LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- KSWO recently reported on the closure of a third major retailer, this time Sears in Lawton, with their doors expected to close at the end of March.
The major driving force behind these closures is the continued migration of consumers to shop-online rather than the traditional brick and mortar locations. Online sales grew 14% in the 2016 holiday season nationwide according to Kiplinger, in-store sales only grew 1.4%.
Why should we consumers be concerned? Research shows that 68 cents out of every dollar spent in local businesses stay here in our community. The sales tax on these purchases made locally fuel economic development, fund road improvements, parks, schools as well as provide jails and detention centers, just to name a few.
I'm not suggesting we totally stop shopping online, but when you shop consider the real cost locally of buying from a NATIONAL website and the ramifications of these purchases. If we take these businesses and the local services provided from their sales tax revenue for granted, there will be future closures and cutbacks in city services.
Sixty-eight cents of every dollar flowing back into this community is a compelling reason to shop at a local store first. Every dollar spent here is an investment that will bring dividends to all of us.