Sunday, 8 November 2009


I try so hard to support local shops, really I do. OK for buying the weekly food shopping, supermarkets have won the day but as far as other shops are concerned......

When we moved here three years ago, I was delighted to discover that there was a small opticians only 5 minutes walk away. I went in and introduced myself. During the conversation, I discovered that although my previous optician was in a town some 35 miles away, the same guy who did my eye tests there, came here once a month. It was spooky really, because I was feeling sorry that Pete, for that was his name, wouldn't be doing my eye tests any more.

I booked in with him and had my first test. Now, I have to be tested regularly for Glaucoma and during that part of the test, it became clear that the equipment was so old that it wasn't up to doing the job. Pete was frustrated that he couldn't check me out properly. I was concerned that my eyes weren't getting the quality of test that I needed.

So sadly, I had to move to a large chain of opticians whose equipment is totally up-to-date, who have a much larger choice of frames, and whose prices are much lower. I say 'sadly' but of course, I'm much better served now with the new opticians.

Isn't it a shame though, that market forces are driving smaller shops out of business in this way? Presumably, in time, there will only be huge shopping conglomerates left. Or am i I being a dinosaur again? (Don't answer that!)


  1. I also try to give my business to the smaller privately owned shops but they are getting harder and harder to find.

  2. Tony I just spent 15 minutes trying to come up with an appropriate smart ass remark. Just couldn't do it so off to be I go.

  3. I agree Tony. And I don't think it i because we are dinosaurs that we think this way. The big chain stores get huge wholesale discounts in buying their merchandise that the small shops can't get -- whether it be for their products, equipment they need (think of them buying the glaucoma checking machine for 200 or 500 eye shops!), or even for their shipping services. They get the breaks which helps them to succeed and push out the small shops. It truly is sad.

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