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Local retailers deserve a look before residents take their shopping out of town

A recent survey showed that, despite the increased price of gasoline, local residents are still going out of town for many items.

It's certainly disappointing.

When it comes to items such as clothing and prescription or over-the-counter drugs -- which is surprising, considering the number of pharmacies in Fergus Falls -- the study showed that area residents are making purchases out of town, either online or in another community.

It's a common complaint that Fergus Falls does not have enough retail. However, retail companies look closely at retail sales when considering a market. When shoppers leave Fergus Falls for items that can be found locally, it makes our numbers look worse.

No one is suggesting that local residents can't spend a weekend in Fargo or the Twin Cities shopping or enjoying a nice restaurant. No one is saying that one cannot purchase a product online if it can't be found locally.

However, it is more important than ever that local residents first look in local retail stores, or their web sites, for the items they need. If the product they want isn't there or is far more expensive than out-of-town or online options, then it is fair to look elsewhere.

Our local retailers simply ask residents to check locally first.

-- Fergus Falls Daily Journal