Plaid-clad shoppers descend on Peterborough for buy local movement

  • Kathy Forrest, owner of Bowerbird and Friends in Peterborough, serves an influx of customers on Plaid Friday.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Zoey Lazzaro, 11, of Peterborough, wrapped in a plaid poncho, browses in Flip Home Decor in Peterborough.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jill Lazzaro, owner of Flip Home Decor in Peterborough, wraps her daughter, Zoey Lazzaro, 11, of Peterborough, in a plaid poncho.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Robin Peard Blais of Fitzwilliam, examines a decorative wreath in Bowerbird and Friends in Peterborough.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, November 26, 2018 10:32AM

Friday, during one of the busiest shopping days of the year, many of the shoppers exiting downtown stores had plaid scarves or shirts peeking out from their coats.

“It’s become a big movement,” Kathy Forrest, the owner of Bowerbird and Friends in Peterborough said. “I’m wearing plaid, he’s wearing plaid. He’s wearing check, but close enough.”

The plaid is to show allegiance to the buy local movement, “Plaid Friday” as opposed to “Black Friday.” Small shops in Peterborough and Jaffrey have joined other businesses across the state in running specials and sales for customers wearing plaid the day after Thanksgiving.

Jill Lazarro, the owner of Flip Home Decor in Peterborough, said this is her first experience with Plaid Friday. Though the Peterborough branch of Flip Home Decor is her second store, she said Milford, where her original store is, doesn’t have the same kind of shop local movement.

“We’re super busy. It has definitely been busier here than at the Milford store,” Lazzaro said.

Willard Williams, owner of the Toadstool Bookshop, which also has a store in Milford, agreed the shop local push has definitely taken a deeper hold in Peterborough than in Milford. While Plaid Friday has been around more than five years now, Williams said he’s been seeing it continue to grow in popularity.

“Three-fourths of the people coming in are wearing plaid, and know about Plaid Friday,” Williams said. “At some point, it will just reach some kind of saturation point, and people will stop having to think about the value of ‘buy local.’ At some point, people will think automatically about shopping locally.”

Small businesses are a vital part of New Hampshire’s economy and job market. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, in New Hampshire, just over half of the private workforce is employed by a small business. And money spent in small businesses is more likely to stay in the community and be a boost to the local economy. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, three times more money spent at a small business returns to the local community than money spent at a large chain retailer, and 50 times more than money spent online at a major retailer.  

Kim Peck, owner of Nest Children’s Shop in Peterborough, said Monadnock Buy Local, a regional network dedicated to promoting the buy local and shop small movements, has helped to boost the awareness of patronizing small businesses.

“Any business downtown, all small independent shops, it’s important to have that community support,” Peck said. “And the community support has been wonderful.”


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari MLT.