Viewing entries tagged with 'shop local'

Internet Shopping

Posted by Sharon Eason on 18 March 2015 | 0 Comments

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People Need People

Yesterday, after a drive to a shopping outlet just up the motorway, I discovered that the clothing shop had closed down and that I now have to order via the Internet.  Well, excuse me, but I want to see what I am buying, feel the material, try on perhaps two different sizes or shapes and colours, and at times get an opinion from the staff.

How does that work online?  Can you imagine the nightmare of firstly ordering one of each colour, because, let's face it, the colour on screen is never the same as the colour of the garment in real life, then duplicating the order in the second size? You know you are only going to buy one garment, if any, but how many would you have to pay for?  And then there is the cost of post and packing which on such a large order could be considerable.How difficult it is to return the whole order - or is that the underlying catch?  Once you have something at home, are you really going to send it back to the shop?

So one huge box arrives by courier - usually when you are out.  You have to unpack the box, carefully saving all the packaging for the return parcel, check the quality and colour and then try for size, make a decision on how many are going back to the store, contact a courier, repack and sort out the paperwork.  Oh please, let me go from shop to shop, browse through the items on offer and try only those that take my eye - usually not the one I first saw, but something lurking on a rail inside.  What better excuse for a stop in a local cafe for coffee and cake???

So who is really driving the current trend? Could it be that these large chains are able to save on the costs of premises and people if they keep all their stock in one large warehouse - or better still order from the factory for direct despatch.  Major reductions in rent, rates, power, wages and salaries are no doubt tempting, but they are destroying our high streets and our need for basic human interaction which cannot be replaced by a screen, mouse and keyboard.

I confess that I find the internet shops very useful to locate where specific items may be available and compare prices, but then human contact is vital.  I need to see the item, check quality and colour then I buy from the people who offer me excellent customer service.  By that I mean the people who know about the product they are selling and are able to advise on its use and care, who talk to me and take an interest in what I really need and help me to find exactly the right item - be it clothes, furniture or food.

The option I really canot understand is why anyone would want to allow a complete stranger in a supermarket to select their fresh food for them.  OK, I can see an advantage to having the branded boxes, bottles and jars delivered to the door. You can't make much of a mistake locating a bottle of bleach or a box of biscuits, but I certainly would not trust anyone else to select fruit, vegetables, meat or fish on my behalf.  Actually, I don't buy those items from a supermarket - the independent has better quality and far better customer service.

So, are we seeing a golden opportunity for the independent shops to make a real comeback?  The public will pay a small premium for personal service, good quality and that invaluable human contact..  Wherever you roam this summer, seek out the independent and get a flavour of the regional specialities, whether in food, clothing or regional specialities.

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Growing a Market

Posted by on 25 June 2014 | 0 Comments

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Bringing Life Back to Coalville Market This is going to be an ongoing article as we progress to becoming a thriving market at the heart of the town centre.  But the very beginning is less happy reading.

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Keep the High Street Alive

Posted by Sharon Eason on 6 March 2014 | 0 Comments

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You Can Help to Save Ashby Market Street Ashby de la Zouch is a vibrant town slap bang in the middle of England, in the county of Leicestershire.  It is a town with a long history: we even have our very own castle, or at least what was left after the Civil War.  The character of the town is frequently portrayed through photographs looking down the wide central section of Market Street, which can be seen in paintings and photographs over the centuries.

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Floods and How You Can Help

Posted by Sharon Eason on 13 February 2014 | 0 Comments

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We must all be aware of the devastation faced by so many people in our own country in the past few weeks - or should that read months?

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Shopping Bags

Posted by Sharon Eason on 22 January 2014 | 2 Comments

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Don't Lift - Push or Pull Your Shopping I've just come back from a holiday in Spain where everyone seemed to be popping in and out of small shops in every village and town we visited.  People seemed to enjoy shopping and were doing a main shop by going from one outlet to the next.  Then it struck me.  They were not trying to cope with plastic bags from each and every shop, cutting into their fingers and stopping the blood supply.  Young and old alike were using what can only be described as shopping bags on wheels - or shopping trolleys.

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Busy High Street

Posted by Sharon Eason on 26 November 2013 | 0 Comments

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Get your High Street Buzzing It has been a real pleasure and an honour to work alongside the Coalville Town Team to create the first ever Coalville Food Drink and Music Festival which it was hoped would bring people into the town centre.  This is our story, which I hope will encourage others to work together to get your town buzzing.

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Waste not want not

Posted by Sharon Eason on 12 November 2013 | 0 Comments

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Sometimes co-incidences are just too great to ignore.  Recent publicity given to the tonnes of food wasted every week by supermarkets and consumers leaves everyone outraged, but earlier today a new follower on Twitter appeared.  I decided to do a little research and found a simple idea that should be applauded by us all.  I will say no more, follow the link and read about Martha's project in Nottinghamshire for yourself.

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Don't Waste Food

Posted by Sharon Eason on 22 October 2013 | 0 Comments

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Tesco have done it again - but at least this time they are being honest.  How do you feel about the waste of food that they admitted?  If they admit to such vast tonnages of waste, just how much goes to waste if we add in similar figures for the other big supermarkets?  Then, of course, there is the food we waste ourselves.  What can we do about the problem?

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Rapeseed Oil

Posted by Sharon Eason on 21 May 2013 | 0 Comments

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Am I the last person in the world to discover rapeseed oil?  I have been aware of the yellow fields for years now, but always believed the plants were used for animal fodder and the oil used for industrial purposes.  How wrong can you be?  Those fields of gold produce one of the highest quality oils for cooking that you could hope to find.

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Markets and Supermarkets

Posted by Sharon Eason on 9 April 2013 | 0 Comments

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I have just returned from a holiday in Portugal where the local markets are flourishing and fresh local produce is on sale every day in even the smallest towns.  We could learn much from their example.

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