It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and it seems that everyone who isn’t talking about Thursday’s feast or the feast that the entire football season has been for Kansas State fans is talking about shopping.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are in the air, and while we hope shopping isn’t the only thing that defines the Christmas season — what have generically come to be known as “the holidays” — neither will we pretend that shopping isn’t an important part of it.
One needn’t be a genius to recognize that Manhattan has grown impressively in recent years. We added people and we’ve added restaurants. Importantly, we’ve also added stores — retailers large and small — and this season is every bit as important to them as it is to consumers. For that reason, we hope that before you head to Topeka or Kansas City for a post-Black Friday shopping spree, you check out the local merchants. We’re confident that you’ll find just about everything you’re looking for in the local shopping areas — downtown, Aggieville or shops on the east or west sides of town.
You might spend a little more than you would in another city — and you might not. And you’ll save both the time and the money you would have spent getting somewhere else.
What’s more, because local merchants want your business, they’ll likely do whatever it takes to make sure you leave their establishments satisfied. If they can’t always offer the lowest prices, they’ll strive to make up for it with top-notch attention and service. Such relationships can make a positive difference over the years.
Though Manhattan has grown, it still isn’t so big that proprietors and consumers are strangers. You’ll see shopkeepers in the grocery store aisles or at the library; your softball team might play their softball team and your children might attend school with their children.
If you need another reason to give local shopkeepers a try, consider that helping to keep them in business helps keep a few of your fellow citizens employed. And the sales taxes you’ll pay — they’ll be about the same whether you shop here, in Topeka or in Kansas City — will strengthen this community rather than a distant community.
In the process, we’re confident you’ll find everything on your list, as well as a few things you hadn’t thought of.