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Online shopping steals sales from local businesses

By Shannon Ballard 7:23 PM December 2, 2013

Friendly faces are the only leg up some local stores have on Cyber Monday

ANCHORAGE – When you’ve worked at the same store for 27 years like Marcy Baker, you know your customers.

“A lot of them I’ve seen since they were little and now they’re adults and they’re buying equipment for their kids,” Baker said.

After the long holiday weekend, she’s back to work at Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking. She is trying her best to ignore the fact it’s Cyber Monday and people are rushing to the Internet for sales.

“That does cut into our business for sure,” Baker said. “We just try to concentrate on what we do well and not get dragged down by the negativity of, oh my gosh, they’re stealing our business.”

A trade group says 131 million people will shop online during Cyber Monday, up two percent from last year.

All that shopping will take nearly a half billion dollars away from businesses nationwide.  So what to do?

Alaska Mountaineering can’t offer the same deals you might find online today. But they do offer something the Internet can’t provide — friendly faces.

Across town Lisa Maurer’s email is full of holiday promotions.

“You can get almost everything online,” Maurer said.

But online she couldn’t find what she was looking for. Her friends at Classic Toys helped her find something better for her Star Wars-obsessed 11 year old.

“I got the new Star Wars corporate alliance tank droid, which I know he doesn’t have,” she said.

Personal relationships are the only leg up some local stores have on Cyber Monday.

It’s what they hope will help keep local money local.

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