Originally Published: December 16, 2009 10 p.m.
The number of consumers who shopped the deals on Black Friday increased this year - up nearly 12 percent over 2008 - and more than 60 percent of all holiday shoppers opened their pocketbooks that day.
Those percentages from the National Retail Federation do not, however, account for the remainder - 46 percent of all shoppers who will be walking the aisles next week leading up to Christmas Day, according to Economy.com.
"With the day after Thanksgiving kicking off holiday shopping, retailers also care about the final week of the season," a study by Economy.com states, "and while consumers were willing to drive for the Black Friday deals, last-minute shoppers tend to stay more local."
That's music to the ears of retailers wanting people to shop local.
Whether shoppers are procrastinating, have not polished off their gift lists yet, or are looking for convenience when doing so, the message is clear to retailers, "Stay open, give us competitive prices and we'll stay local."
On the flip side of that consumers and business owners know that money spent in locally owned stores have at least three times the impact on the community as dollars spent elsewhere, according to a study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
It's a win-win situation: When shopping locally, consumers simultaneously create jobs, help pay for more city services through sales tax revenue, invest in neighborhood improvements and promote community development.
"It's a symbiotic relationship. There is an interdependence between consumers and local retailers," Economy.com said.