Catherine Macey column: In-person shopping experience valued

Last week I was fortunate to attend a BIA conference in lovely downtown Kelowna.

By Catherine Macey

Last week I was fortunate to attend a BIA conference in lovely downtown Kelowna. BIA stands for Business Improvement Area and in a nutshell, BIA’s promote business, tourism, safety, and revitalization in their business and shopping districts.

There are dozens of BIA’s in our fair province, of which your friendly local Downtown Duncan BIA is one. The City of Vancouver alone has 22 BIA’s — each with their own unique personalities and composition of members. What I’m really happy to report about the Kelowna Conference (above and beyond the fine weather and wine!) is that while it may appear sometimes that Amazon is taking over the world, the fact is that people — a lot of people — still want an actual shopping experience; as in seeing the actual product and dealing with actual people.

So yes, e-commerce is on a rapid rise, but so too is the popularity of supporting small independent businesses. It seems to me that e-commerce is to shopping downtown what social media is to face-to-face conversations — convenient yes, but an ersatz experience overall. What we have here in Downtown Duncan is pretty special — wonderful little shops owned and operated by helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable people that are part of your community.

Maybe it’s time for a little more “shop with heart” instead of “add to cart”.

Did you know?

• Thanks to the hard work of Tourism Cowichan, our Valley has been receiving lots of media exposure recently. Check out the Tourism Cowichan Facebook page for links to all sorts of photos, videos, and posts from Tourism Victoria to top lifestyle bloggers to the KING 5 Evening TV program. Get ready folks — we are being discovered!

• Lise Brown Cosmetics is moving from Canada Avenue to Craig Street. As of May 1, they will be beside Shades Ladies Clothing and across the street from the Brew Pub.

• Newly opened Artisans’ Nest is having a shop-warming event on Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a great opportunity to discover and support local artists. You’ll find the collective at the corner of Canada Avenue and Station Street.

• Uncle Albert’s Furniture Store has been in business for 45 years. Opened in 1973, this downtown fixture at Canada Avenue and Second Street has consistently offered great products, great service, and great staff for almost five decades — congratulations and well done!

Catherine Macey is executive director of the Downtown Duncan BIA

Just Posted

Chemainus Thrift Shop undergoing renovations to improve efficiency

Customers won’t see more room for goods, but office space and storage an important focus

Cowichan 49ers grab masters title

A four-goal effort against Saanich Fusion Forest on Saturday evening paid off… Continue reading

North Cowichan looks to keep tax increase below 3%

Finance team asked to find ways to drop increase to 2.95%

Caps bow out after back-to-back overtime losses

Wenatchee Wild eliminate Cowichan from playoffs

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford constituents on board with national clean energy plan

Energy systems in Canada are currently responsible for 80 per cent of the country’s GHGs

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Island Health announces funding for 52 projects on Island

$750,000 will go to fund these projects

UPDATED: Three dead in Surrey crash: police

Single-vehicle crash occurred around 10:30 a.m., police remain on-scene

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Most Read