It seems that not enough people are using their local shops, especially when practically everything needed is available from the supermarket. This is obvious from the number of shoppers in the supermarket compared to the very few out in the streets.
What are the advantages of using local shops when time is short and it is more convenient to buy everything in one place? Local shops are not charities to be supported out of the kindness of our hearts. Time is short and precious.
However, shopping at your local artisan baker may reveal some excellent and unique bread and the butcher will be able to offer more variety of fresh and locally produced meat, sausages and pies with advice on cuts and recipes and he – or she – will be able to find an extra special joint. The personal touch is something to be valued as more and more human contact is lost now that we bank on line or use the ATM machine to collect our cash. Time was when we actually spoke to a car park attendant, or someone served us with petrol at the pumps, or actually put air in the tyres.
We are likely to lose more of our local chemists as they rely solely on filling prescriptions since we can buy many medicines at the supermarket. Pharmacists have a unique role in the community – willing to give informed advice on treatments. We need them to be there as often we may not feel we need to make an appointment with the doctor. Supermarkets treat medicines as just another commodity, only making sure that we do not buy more than 32 paracetamol at a time. Now that supermarkets sell clothes, shoes, magazines, newspapers and stationery will we lose these retailers too?
Eventually our high street shops may just consist of hairdressers and beauticians, banks and estate agents. Will the future mean that we stay at home and do all of our shopping on line?
Please give some thought to where you shop and maybe look around to see what your high street has to offer. Is there a butcher, baker, candlestick maker waiting to supply your every need? It is not always the expensive option and could widen your scope, opening your mind to alternatives.
Elaine at Glamorous Gifts just wishes more people would come along the street.
“We have so much to offer at this end of Commercial Street but how do we tempt them out of the supermarket?”
She, together with the butcher and coffee shop are trying hard with leaflets and advertising but it seems to be an uphill struggle. Paul at the hardware shop says
“We just wish customers would try us first rather than dashing off to B&Q for everything.”
The new Indian restaurant and classy dress shop in this area are likely to give up and move away unless more customers come to shop and to eat. All local villages are suffering from lack of local “footfall” as shopping becomes a hobby and buyers are willing to drive to the White Rose Centre, Meadowhall and even the Trafford Centre.
Don’t let our small town and villages die – shop locally.
This article was written by Mary Fleet using our Community Reporters website