Saturday, May 31, 2008

Buying local pays

As proof, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance provides this data:

"Every $100 you choose to spend at a locally owned, independent business generates more than $50 in additional economic activity in our region. That same $100 spent at a big-box store creates only $14 in benefit for the local economy. Much of the difference is due to the fact that local businesses buy more goods and services from other local businesses, while chains siphon money out of the state."

ASTRA Conference approaching

We've been members of ASTRA (The American Specialty Toy Retailers Association) for years, but I have never made it to one of their conferences before. The location of the conference moves each year, and is often out of reach for us. This year, however, it's going to be up in Connecticut. My sister-in-law lives in Providence, so I'm crashing there for several days to attend. I'm excited to go to a conference that's aimed directly at independently owned toy retailers. As much as I love Toy Fair, you frequently get the idea that you're not exactly the most important person there. (At one booth, the first question asked me was "you know our opening order minimum is $5,000, right?)

So, it should be good - there's featured speakers and presentations aimed for us little guys and a exhibit floor with 250 toy companies presenting their stuff. The conference runs June 22-25 and I will do my best to update the blog with new and interesting stuff.

Roger Goldyn 1943-2008

I'm sad to say that a Mitchell's icon has passed.

If you've shopped at Mitchell's anytime over the past 33 years, you've probably seen, met and talked to Roger Goldyn. Roger started work at Mitchell's in 1974 and managed our Ogletown store from 1974 until we moved it to Community Plaza. He managed the Community Plaza store the entire time it was open until we closed it in the mid-nineties. After that, Roger moved up to our Fairfax store, and he worked there until his death last week.

Personally, I first met Roger when I was eight years old - so I've known him the vast majority of my life. I worked daily with Roger over the past dozen years or so since he moved up here.

If you met Roger, you knew he had a wonderful sense of humor and loved his family. We consider Roger a part of our family and will miss him.