Corner shops

Today I paid a rare visit to the corner shop just down the road from where I live. As one could easily have guessed, I went there for the milk. Although the corner shop was not a place I particularly enjoyed buying my stuff from, it was convenient for me. I bought a 2-pint bottle of milk, and it costed me the same as buying it from Sainsbury in town. I was surprised, as I thought corner shops should price slightly higher to survive these days.It’s a pity that more and more corner shops are being squeezed out by big supermarket chain, not just in the UK. I remember back in Malaysia, when I was a kid, the owner of a sundry shop used to deliver groceries to my house on a motorbike. All the goods that were delivered were recorded in a little “555” booklet, and we only needed to settle the payment once a month. In the french movie “Amelie”, the groceries delivery boy even possessed keys into apartments so that groceries can be delivered “safely” into the apartments. That was the kind of trust and relationship people had with the local sundry shop back then, which I think was lovely.Come to think about it now, after 20 years, this kind of home delivery service is now back on the menu as one of the list of services big supermarket can offer to the consumers, at a cost and without the personal touch from someone you are familiar with. For groceries shopping, it’s hard to see how this service model can gain more market share or be profitable for the supermarket, and be valued by the customers. Nevertheless for the corner shops left in the UK, which do not do local delivery, and make little effort to personalise their service, I’m afraid that their days are numbered.

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