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The Future of Retailing - Growth Prospects of Local Shops

 

Posted At: 03 June 2008 13:12 PM
Related Categories: Future of Retailing

 

The days when every corner, certainly every village, had a shop, now seem only a distant memory; but a renaissance is coming.

 

Taking the independent local retailer a step further, the symbol groups had developed quite a stranglehold on the market, but the big boys are looking to get a piece of the action.  With Sainsbury’s Local, Tesco Express, M&S Simply Food and now Waitrose, who are planning market town and convenience stores, is this evidence that the weekly shop is under threat and we’re shopping in bite size chunks?

 

So having originally deserted the corner shop for the glossy supermarket, what’s caused this renaissance? Well, no longer do shoppers have to make a choice between the convenient, but dog-eared and dubiously merchandised corner shop and the glossy, well-stocked supermarket.  There is a mini-version of the supermarket on the corner or in the village.  And offering competitive prices!  They support our fast paced, live for the moment lifestyles that no longer allow for planning a whole week’s worth of meals.  Unless we want also to buy a mobile phone for a fiver, some garden furniture or sort out our personal finances, a local shop will suffice! 

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Comments...

When I hear people moaning about the likes of Tesco and Sainsburys taking over their local shop all I can think is if only that happened in my village. Our local shop does still have a post office so you can say it’s providing an important service that perhaps a multiple wouldn’t include but it also provides a terrible selection of cheap brands at huge prices with basics like bread often unavailable after 3pm. This coupled with the surly shopkeeper and the need for constant vigilance that the sell by date hasn’t passed some weeks ago doesn’t make a visit a pleasant experience. So the only alternative for that vital missing recipe ingredient or similar some bread for tomorrows sandwiches is a trip 3 miles to the local superstore. I’m not going to save the planet or cut my fuel bill like that. So all I can say is if you don’t want a Sainsburys Local in your village send them to me



The major national grocery retailers believe in local shopping. They continue to open more small stores to compete with the symbol groups, with even Waitrose making plans for market town and convenience stores.

For years, the number of UK local shops has been declining. The closure of post offices, with many of their services transferred to the internet, continues to threaten the viability of village shops. However, the need for local shopping provision has never gone away and is now increasing. The drivers of local shopping provision include:

- a society, both frenetic and ageing, is increasingly reluctant to travel for reasons that are a mix of cost, fear of assault and time poverty 

- a world of high oil prices and global warming. To be stuck behind an internet grocery delivery van in a residential street leads easily to reflection on the consequential damage to the ozone level

Unless we do want to buy a mobile phone for a fiver etc, a local shop will meet our needs, with convenience, ambience and stock. As shoppers, we should surely welcome the beneficial effects of the national multiples on local shopping.




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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.

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