The District of 100 Mile House office. (File photo)

Out-of-town shopping affects local businesses

100 Mile House businesses lose $37,000 per month as shoppers go outside community: survey

Businesses in 100 Mile House are losing $37,000 per month to residents shopping outside the community, according to the results of the District of 100 Mile House’s recent Economic Development Survey.

The survey found about 61 per cent of all respondents spend more than $150 a month online or out of town. Only 37 per cent of respondents claimed to spend at least 51 to 75 per cent of their shopping dollars in town.

Joanne Doddridge, director of economic development and planning, said District feels there are potential opportunities for local businesses to recapture that local spending.

“Based on the responses that we reported in our last release, where over 70 per cent felt that new companies opening and ensuring the stability of existing companies was very important, this feedback of shopping patterns helps to provide some guidance on what kind of new businesses might do well or what additional products customers are looking for locally,” she said. “When we look at development strategies, knowing what local shoppers are looking for will help us to finetune our messaging.”

READ MORE: Resident views sought on economic development plan

Of the survey respondents, 43 percent said they shop elsewhere at least once a month. Many go to Williams Lake or Kamloops, while 65 per cent take part in online shopping. When they go out of town, the top three products purchased include entertainment (41 per cent), household products (38 per cent), and business supplies (27 per cent).

The primary reason given for shopping out of town was that the product or service wasn’t available in 100 Mile House, followed by-products being too expensive. COVID-19, meanwhile, has disrupted 58 per cent of all respondents’ shopping habits, the survey found.

“We expect the economic development plan to contain recommendations on how to capture some of these potential opportunities. We want our local businesses to be strong and resilient and we are eager to have a plan we can execute to help support our businesses to be successful,” Mayor Mitch Campsall said.

The District will release the fourth and final summary of the Economic Development Survey later on this month. Based on this data, the Economic Development Strategy will be updated by May.

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