The future of shopping


sweet shopAre you old enough to remember making regular trips to your local high street? Long gone are the days of family run butchers, greengrocers and bakers. I’ll never forget the small sweet shop; this is where you’d find me when I had pocket money. Surrounded by rows upon rows of jars full of colourful candy and tasty treats, my mouth watered in anticipation.

Today it’s very different and the high street is in sharp decline. The high street is mentioned in the headlines only when another chain of stores are closing or a small business is forced to close it’s doors after years of trading.

Is it a supply and demand issue? Is it that supermarkets make our lives easier, are they allowing the hungry time-short consumer to get what he wants in the most convenient way?

I must admit, I like being able to find all I need under one roof. It seems the giant supermarket chains have thought of everything; from plasma screens to garden furniture. Most supermarket chains now have their own clothes line, credit cards, insurance policies, mobile phone network. Much to my surprise I saw a house presented with a Tesco ‘For Sale’ sign in the front garden! Is there no sacred ground for the progressive profiteers?!

This is of course to say nothing of local trade and micro verses macro economy. Of course I expect the likes of Asda and Tesco to source from local farmers but to be honest, I don’t check if they do and most people wouldn’t give it a second thought.

It’s easy to reminisce about the good old days, but sometimes I think we look back with rose tinted glasses. If you’re anything like me then you’re very time and money conscious. I nod my head ferociously when the talk is of supporting local businesses that will then reinvest that money into their local community. But that’s probably the last thing on my mind when I’m running late for a meeting and need a quick bite to eat. I’m consistently inconsistent.

Supermarkets are successful for a number of reasons; they have all that I need under one roof, it’s accessible, it’s diverse, oh, and there’s free parking. If popping to your nearest supermarket is too much effort for you then why not just order your shopping online and have it delivered right to your door!

This article was written by Simon Crowe using our Community Reporters website