I received a sad email today from Joeanna Purdie, owner of West Seattle boutique, Sweetie, with the announcement that after ten years in business, she'll be closing her shop at the end of April.
This comes on the heels of the news that Pink Ginger, on Queen Anne, is also closing at the end of this month and followed by some confidential conversations I've had with other store owners who expressed to me that times are tough out there (still or again?) for mom and pop hopeing to make a go as a small, neighborhood boutique. Some lament a lack of foot traffic, others feel as though online shopping is eclipsing them, either way, they're feeling the pinch.
As we begin to explore content for our fall shopping issue, I feel the need to ask you, dear reader, how your shopping habits have changed over the last few years. At one point the trend was a fierce commitment to shopping locally, and during the recession, the focus shifted to finding bargains and the most value for your dollar. What are you looking for now, in 2013? Do you shop online? Does supporting local shops, and the shopping experience in general still figure into your choices, or are you more interested in the ease and convenience of shopping online? Your comments are eagerly awaited.