being in a running shop will make you think about your own fitness goals and the races you want to run in 2018.
5. You can give back to your local running store.
Whether you know it or not, it’s tough to be in a local retail business right now. Shopping at your local running store will go a long way in helping sustain the business as a valuable resource to your community. But you can and should also offer to help with various programs the store does for the community, get involved with store events (or suggest new ones), attend local running groups (and bring your friends) and generally spread the word about the benefits of having a locally owned and operated running shop. Don’t be afraid to tell the shop owners or managers what you want or need from the store. It’s the interaction with the local running community that can make a good store great.