Michigan Retailers Joins Store Owners Across State to Introduce Buy Nearby Guy

‘Buy Nearby’ Campaign and Mascot Remind Residents to Shop in Michigan

Lansing, Mich. – Michigan Retailers Association’s “Buy Nearby” campaign today introduced its new mascot and released new economic data underscoring the important benefits of shopping in Michigan.

The mascot, dubbed Buy Nearby Guy, is an 8-foot-tall representation of a shopping bag in the shape of Michigan, colored blue to mirror Michigan’s lakes and skies. Michiganders can expect to see him in local stores, downtowns, malls and community events in coming months as part of MRA’s year-round Buy Nearby campaign.

James P. Hallan, president and CEO of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA), and local retailers introduced Buy Nearby Guy at news conferences in Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids. They also released new economic data showing that consumer support of Buy Nearby could add billions of dollars in economic activity and tens of thousands of new Michigan jobs.

The study by East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group found that Michigan in 2015 would gain an estimated 74,639 additional jobs and $9 billion in additional economic activity, including $2.5 billion in additional wages the new workers would earn, if Michigan consumers bought from retailers in Michigan rather than from “remote” sellers.

“At Michigan Retailers Association we know that retail purchases made right here in Michigan have a monumental impact on our state and local communities, and we now have new data showing just how positive those benefits could be,” Hallan said.

“We encourage shoppers to consider these benefits to their communities, schools, businesses, families and neighbors when making their purchases.”

Hallan noted that MRA made sure to Buy Nearby when it needed a mascot, turning to The Parade Company in Detroit to design and produce Buy Nearby Guy.

“We’re thrilled to have enlisted the help of The Parade Company to bring this campaign to life through the development of a Buy Nearby mascot, who will serve as a reminder to residents statewide to support retailers and communities in Michigan,” Hallan added.

The Buy Nearby campaign is an ongoing, year-round, feel-good campaign intended to create excitement about the great shopping in Michigan and the advantages of supporting retailers and communities in Michigan. About half of every dollar spent in a Michigan store goes back into the local and Michigan economies, and more than 866,000 Michigan jobs are directly dependent on retail sales.

“As a local retailer, my business is able to thrive only with the support of dedicated customers and citizens who make it a priority to shop nearby, instead of through out-of-state online retailers,” said Brian Jones, co-owner of Playmakers, a footwear and apparel store in Okemos near Lansing.

The Buy Nearby campaign notes that if Michigan consumers switched only one in 10 of their purchases from out-of-state merchants to retailers in Michigan, our state would gain more than $900 million in increased economic activity and 7,463 new jobs. Switching one in five purchases would mean more than $1.8 billion in increased activity and 15,000 new jobs.

“Each and every Michigander has the ability to make a substantial impact on businesses like mine, simply by switching their purchases from out-of-state, online retailers to their neighborhood stores and shopping centers in the communities where they work, vacation and visit,” said Robert Stanzler, owner of Detroit Mercantile in Detroit’s Eastern Market.

“When you Buy Nearby, you receive one-of-a-kind service, a quality product and the satisfaction that comes with supporting Michigan’s economy and the local community,” said Jeff Joyce, owner of Mieras Family Shoes in Grand Rapids.

A fact sheet highlighting the benefits that buying nearby brings to the Michigan economy is attached. Additional information is available at BuyNearbyMI.com and Facebook.com/BuyNearbyMI.

Retailers and communities can contact BuyNearbyMI@retailers.com to request to host Buy Nearby Guy. Michigan Retailers Association’s Buy Nearby campaign is sponsored by DTE Energy. Supporting sponsors include AT&T, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Retailers Mutual Insurance Company.

The Michigan Retailers Association is the unified voice of Michigan’s retail industry, representing nearly 5,000 member businesses and their more than 15,000 stores and websites.