Shopping locally is the only way to make sure money stays in the local economy – and that is vital if we want to build and maintain strong communities.
That’s the message from New Zealand’s main retail trade association, Retail NZ, which is running a #ShopLocal social media and communication campaign to promote the benefits of buying from local stores and websites.
Retail NZ’s general manager of public affairs, Greg Harford, says if people shop locally, they make a genuine difference to their community.
“Local businesses are at the centre of our communities. There are around 27,000 retail businesses, which collectively employ around 209,000 Kiwis,” he says. “Having local retail and hospitality businesses make our town centres vibrant. Nobody wants to see zombie towns of empty shops – and buying local is the best way to avoid this.”
He says there are real benefits for consumers, too.
“When we buy from a New Zealand business, whether it’s from a physical shop or an NZ online store, consumers are protected by NZ consumer law, and they have legal rights in the event that something goes wrong with the purchase.
“It’s generally quicker to get goods from New Zealand than waiting for them to arrive from overseas, and of course if you’re shopping in store then you can inspect the goods you’re buying before the purchase.”
Retail NZ maintains that a vibrant, healthy retail sector brings in tourists, fills empty shop fronts and increases the tax base, giving government and councils more money to spend on services and infrastructure.