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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Snow and ice made us shop local

Apparently the recent cold snap, or winter to you and I, has cost the four big supermarket chains - ASDA, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury's - a mere £750million, as more and more people shopped locally.

The out of town stores obviously suffered far more than the in town supermarket branches, but strangely, I don't feel any sympathy whatever the reason.
If it forced more of us to shop locally, then we may well have had a better experience, we may even have realised that we have a local butcher, baker and even a greengrocer, and we might even now know their names.

The large supermarket chains will never instill the customer service that a small chain or independent can. Going back 20 years, gulp, I managed the greengrocers shop on Roundhay Road, Leeds for Claude Dyson & Sons Limited, there were around 13 branches across Yorkshire and the friendliness and customer service instincts went to the very top with Phillip and Ian Dyson (the sons) right down to the shop floor staff.

We knew our customers, we knew them to say hello to, in fact that was part of it, we spoke to them! Can you imagine even half of the faceless supermarket staff speaking to you (apart from in ASDA because they have to)?

No, and that won't really change, despite training etc from the supermarket giants.

So, on Friday night when you sit down to write that shopping list for the weekend, have a think where you are going to shop, because let's face it, without our support all year round, not just in cold winter snaps, the independent shops may well not be there next time the snow and ice hit us and then where will you be?

I am in the odd position that if I shop local I actually have to walk or get the bus past the supermarket, but that hasn't stopped us doing it, Leith has some fantastic stores and although yes, it may cost a pound or two extra, it actually brings back the whole feel that we really do live in a community.

Now, for my English friends, especially in London, the concept of speaking to someone who you don't live or work with will be an alien feeling and it may well take around ten years for anyone else to reciprocate, but stick with it, they may come round in the end!

Here in Scotland, it's easier because people up here say hello to the neighbours, chat with folk on the bus or train, generally, just happy to say hi!

Remember, shop local and try and get local produce as well, it will guarantee jobs, stop rows of empty shops appearing as in the picture and bring back to life the local community.


Anonymous said...

Everyone fastens where there is gain.........................................

Anonymous said...

Didn't Greener Leith actually find that Tattie Shaw's is cheaper than Tesco? And shopping on foot makes you think about each thing before you add it to your load!

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