There are, of course, many excellent reasons to buy local. With the environment receiving a perpetual battering on every front imaginable, purchasing things that haven't spent their last few weeks travelling more extensively than the average gap year student can only be a sensible decision.
Supporting the local economy and independent businesses are not only ethical and moral considerations, but you can often find more interesting and unique items that haven't been overtly mass-produced.
Yet buying local can be hard. With chain stores providing a uniformed shopping experience and supported by large marketing budgets, individual suppliers can often find it difficult to stand out, even if their products rival the "big guns" in terms of quality and/or service.