This past weekend while shopping for ballet supplies with Mrs. Ad Majorem, we visited Allegro Dance Boutique in Evanston, Illinois. At the checkout counter they had buttons with the advice to "Shop Small Stores". There was also information about the 3/50 Project, which I knew nothing about.
The 3/50 Project is an alliance consisting of small, local retailers encouraging shoppers to patronize at least three independent stores to the tune of at least $50 a month. The website starts with the question "What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?"
It's a timely message in a down economy. They leverage this sentiment further by claiming that every $100 spent locally returns $68 to "the community" via taxes, payroll and other expenditures.
Retail meets SoMe...again
This alliance is more like a movement, and provides yet another example of how Retail and Social Media intersect. By "social media" we really mean "word of mouth", which in the 21st Century is propelled by technology more so than a conversation across the fence between neighbors.
Still, there's an undeniably passionate, personal feel to the 3/50 Project you can't get from a Walmart greeter or the Starbucks barista who knows what you always order. The "movement" was sparked by a retail consultant, but it sustains itself on the energy of small enterprises on a mission.