Shop loyal, shop local: Father's Day gifts abound at Rusk retailers

by Cristin Parker

Father’s Day is just around the corner and it’s easier than ever to get dear ol’ Dad something he’ll love for his big day.

Retailers in Rusk and across Cherokee County are offering mega deals and specialty items for Father’s Day, June 17, this year from snack baskets from Flowers N Things, to new duds from Knox Ray Men’s Wear and even that new power tool he’s been drooling over at Wallace Thompson Hardware store.

“It’s more important than ever to shop local,” Rusk Chamber of Commerce Manager Tara Tatarski said. “Nationally, the economy is picking up and we want the same to be said for our local retailers and stores.”

Unique Father’s Day gift ideas can be found at many of the downtown merchants in Rusk.

Flowers N Things flower shop is offering Father’s Day gift baskets of all kinds.

“We can do candy bouquets, grilling gift baskets, beer samplers – you name it,” shop manager Jan Hardy said. “You bring us the items you want in your basket and we’ll put it together, or we can get the basket items for you.”

Knox Ray Men’s Wear on the square in Rusk is offering 40 percent off slacks, casual shirts, dress shirts and Johnston and Murphy shoes through June 16.

The Daily Grind Coffee Shop also has a Father’s Day deal.

“We’re offering buttermilk pies this week at our 2006 price of $8, for Father’s Day,” said co-proprietor Karen Loden.
Pie orders will be taken through Friday, June 15. Call the coffeeshop at (903) 683-1500 to order.

Rusk Auto Parts is also having a summer sale through June 30, that includes carwash kits, flashlights, assorted tools and automotive maintenance items.

According to its website, The National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasts Father’s Day spending to reach a near-record $15.3 billion this year.

“As consumer confidence continues to rise, 77 percent of Americans will celebrate Father’s Day and spend an average of $133 per person, treating dad to special outings, clothing, gift cards, electronics and more,” the NRF’s website states. “The expected spending would be second only to last year’s $15.5 billion, the highest in the 15-year history of the survey at an average $135 per person.”

Last year, nearly 18 percent of Father’s Day dollars were spent at a local or small business.

Economic pundits have reported the future of retail is shaky, as best, but while today’s economic landscape is transforming, it’s not nearly as desolate as some would believe.

“Research shows that if you shift a portion of your spending from national chains and the internet, to independent locally-owned and operated businesses, you can have a dramatic effect on your local economy,” the website states.

Independent We Stand reports independent retailers return three times more money to local economies than national chain retailers, and independent restaurants return two times more than national eatery chains.

Independent We Stand is an online movement of independently owned businesses across the country dedicated to educating their communities about the importance-and the benefits-of “buying local.”

To become a chamber member contact Tara Tatarski at the chamber office, (903) 683-4242 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.