My often holidaying in-laws have given me and Mairi the gift of their Telegraph newspaper subscriptions for the week and as such I’ve been reading lots of news stories while not trusting the paper their written on.
One such article starts with the heading /title: “Shopping guru attacks ‘faceless mutes’ on tills of supermarkets”. The article goes on to describe how the local shop is vanishing from the face of the high street and that this is sad as the ‘local shop keep’ is quickly becoming rare, and we should all seek out and support the local shops. These local shops have more expertise and we should value this human contact that through the advent of self service and ‘faceless mutes’ is being taken away from us.
All well and good but I’m afraid this is just an example of Mary Portas not accepting change, self service tills replace 3 people (it would be 4 if it wasn’t for that person who stands their making sure a 40″ television isn’t scanned as a bag of carrots) and pay for themselves within months of being purchased. This change is one needed in order for things to more at better efficient in the grocery world and something Japan have been doing for some time.
This is just one example of how supermarkets are serious powerhouses of progress, invention and self evaluation. Mary claims that its the personal touch we are lacking in this massive global takeover of shopping, she might be right but I think that period of history has gone forever. More and more families these days want to keep up with others and thus need to bring more money in and so with both parents working no one has time to knock round the butchers for a cup of tea and a good cut of pork, then on to the baker for a good gossip and a loaf etc etc.
In some ways I can’t stand people who get in the way of what I see as progress, I like going into a local shop don’t get me wrong, I have a local sweet shop at the top of my street and a beer/wine and cheese shop down the road as well as a baker and organic food shop, but I do live in York! I think it is a fact that the day of the local shop keep has gone but in its place we have a store where we can buy 90% of edible food made on this earth (probably) at any time which when you think about it is stunning!
For me Mary’s view point about treasuring the local shop is as sensible as putting steam trains to run normal trains, it would be a cracking idea but looking at it objectively this is progress and we shouldn’t get in the way.
UPDATED: I have recently been getting quite a lot of views for this post and I’m curious as to why so do leave a comment about how you found this post and how it was of use to you. 29th May 2011 RG.