Gannett Redefines the Meaning of a 'Local' Business

august 5, 2009  01:44 pm
Last week, Jackson Free Press became one of the 22 AAN papers that have published a version of Stacy Mitchell's story on "local washing," the phenomenon in which large, national corporations don the figurative garb of natives in order to co-opt the "buy local" movement. JFP editor Donna Ladd wrote a column in the same issue placing Gannett's ShopLocal(TM) squarely in the local-washing camp. Yesterday, Patrick Flanagan, the senior director of product management for ShopLocal(TM), answered JFP in a blog post purporting to "clear up the confusion around the meaning of 'local'", which he defines in a way that manages to include every bricks-and-mortar business in America, including CVS and Wal-Mart. So, according to Flanagan (whose post also caused collateral damage to the term "hyperlocal"), all shopping is local as long as it's done in a physical store.