With the latest news about Tesco and their store closures, it makes me wonder if high street shopping is gradually changing back to how things used to be, before supermarkets took over.
Shopping for our mothers and grandmothers was a very different affair. Of course there were lots of independent shops – the butcher, baker, fishmonger, greengrocer etc – but the whole experience was different too. The shop proprietors were friendly and helpful. They delivered your goods and made sure that anything they didn’t have they would seek out. Your custom was important, so they would go the extra mile if they could. It can be argued that supermarkets are far more convienient, but what a bland and stressful affair they are. After I left school, I worked in a supermarket on the checkouts. Believe me, it’s as stressful for the checkout worker as it is for customer. Everyone in a hurry, no smile, no thank you. Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to a way where we stop and talk; where we are able to speak directly to the shop proprietor.
The high street was a lot different when I was a little girl. I remember shopping with my Mum as a visit to the rates office, followed by the butcher, the greengrocer and any other places before going to the supermarket. It was always the last one and was for anything that couldn’t be got anywhere else. There also was an old-fashioned haberdashers in town, with glass-topped display counters and drawers behind which contained anything and everything. That’s all long gone now, which is a shame as with the new make-do-and-mend philosophy that can now be found, it would be doing well now.
What about you? Do you have any memories of how our high streets used to be? What do you miss most? Let me know in the comments below.