Powell's Books promotes shopping local in a new anti-Amazon billboard

Oct 13 2020, 11:17 am

Portland’s most famous independent book store, Powell’s Books, is fighting back against digital retail giant Amazon.

Today kicks off Amazon Prime Day, an annual event when the online retailer offers sparkling sales, which will run for 48 hours.

This week, Powell’s Books purchased a billboard above the entrance to the Union Way shopping arcade across the street from its flagship location on Burnside Street.

“Amazon’s going to be fine, folks,” reads the billboard in giant white font on a solid red background. “Shop Independent.”

It’s loud, it’s proud, and it’s fighting against the trend to shop with ease rather than with purpose. As an independent and locally born bookstore, Powell’s has long since been a voluminous voice in the battle against big-box shops and detached consumerism.

“Every day is prime day to support your local independent bookstore,” writes Powell’s on Twitter. This call to action is more prevalent today, as companies like Amazon possess the resources to stay alive in a pandemic-ridden economy than local and independent businesses.

Retailers like family-owned Powell’s Books have had to adapt their business strategy to an online world, shift their events to a digital platform, and revitalize physical pick-up and purchase systems to provide customers with the products they have come to expect from these names.

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