Retail is tough these days. Online sales continue to grow. The economy continues to pinch discretionary purchases. 

Oak Parkers, though, profess to value independent shops and chains in our downtown and other shopping areas. The retailers add interest, revenue and dimension to districts that have become heavier with places to eat and services that might, or might not be, essential.

This week we report on the status of a particular shop, 10,000 Villages. Nearing its 10th anniversary on Marion Street, this fair-trade nonprofit has a world-view, reflecting everything Oak Park holds dear. Yet sales are soft and the future is uncertain, according to leaders of its volunteer board. 

Those leaders expressed support for the shop’s landlord, Mike Fox; for Oak Park Economic Development Corp. for its support; and to Community Bank for extending financing if it becomes necessary.

This is one of those moments where those of us who value fair-trade concepts, who appreciate the care and craftsmanship of artisans across the globe, need to consciously convert those fine thoughts into active purchases.

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