In many smaller markets there tends to be fewer choices on where to buy consumer electronics and so the seemingly convenient thing to do is jump on the computer and order your new gadget online. This works well for some things, but not everything. When you buy local you support your community, you give your friends jobs, and you make sure that there is a place to pick up the latest tech locally and that translates to convenience.
For example we can look to a common name that most people will recognize, Radio Shack. Buying from Radio Shack may not sound like buying local, but about 20% of them are franchises and pay local taxes. They hire local employees and they are there and stocked with gadgets giving you the opportunity for instant gratification.
What happens when you stop shopping at the local Radio Shack? Inventory sits on the shelf and new gadgets aren’t ordered. When new gadgets aren’t sold, profits fall. When profits fall cutbacks are made. When cutbacks are made stores are closed. When stores are closed employees get laid off. When employees are laid off there are not as many people to sell you new gadgets. Don’t feel selfish, but this really all comes down to you, the consumer.
If the closest Radio Shack closes you may still be able to find another fairly quickly, but what happens to the smaller stores when they lose foot traffic? In Salt Lake City a local computer shop EBC Computers which opened its doors in 1990 closed them in 2011, there were three locations, and many times their prices were comparable to online shopping. It seems that local electronics shops are going out of business and they are becoming hard to find, but here are a few that you can support in order to enable your own gadget addiction.
Software and More is a local computer OEM that sells custom solutions to individuals and businesses, and they have an onsite service department available 6 days a week. www.softwaremore.com
PC Laptops is another computer OEM with a local service department that tends to cater toward the gamer demographic but still manages to win over the grandma crowd. All this while proclaiming their love to you. www.pclaptops.com
RC Willey is a well established retailer in Utah that has a respectable electronics department including Computers, TV’s, GPS’s, a large assortment of kitchen gadgets and more. www.rcwilley.com
And for those that think that you can’t buy local if you want a Mac, think again. Simply Mac is a local store that deals exclusively in Apple products. Many times they have items in stock that you can’t find even in the Apple Stores. www.simplymac.com
If that’s not enough take a look at this map. You should be able to find a local electronics store on there. Long story short. Be selfish and buy local. You can create jobs and satisfy your instant gratification.