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NH bookstore owner promotes Cider Monday for local shopping

By MEGHAN PIERCE
Sunday News Correspondent

November 26. 2017 12:31AM
Toadstool Bookshop owner Williard Williams says he created Cider Monday to combat online holiday shopping with a conversation about the economic impact of shopping local. (Meghan Pierce/Sunday News Correspondent)



PETERBOROUGH - You've heard of Cyber Monday, but have you heard of Cider Monday?

It's some small business owners' answer to the online shopping push on the Monday following Thanksgiving.

Cyber Monday has its roots back when people weren't online 24/7 and took advantage of online deals on their first day back to work after Thanksgiving.

Now that everyone has a smartphone, online shopping is constant, said Willard Williams, owner of the Toadstool Bookshop.

Williams created Cider Monday in response to online shopping, which eats into profits of small, independently owned retailers.

Especially when Amazon arrived on the scene, bookshops like the Toadstool, with locations in Milford, Peterborough and Keene, were hit hard.

"I was driving home one night and heard all these things on the radio about Cyber Monday and I said this is ridiculous, we have to have an answer to it," Williams said.

Booksellers started Cider Monday events when Williams started, he said.

"It's very low-key. All you have to do is put out cider and talk about what it means to shop local," Williams said.

Monadnock Buy Local got on board and has been encouraging its members to participate.

In its fifth year, Cider Monday is spreading throughout New England and throughout the country.

In the Monadnock Region, other participating businesses include Hannah Grimes Marketplace and Horse & Buggy Feeds in Keene, Mayfair Farm in Harrisville, Mon Amie Fine Jewelry and Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, Steele's Stationers in Peterborough, Surell Accessories, Ted Shoe & Sport in Keene and VizionZ in Peterborough.

Cider Monday is an invitation for shoppers to have a cup of hot mulled cider, some cookies and some conversation about the importance of shopping locally, Williams said.

"There is an economic impact when you buy online," Williams said. "When you go into a local book store that money stays local.

"It's this busy time of year that allows us to stay open the rest of the year and have book signings."

According to the American Independent Business Alliance, for each $10 million spent at independent retailers 57 jobs are created, and for every $10 million spend at Amazon Corp, 14 jobs are created.

"In 2014, Amazon sales in New Hampshire resulted in a net loss of 1,193 retail jobs - while the company employed only 130 workers in our state," according to Monadnock Buy Local, which cites The Empty Storefront study by www.civiceconomics.com.

Williams said New Hampshire is currently offering tax incentives to lure Amazon to the Granite State and create jobs.

"In my opinion it's so wrong because of the impact to local businesses. It may bring a lot of jobs, but a lot of jobs are lost," Williams said, adding the trade off would hurt New Hampshire.


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