Shop In The Precinct
Shop In The Precinct
Corner shops are closing down across the country at the rate of around 25 a week...whilst the grand supermarkets are consistently opening their own new smaller convenience stores.
Around 15% of all independent convenience stores, offering crucial community support and services....and supplying locally-sourced produce, have gone under in the last three years.
Leading supermarkets including Asda, Tesco, and Sainsbury's are simultaneously opening thousands of smaller shops.
Supermarket dominance is being investigated by The Competition Commission amid accusations of below-cost pricing on key items (and other such practices) to lure customers away from the smaller shops.
Around 1,500 independent stores have disappeared in the past 12 months alone, if the figures released by the Institute of Groceries are correct.
Former Tesco boss...Sir Terry Leahy...has remarked recently that the closure of small family-run shops is progress.
His idea of progress, then, would clearly envisage a shopping experience that would see all High Streets looking the same...with no place for character and individuality.
The sum of independent family-run convenience stores has dropped from over 29,000 a decade ago to 24,500. At this speed of dissolution, they could be blotted out within 15 years, and some experts predict it will be sooner than that.
Community groups and small business leaders are aghast and they say that the small stores are the glue that bonds many communities together. These stores can be meeting places and they provide custom services and they help to serve the community by trading with local goods.
By comparison the supermarkets have closed down around 100 sub-post offices in the last few years and they continue to ship in vast amounts of product from huge distribution centres...driving local businesses to their death.
In the past decade takings at independent family-run convenience stores have tumbled by around £750m a year to around £7bn. At the same time, the supermarkets' sales figures...through their small stores have shot up by more than £1bn-plus to £3.44bn a year.
As the big four.....Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's....march on...the corrosive effect on our communities is clearly evident.
Individuality and inventiveness will no doubt soon be gone...so I salute the small independent retailer and hope that we can find a way to retain some of the hard-working entrepreneurialism that should be nurtured and encouraged in this Nation of Shopkeepers (as Napoleon called us)
This is a song I have written for Sir Terry Leahy....as a throwback against his remarks
Shop In The Precinct
Besides......life without shops like the ones below would be very dull:
Grate Expectations, Facial Attraction, Wooden Art, Junk and Disorderly, The Best Little Floorhouse in Medway, The Merchant of Tennis, Pen Island, Jesus Christ Superstore, Boxwell Funeral Directors, Melon Cauli, Prints Charming, William the Concreter, Brew Ha Ha, The Second-Largest Second-Hand Bookshop in England, Grillers in the Mist, The Silence of the Lambs (kebab shop), Sole Man, The Minstrel Cycle (for all your clown and circus needs), Sell Fridges, C'est Cheese, Past Caring (antiques), Bar Humbug, Aesop's Tables and...of course...Unlucky Fried Kitten!!!
I made some of these up....I'm sure that you knew that.
The Second-Largest Second-Hand Bookshop in England
As a closing note......we'll have to hang onto the memories of the following sit-coms...because there will be no more small family-run shops and businesses to inspire the writers of future comedy:
Open All Hours
Never The Twain
Are You Being Served?
What can be done to save the traditional High Street
NOTE FROM ANDY (AUTHOR)
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