“You really can find it all in Concord,” said Chamber of Commerce President Marie Foley, describing the wide array of unique shops in town.
“We have a rich concentration of specialty shops thanks to Concord residents’ keen interest in well-made, high-quality goods. Holidays, birthdays, hobbies, special occasions, every-day needs. You name it. It’s amazing all the wonderful things you can find right here in Concord.”
Concord has hundreds of retail establishments. Defying national trends, several dozen opened during the pandemic. No matter what you are looking for, there is a wide variety of imaginative, distinctive goods available just a hop, skip and a jump from your home.
Sharing her thoughts on what makes shopping in Concord particularly special, Jennifer Schünemann, co-founder of the Discover Concord magazine, said, “Most of Concord’s retail spaces are independent, one-of-a-kind businesses. Each store, studio, boutique, gallery, or restaurant reflects someone’s creative vision and their desire to share it with others. Exploring the possibilities in Concord and finding so many special offerings is both eye-opening and great fun.”
“At the Chamber of Commerce,” Foley explained, “we really promote the idea that everyone who walks into a store is a friend. Shopkeepers go above and beyond to make sure that people find what they want. This provides excellent customer service, creates good will, and builds trust. Look around and you’ll see that Concord’s town centers are full of people, a sign that businesses are meeting people’s needs.
“My highest priority is to make everyone feel welcome.” Joy Street owner Jen McGonigle was speaking about the way she and other Concord retailers think about their customers. “I feel an immediate connection with people who are interested in what I offer in my shop.”
And shopping locally has a huge impact. Forty-eight cents of every dollar spent locally stays local. In a recent post, McGonigle told her Instagram followers, “Joy Street is alive because of you and the hard work of many local: employees, delivery folks, artisans, sales representatives, shippers, cleaners, snow removers, gardeners, handymen/women, bookkeepers, mentors, etc. In addition, when you shop with us, you support charities, such as Emerson Hospital, Open Table, Ben’s Lighthouse, and local schools and teams, to which we donate time and money.” Multiply this by all the businesses in Concord and it becomes crystal clear what an enormous impact shopping locally has on a community.
Marie Foley proposed a fun way for people to discover new establishments in Concord. “Visit three stores you’ve never been to before or stroll through each of Concord’s four commercial districts. You’ll gain insight into what’s new and why Concord’s centers are so vibrant. You’ll also likely find something perfect for everyone on your list.”
In addition, Discover Concord magazine has put together its annual “Guide to Holiday Gift Giving.” It features Concord area businesses and has an extensive list of local places to shop, eat, explore, and stay. You can access the Guide for free at DiscoverConcordMA.com.