A new campaign from the St. John's Board of Trade takes aim at online ordering woes to encourage people to shop locally.
Using the Hallmark gift card store as a backdrop, the group launched its "Stallmark" promotion Wednesday: more than a dozen cards, bearing work by local artists, that lament the delay of a loved one's online order in the New Brunswick city of Dieppe
"Sometimes you wait a long time," said board of trade CEO AnnMarie Boudreau. "We picked on that insight and just had a little fun with it."
Anyone living in Newfoundland and Labrador who has ordered goods online would be familiar with Dieppe.
It's the final scanning point for Canada Post packages before they make their way into Canada's easternmost province, and the city has been compared to a Bermuda Triangle for online orders, as it can seem packages sit there for days on end.
"We've all done it," said Boudreau. "We've all purchased that gift online for a birthday or anniversary or an upcoming occasion or birthday or something and the gift doesn't show up."
Now, to mark those packages that don't arrive on time, there are cards that make a lot of inside jokes that many living outside the province won't fully get — like one by artist Molly Margaret that features a well-dressed capelin saying, "I'll roll in eventually."
The campaign encourages shoppers to thinking twice before filling up that online shopping cart, said Boudreau.
"So that you don't have to show up empty-handed — again — but also for that little reminder that 'Probably I shouldn't have bought that gift online and I could have bought it somewhere at a local business,'" she said.
The board of trade also wants to reassure online shoppers that they aren't creating enemies in Dieppe or Canada Post — both are well aware of the campaign.
"We've worked really closely with the City of Dieppe and we've worked really closely with the mayor and the team there," Boudreau said. "They're good sports and they have quite a sense of humour."
It's the second year that the group has made Dieppe a target — last year's campaign warned shoppers, "Don't Get Dieppe'd," which Boudreau says was a success.
"I think it did make an impact and it made people pause and think," she said.
"We're just trying to get people thinking about where we make our purchases because money spent in our community is helpful to our economy and our province."
While the cards launched on Wednesday are for birthdays, anniversaries and newborn children, Boudreau said more seasonal ones will come out later this month.
A limited supply of cards are being given out for free at the St. John's Hallmark store, and they will then be sold on the board of trade's website for $5 each.