Local News

Fayetteville Shoppers Go Online

Posted November 4, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Traveling online to shop is becoming more and more popular. But business leaders inFayettevillewant people to buy presents the old-fashioned way.

Business leaders say Cumberland County's retail sales have been flat for the last two years. They think e-commerce is partly the reason.

Nancy Duncan loves to shop online for the convenience.

"I don't like fighting traffic, going into the mall with two young children running in opposite directions," Duncan said. "It's just much easier."

Duncan might be shopping in the privacy of her own home, but she won't be alone. Worldwide this holiday season, e-commerce is expected to reach $12 billion.

That's what concerns some Fayetteville merchants.

So, the Chamber of Commerce is now running radio ads asking residents to spend money with local merchants.

One radio advertisement asks shoppers to "please shop in Fayetteville for the holidays."

David Jameson, a member of Fayetteville's Chamber of Commerce, says he's not trying to discourage people from shopping online but instead asking shoppers to spread the wealth.

"They're also people paying taxes in the community and giving back to the community on a regular basis," Jameson said. "That's why we have to support them. If not, we might as well live in a crossroads community that has a house and the Internet."

The Chamber of Commerce is encouraging local merchants to start marketing their products online.

Local businessman Malcolm McFadyen hopes the ads will drum up business and remind shoppers what they won't find in cyberspace.

"It's that personal touch face-to-face that you can't get somewhere else," McFadyen said.