Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
As the coronavirus crisis spreads, independent retailers are hurting badly. (Even before this pandemic, many were losing business to Amazon and other direct-to-consumer competition.) Shops are now empty, workers have been sent home, and cash flow is drying up. At the same time, retailers still have bills to pay, inventory to move, and payroll to meet.
We all love our local gear shops. They are the lifeblood of outdoor recreation at the community level, providing everything from expert advice to gathering places for our fellow adventurers. Without them, the outdoors—and our lives as lovers of the outdoors—would be vastly different.
Right now, these independent specialty retailers need your help. Keeping the lights on requires one simple action on your part: buying gift cards. Like a cash advance, visit your local retailer’s website and offer these funds as a credit against your own future purchases. Buy gift cards for yourself, your friends, as birthday or graduation gifts—anything. It’s a small act, but for your local shop, it will make all the difference. And at some point, you will need a new jacket, a new pack, or a new water bottle.
Finally, please share this page and spread the hashtag #SaveYourLocalGearShop. When you buy a gift card, tag the shop, too. Our local retailers are counting on us. It’s time to step up and help.