Plymouth Woman Wins Michigan Retailers Association’s $500 Buy Nearby Shopping Spree

Linda Millard presented with check at Gigi’s Mode in Plymouth

The Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) today announced the winner of its $500 Buy Nearby shopping spree.

Buy Nearby Guy, the Buy Nearby campaign mascot, presented Linda Millard of Plymouth with a $500 check on Friday, Oct. 17. The presentation took place outside Gigi’s Mode, a women’s boutique located in downtown Plymouth that specializes in unique clothing, shoes, jewelry and gifts.

Millard was selected in a random drawing from among the shoppers who entered the contest by posting photos of themselves buying nearby on Get Caught Blue-Handed Day – Saturday, Oct. 4. Millard – with help from her daughter, Lauren ‒ posted a photo of herself making purchases at Gigi’s Mode on the Buy Nearby Facebook page.

Millard said she makes it a practice to shop at the unique stores in her community.

“I love the small-town atmosphere of downtown Plymouth,” she said. “I’m a firm believer in buying nearby. It’s important to our community and our state.”

Gigi’s Mode is owned by Beverly Whitby and her daughter, Amanda Britcher. They opened their boutique – with the tagline “It’s a girl thing” – in May 2004.

“I love the [Buy Nearby] campaign,” Whitby said. “I think it’s important to promote the retail industry and it’s important to know the story behind what you buy.”

Whitby participated in Get Caught Blue-Handed Day by offering 10 percent off all items in her store that are made in Michigan. She also encouraged Millard and other customers to post photos and qualify for the shopping spree.

MRA President and CEO James P. Hallan praised Millard, Gigi’s Mode and the Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce for helping make the special day a success.

“We’re delighted our shopping spree winner is someone who supports the Buy Nearby campaign and practices ‘getting caught’ shopping at nearby retailers,” Hallan said. “We all win when we Buy Nearby.”

MRA launched the year-round Buy Nearby campaign in 2013 to encourage Michigan residents to have fun shopping and support their communities by buying from retail businesses in Michigan. The campaign designates the first Saturday in October as Get Caught Blue-Handed Day to focus greater retailer, shopper and news media attention on the campaign.

Economic research conducted for MRA shows that Michigan’s economy would increase by
$9 billion and add nearly 75,000 jobs if all shoppers who make buys from “remote sellers” – mostly online-only merchants outside the state – switched their purchases to Michigan businesses.

Even if shoppers switched only one in 10 of their remote purchases, the state economy would see a gain of $900 million and nearly 7,500 jobs.

The Michigan Retailers Association is the unified voice of Michigan’s retail industry, representing more than 5,000 member businesses and their more than 15,000 stores and websites. Retail is responsible for more than 850,000 jobs in Michigan. Additional information is available at and