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Shop Local in 2021: Store Directory & Shopping Tips

By Barbara Evangelista, Publisher November 9, 2021


Books

Valley Wild Books, Littleton  https://www.valleywildbookstore.com/

Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton  http://www.silverunicornbooks.com/

Pet Supplies

Pets Plus, Tewksbury http://www.e-petsplus.com/

The Barkery, Tewksbury  http://thebarkeryonline.com/

Pets Pets Pets, Westford  http://www.petspetspetswestford.com/

Great Road Farm and Garden, Littleton  http://www.greatroadfarmandgarden.com/

Maxwell’s of Chelmsford  https://www.maxwellsofchelmsford.com/

Kitchen Items

Kitchen Outfitters, Acton  http://www.kitchen-outfitters.com/

Crafts/Sewing/Art

Sew Together Quilt Shop, Tewksbury  https://www.sew-together.com/

Aunt Margaret’s, North Chelmsford  http://www.auntmargarets.com/

Art Galleries & Studios

The Loading Dock Gallery, Lowell  http://www.theloadingdockgallery.com/

Brush Art Gallery & Studios, Lowell  http://www.thebrush.org/

Western Ave Studios, Lowell http://www.westernavenuestudios.com/

Toys

Rogers Pool Patio & Toy Co, Lowell  http://rogerspools.com/ (during the Fall and Winter)

Learning Express, Acton  http://www.learningexpress.com/store/acton/

Learning Express Toys & Play, Bedford  https://learningexpress.com/bedford

Lingerie

Jo Karen Fine Lingerie, Acton  http://www.jokaren.com/

Gift Items

Handworks Gallery, Acton  http://www.handworksgallery.net/

The Paper Store, all locations (locally owned and based in Acton)  https://www.thepaperstore.com

Cardsmart, 1140 Lakeview Ave, Dracut

Chelmsford Card & Gift Shop, 15 Central Sq, Chelmsford

Old Mill House Coffee, Chelmsford  https://old-mill-house-coffee.square.site/

Whiffle Tree Candles & Covered Bridge Home Interiors, Billerica  http://www.whiffletreecandles.com/

The Cricket on the Hearth, Tyngsboro  http://www.cricketonthehearthgiftshoppe.com/

Country Store at Kimball Farm, Westford  https://kimballfarm.com/

Cataldo’s Gift & Garden, Littleton  http://www.cataldonurseries.com/

British Delights, Westford  http://www.britishdelights.com/

Hardware

O’Connor Hardware, Billerica  http://www.oconnorhardware.com/

A.G. Hardware, Lowell  http://www.aghardware.com/

Kenwood True Value, Dracut  http://truevalue.com/

Dracut Hardware  https://dracuthardware.net/

Westford Ace Hardware  http://www.acehardware.com/store-details/14057

Garden Center

Mahoney’s, Tewksbury and North Chelmsford  http://mahoneysgarden.com/

Tewksbury Greenery  http://tewksburygreenery.com/

Weston Nurseries, Chelmsford  http://www.westonnurseries.com/

Almo’s Flower and Garden Center, Dracut  https://www.facebook.com/Almos-Flower-Garden-Center-617299761937210/

Cataldo’s Gift & Garden, Littleton  http://www.cataldonurseries.com/

Salt Box Nursery, Billerica  https://saltboxnursery.com/

Music

Tewksbury Music Center  http://www.tewksburymusic.com/

University Music, Lowell  http://universitymusiclowell.com/

The Minor Chord, Littleton  http://www.theminorchord.com/

Johnson Music, Dracut  http://www.johnson-music.net/

Appliances

Dracut Appliance Center  http://dracutappliance.com/

Gaming/Collectibles

Batter-Up Gaming & Sportscards, 1830 Main St, Tewksbury

Boom Boom Games, Billerica  https://www.facebook.com/BoomBoomGamesLLC

Bazaar Game Trading, Tyngsboro  http://www.bazaargametrading.com/

Legends Comix and Games, Littleton  http://www.legendscomix.com/

Gaming Etc., Acton  http://www.gamingetc.com/

3 Trolls Games & Puzzles, Chelmsford  https://www.facebook.com/3-Trolls-Games-Puzzles-89349038688/

Command D, Dracut  http://www.commandd.com/

Jewelry

Bernard Jewelers, Tewksbury  http://bernardjewelerstewksbury.com/

P. Church Jewelers, Chelmsford  https://www.pchurchjewelers.com/

Charles Frederick Jewelers, Chelmsford  http://www.charlesfrederick.com/

Schiller Jewelers, Lowell  http://schillerjewelers.com/

Design Jewelers, Lowell  http://www.designjewelersonline.com/

Facets Inc., Groton  http://www.facetsetc.com/

Sports

Soccer Stuff, Acton  http://shop.esoccerstuff.com/

Center Sports, Chelmsford  https://centersportschelmsford.com/

Sports Madness, Dracut  http://sportsmadnessllc.com/

Hobbies

Paintball Wizard, Tewksbury  http://www.paintballwizard.com/

Wicked Cornhole, Tewksbury  http://www.wickedcornhole.com/ 

Hobby Emporium, Tyngsboro  http://hobbyemporiumtyngsborough.com/

Gourmet Items

Mrs. Nelson's Candy House, Chelmsford  http://www.mrsnelsonscandyhouse.com/

Chowder Factory, Lowell  http://www.chowderfactory.com/

Sweet Lydia's, Lowell  https://sweetlydias.com/

Recreation (think gift cards)

Merrimack Valley Pavilion, Tewksbury  http://www.playatmvp.com/

Wamesit Lanes, Tewksbury  http://wamesitlanes.com/

Tyngsboro Sports Center, Tyngsboro  http://www.tyngsborosportscenter.com/

One Stop Fun, Westford  http://www.onestopfun.com/

North Chelmsford Lanes  https://www.facebook.com/gotduckpins/

Altitude Trampoline Park, Billerica  http://www.altitudeparkma.com/

Kimball Farm, Westford  http://kimballfarm.com/ 

Max’s Country Golf, Tyngsboro  http://www.maxsgolf.com/

Magic Brush Pottery & Fused Glass, Tewksbury   http://www.magicbrushpottery.com/


Some thoughts on shopping local:

Don’t Default to Amazon

Yes, Amazon is incredibly convenient.  You can hop online at midnight, order what you need, and hopefully it shows up pretty soon.  Here are the problems though:

  • Jeff Bezos (the founder, CEO and president of Amazon) is the richest person in the world. Seriously. I don’t want to fill his pockets anymore.  I'd prefer to pay a little more and know that the businesses in my communities will survive and thrive.
  • The more we buy from Amazon, the more our local resources will disappear.
  • The more we buy from Amazon, the more quality manufacturers will disappear. We’ve all purchased products on Amazon that ended up being laughably bad.  Why do those manufacturers exist?  Amazon.  They'd never survive at a real retailer.
  • All of the carbon emissions transporting everything to your home really add up
  • It’s not always the cheapest option.  Have you noticed that Amazon raises prices on seasonal items when they know the need will be greatest?  I did some school shopping there, for binders and index cards and such, a few years ago and probably paid 3 times as much as I would have paid at a local store.
  • Amazon's working conditions, both in the US and especially in manufacturing facilities abroad, have been strongly criticized.

First Step -- Is There a Local Independent Shop That Carries the Item You Need?

Items may cost a bit more at local retailers but your purchases are what keep them alive.  Plus they give amazing service, and the owners really care about you and their products. Here are the benefits to shopping local:

  • For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 stays in the community.  If you spend $100 at a national chain, only $43 stays in the community. 
  • Shopping locally encourages businesses to stay and thrive, creating diversity, choice, local jobs, interesting destinations, and a strong community.  Who wants to visit an area that has all the same chain stores?  People like to visit towns with unique, dynamic local businesses.

If you don’t have time to browse or are worried about the safety of shopping in the store, make a list of what you need and call them.  Many will gladly put together an order for you and provide curbside pickup.  If they don't have what you need in stock, many will be able to order the items for you.

Second Step -- If No Local Independent Store Carries Your Item, How About a Larger National Store?

I’d really like to keep those larger chains in business.  I LIKE going in and looking at laptops, cameras, gaming systems, XBOX games, music, etc.  The salespeople are usually pretty helpful, I can generally get what I need the same day, and those stores provide tons of jobs for so many local people, including my teens.

If you can’t find what you need at an independent local store, try chains like:

  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Best Buy
  • Petco
  • Petsmart
  • Michaels
  • Joann Fabrics & Crafts
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • GameStop
  • Aubuchon Hardware

They all have excellent websites with pickup and shipping options.


Lastly, try Walmart, Target and other global retailers.  Then, if you must, head to Amazon.




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