I can remember in the early 80’s a well known supermarket came to York. Me and my friend Bee were so excited we just had to see what it was like inside. We walked up and down the packed aisles marveling upwards at this temple of food, makeup and toys. We didn’t have any money and had to ask to be let out by a worker as we turned up at the checkouts with nothing to buy.
It’s still there, but the corner shop up the road is long gone. The A Myers corner shop with the ‘old boy’ selling his long life milk and out of date crisps. It was a regular stop for penny sweets on my paper round before hitting the working men’s club and their nemesis dog Penny. Even then you knew it was not long for this life, the antiquarian blinds and musty smell was just another reason to visit.
I remember the other local shop too – Mr Racers just behind the chocolate factory. We used to get dressed up in daft outfits and say “Let’s go to the shop like this!” Then buy a 1p fizzy cola bottle.
The meaning of shopping local has changed in my mind over the last ten years.
I didn’t really understand all those years ago just how much the local shops would be affected by these giants. They force the corner shop to drive up their prices, and we know it’s better to go to the supermarket for your bulky items and then go to the corner shop for milk and bread throughout the week. How convenient. But it’s not enough! Supermarkets now want a piece of the local action too.
They’re not satisfied with just being a short driving distance away, they’ve now become the new corner shop.
I know this is terribly convenient when you suddenly realise at 10pm on a Sunday evening that you haven’t got the next day’s fruit or snacks for the children’s pack up and ‘have’ to go nearest ‘express’ place that’s so thoughtfully open for you.
Cost aside I am still supporting my local corner shop because they are still there weathering the storm, and where else can I try out my new shoes or daft outfits than there!
This article was written by Lucy Potter using our Community Reporters website