Shop here first

Published 12:39 am Sunday, August 17, 2008

If you take a look at the news, there’s no doubt that retailers all over .

Hershey’s, trying to stay up with the costs of raw goods, will raise prices on an average of 11 percent. J.C. Penney Co. reported a 36 percent drop in second-quarter profits, slowing its plan to open new stores. Macy’s also reported lower profits earlier in the week. Saks Inc. and Gap are expected to announce sluggish sales, as is Target. On the up side, Wal-Mart posted higher earnings.

Oil prices dipped and the pump prices, while high, went below $4 a gallon at most places, providing a little more relief.

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So, what does this say about business?

Apparently, we consumers are buying necessary items, instead of the high-dollar ones. Most of us look more at discount stores and for discounts at places like Penney. These retailers are not culprits. They are victims of the economy just as everyone else.

And, they can cut prices only so long before it does no good.

That’s why we need to shop for what we need and look at home first.

We have shopping venues downtown and farther out. We have a mall with goods and services. We have name brands and discount brands. Retailers, such as Belk’s and Penney have not shut their doors. They are fully stocked with items.

The people who work in these stores or who own retail businesses here in Selma and Dallas County are our relatives, friends or neighbors. They depend on our shopping with them to feed their families and purchase their clothes and buy their gasoline.

Instead of fueling flames of gossip about how dire circumstances are in the retail community here, we should make sure that that wedding gift or that baby shower present or the school supplies and clothes or the groceries or the vacuum cleaner or bed linens or towels or other needs and wants come from right here in Selma and Dallas County.

That’s how we do something positive about a national issue.