50+ Local Stores You Need to Visit Now

Flower Child Vintage in Italian Village

Local shopping is alive and well. Even as Amazon and other online behemoths attract more of our money, a quiet brick-and-mortar renaissance is occurring. Small, distinctive shops are thriving all over Central Ohio, offering unique wares, in charming settings, curated by passionate experts. While consumers might love the ease and practicality of online shopping, they also want to spend their dollars closer to home.

A recent survey from WD Partners bears this out. When the Dublin retail consultant asked about 2,500 people across the U.S. late last year whether they intended to shop more locally, 88 percent said they did. What’s more, 57 percent said they wanted to spend their money at locally owned shops, as opposed to national brands with nearby outposts. “Local is bigger than ever,” says Lee Peterson, executive vice president for WD Partners. What’s driving the trend? Online shopping is pragmatic, efficient—and that has its appeal, as the pandemic showed. But local shopping, at its best, is joyful, surprising. When you visit a great local store, you might interact with its owner, learn something new, crack up at a witty display or even find a community of like-minded souls—stuff that doesn’t happen on Amazon, in other words. “It’s the emotional factor versus the functional factor,” Peterson says.

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