Publisher’s Weekly, March 23, 2012
Like the Austin Independent Business Alliance, begun by Steve Bercu, co-owner of BookPeople, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, many early shop-local initiatives were started to keep Borders out. In Austin, Borders attempt to move across the street from Bercu’s store also led him to enlist Dan Houston and his strategic planning consultancy Civic Economics for their now classic study, in 2002, which showed for the first time the economic impact of the chains: for every $100 a customer spends, the local economy gets $13 back from a chain store, compared to $45, from a local merchant. With Amazon poised to reach Wal-Mart proportions by the end of this decade, according to Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher with the New Rules Project of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and the e-book onslaught, can shopping local turn the tide?
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