What do the over 100 restaurants, gift shops, other stores and attractions in Salem Ma have in common right now? Besides good bargains and eclectic choices, they have heat! Temperatures today (Saturday) are not expected to rise beyond the upper 30s. So you can sit at home, or go to a cold impersonal mall — or make Salem a one-stop warm & toasty shopping/dining daytrip destination. (This also applies to Sunday, or for that matter any day you would like to visit.)
But don’t take our word for it. Friday’s Salem Gazette had an article and an interview related to downtown shopping.
In the first of two front page stories, the emphasis was on the lengths North Shore communities (including Salem) go during the holiday season to invite and involve the community in local shopping over malls and big-box stores.
Ethan Hartley wrote “…local businesses in Massachusetts can offer something that you will be hard pressed to find under the bleak, florescent lights of a conglomerate store or a shopping mall — old-fashioned holiday cheer and excitement with an emphasis on building a strong community.”
Community is a key word. Salem Main Streets endeavors to work with our downtown merchants to design and promote events which increase business traffic and cement customer support/loyalty. The second article, an interview by Gregg Phipps with our manager Kylie Sullivan points to one of those projects, the Salem Winter Market.
Is the Winter Market successful in bringing people downtown to shop and do you think more and more people are turning away from mall shopping?
“That’s certainly the hope. There are so many great shops in downtown Salem, and we try really hard to ensure that our vendor offerings at the Winter Market complement rather than compete with the surrounding businesses.”
Kylie went on to explain that as much as the Market brings vendors to downtown Salem, it also creates a community gathering space in downtown Salem where residents and visitors from neighboring towns stop to chat with the vendors, other shoppers and even with merchants in surrounding stores.
Shopping need not be impersonal. It can be fun. The Winter Market will be closed this week in light of Thanksgiving but will be open again on Dec. 4, 11 and 18. Our stores, restaurants and attractions are open now. And the warmth you feel when you go inside comes from the people, as well as the heating vents.