You know what’s bugging me? Well, no, you don’t but, yup, if you keep reading, you’re gonna find out. Supermarket delivery services. All I keep seeing lately is people whining about them – the music at Ocado is boring; Tesco wouldn’t deliver to the right door; Asda were 18 hours late… Eh? 18 hours? Shit, actually I’d be pissed off at that, come to think of it.
People say they miss having local shops. They lament the homogenisation of the High Street. They grumble about massive out of town superstores. But, but, but….they sit there ordering vast shops from said supermarkets. WTF? I just don’t get it. When you do that you are, quite literally, sticking a stake into the not quite yet undead heart of small local shops. Yes – you!
I can hear the reasons and, trust me, I know them. Choice. Quality. Price. Ease. Time. And, for sure, if you work all day and the only shops around you are those homogenised High Street ones…then…well…what can you do? Honestly, I'm not beating up on you if you do the click click thing. All I'm saying is - think about it. And, if you can use local shops, if they still exist, the poor bastards, then use them. Before they vanish altogether. Because, believe me, the local shop is an endangered species. It’s the mercantile equivalent of that fluffy panda with the infeasible reproductive cycle; that sad polar bear on its vanishing bit of ice, that small invertebrate that nobody gives a sod about in the rainforest because it isn’t pretty.
What happened to shopping daily for what you need right now? It’s actually way more economical cos you don’t buy tons of crap you don’t really need. Okay, I know I’m lucky. I work from home and Dulverton has brilliant shops. We have a great veg shop, farm shop, butcher’s, baker’s, deli, sweet shop cum off-licence cum purveyor of coffee-flavoured tablet (oh yes!). Yet, even so, I still see the Tesco vans ploughing up and down the road and really, it makes me sad.
Cos it’s not just about economics. It’s about community. When I pop in and out of my local shops, I chat to people; I plug into what’s going on, I connect. And, before you say it’s a rural thing, I did exactly the same when I lived in inner city London. Do I use supermarkets? Yes, of course I do. But only occasionally, not as the norm.
Let's have some stats eh? You can't argue with stats... ;-)
- 2000 local shops close every year
- By 2015 there will be no independent retailers in the UK - that's 50,000 businesses.
- The average person now travels 893 miles a year to shop for food. (and no, you can't wriggle out by saying the van is coming to you - that's still road miles!)
So, c’mon folks. Let’s give it a go, hey? Eat local. Eat seasonal. Support small. Support local people, not thumping great big business. Go on. Start today.