Celebration For Customers Shopping In Michigan

Published on Wednesday, October 2 2013

Lansing, MI - Only days remain until Michigan shoppers and retailers celebrate the first "Get Caught Blue-Handed" Day on Saturday, Oct. 5, as part of the annual Buy Nearby campaign launched earlier this year by Michigan Retailers Association (MRA).

The celebration takes place in stores and communities all across the state. Michiganders are encouraged to go shopping nearby with friends and family and have fun "getting caught" supporting retailers in the shoppers' communities -- or wherever they happen to be spending the day in Michigan.

Many retailers and shoppers are expected to take photographs or videos of those getting caught and post them on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media sites. Participating stores are planning special activities or sales as an extra incentive to Buy Nearby.

The "Get Caught Blue-Handed" campaign reflects the blue of Michigan's lakes and sky, the same blue in the state-shaped Buy Nearby logo. Participating retailers will celebrate customers getting caught blue-handed in different ways.

"This one-day celebration and year-round campaign are for the benefit of everyone in Michigan," said Tom Ungrodt, president and CEO of Ideation in Ann Arbor and chairman of the MRA Board of Directors.

"Buy Nearby is designed to provide direct economic benefits to our local and state economies while getting everyone excited about the great places and great shops we have in Michigan. It's a way to have fun and recognize the importance of businesses that have invested their dollars and hard work to create jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities."

A Buy Nearby Fact Sheet highlighting the benefits that buying nearby brings to the Michigan economy can be found below.

The Michigan Retailers Association is the unified voice of Michigan's retail industry, representing nearly 5,000 member businesses and their more than 15,000 stores and websites. Retail is responsible for more than 850,000 jobs in Michigan.


- Buy Nearby is an ongoing, year-round, feel-good campaign to promote all Michigan retail businesses and communities. It's designed to get everyone excited about the great places and great shops in Michigan and get shoppers committed to buying in Michigan.

- The campaign runs throughout the year and is "celebrated" annually on the first Saturday in October.

- On October 5, 2013, advertising and media attention will focus on shoppers visiting and buying in nearby communities and stores. The theme for this year's celebration is "Get Caught Blue-Handed," which reflects the blue Buy Nearby logo (which reflects the blue of Michigan's lakes and sky) and is a play on the expression "get caught red-handed."

- In addition to the fun of shopping Michigan retail businesses, Buy Nearby is designed to be an economic driver for the state

- As a general rule, about half of every dollar spent in a Michigan store goes back into the local and Michigan economies. (Source: 2004 Andersonville Study of Retail Economics).

- More than 850,000 Michigan jobs are directly dependent on retail sales (Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, The Economic Impact of the U.S. Retail Industry, August 2011).

- If Michigan consumers switched only one in 10 of their purchases from out-of-state merchants to buying nearby, Michigan retail sales would increase by at least $750 million annually. Switching one in five purchases would drive up Michigan sales by at least $1.5 billion! (Source: Michigan Retailers Association, based on Michigan Department of Treasury data).

- Promotional materials such as posters, window clings and lapel pins are available to retailers and organizations on the Buy Nearby website at

- Shoppers and retailers are encouraged to use social media to post photos and comments on Get Caught Blue-Handed Day, as well as throughout the year, about their great experiences buying nearby.

- Buy Nearby was created by Michigan Retailers Association and launched in April 2013. The campaign is sponsored by DTE Energy. Supporting sponsors include: Retailers Mutual Insurance Company, Michigan Economic Development Corporation Pure Michigan Business Connect, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and AAA Michigan. In addition, contributions can be made through the Buy Nearby website at

- Additional information is available at and Michigan Retailers Association at 800.366.3699.