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Yelp’s Top 20 Cities to Shop Local in 2018

Thanksgiving is just a couple days away, and that means Small Business Saturday will be here before we know it! This is one of the busiest and most profitable days of the year for many local retailers, and according to a recent poll, many more people will be shopping local this year than last.

A Yelp-commissioned survey conducted online by The Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults found that over 150 million Americans are likely to shop at local independent businesses for gifts this holiday season*, and together, all of these local holiday shoppers plan to spend more than $63 billion at local independent businesses** this holiday season, up more than 60% from last year. The survey also found that, by the end of Small Business Saturday (November 24th), 67% of local holiday shoppers will have started their holiday shopping.

Yelp Shops Local Statistics 2018

With so many local shoppers expected to be spending big this year, we wanted to find out what cities in the US have the best selection for those who love shopping small. We used Yelp data to find the types of businesses that are most popular during the holiday season: Shopping, Beauty & Spas, and Food categories for which searches spiked the most between Thanksgiving and Christmas from 2012 to 2017. Then we found the cities with the highest ratings for businesses in those categories, counting only reviews that are gift-related: those containing the words “gift,” “present,” “holiday,” “Christmas,” “Hanukkah” and “Kwanzaa.” We set a limit of no more than one city per state and at least 100 relevant businesses per city.

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Nothing feels better than buying a unique holiday gift and supporting a great local business at the same time. Click on the links below to view collections of great local gift shops compiled by our Yelp Community team in each market.

Yelp’s Top 20 Cities to Shop Local in 2018

  1. Laguna Beach, CA
  2. Asheville, NC
  3. Lahaina, HI
  4. Santa Fe, NM
  5. Cleveland, OH
  6. Portland, OR
  7. New Orleans, LA
  8. Saint Petersburg, FL
  9. Providence, RI
  10. Charleston, SC
  11. Minneapolis, MN
  12. Grand Rapids, MI
  13. Louisville, KY
  14. Frederick, MD
  15. Spokane, WA
  16. Portland, ME
  17. Indianapolis, IN
  18. Milwaukee, WI
  19. Kansas City, MO
  20. Denver, CO

*Based on 234.6 million American adults (according to US 2010 Census) multiplied by 64% of Americans likely to shop local this holiday season = 150,144,000

**Based on 234.6 million American adults (according to US 2010 Census) multiplied by 64% of Americans likely to shop local this holiday season multiplied by average spend of $424.80 = $63,781,171,200

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Yelp from September 25-27, 2018 among 2,008 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,273 are likely to shop local this holiday season. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

Liina Potter, Kathleen Liu, and Brenae Leary contributed to this blog post. All visual and interactive materials built by The DataFace.

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