The shop local movement has a new zip code — 01810.
The independent merchants of downtown Andover have banded together to collaborate in promoting and boosting the vibrancy of the retail district.
They have formed LOCAL 01810 to build awareness of the importance of supporting an active downtown and its role in creating a thriving community.
The renewed emphasis comes on the heels of what the local merchants say has been an especially harsh winter that has made for a lackluster shopping season.
But the shop owners took a major step toward changing that this past weekend with the return of their annual Downtown Andover Boutique Blowout Days.
Last Friday, Old Town Hall on Main Street was transformed into an indoor bazaar for a special warehouse sale. Close to 20 local boutiques loaded up racks for the day-long sale that attracted a steady stream of customers.
The shopping event continued all day Saturday inside the various shops only.
The Board of Selectmen waived parking fees in the downtown lots both Friday and Saturday to support the event, Leigh Heffron, owner of Izzy’s Emporium on Barnard Street, said.
In a show of unity, Heffron said store owners donned fluorescent yellow shirts that brought attention to the LOCAL 01810 movement.
“It is crucial to support small businesses not only here in New England, but across the U.S.,” she said in a release. “Vibrant communities will continue to thrive when businesses and townspeople come together for the greater good.”
Heffron said the Boutique Blowout Days event was the first of what she anticipated would be continued collaborations involving the local merchants and the town.
Participating stores included Beauty Solutions, CoCo Collection, Chic Consignment, Dove Tail, dresscode, Greater Boston Running Company, Izzy’s, Lyn Evans Potpourri Designs, Madox Jewelry, Metamorphosis, Nest, Quiet Pleasures, Rapids, Royal Jewelers, Soiree, Sense of Wonder, SoleAmour and Wardrobe.