The worst retail quarter for some random period. Hardly the most cheering news if your in retail. VAT up, job threats up, inflation up – sales down. Contrast that with what appears to be the ever expanding world of Supermarkets – the thing that we are all supposed to hate because they have undermined the high street.
Our local shops are a shadow of what they used to be, the local butcher with his unhealthy overproteined complexion is long gone and so is the baker. OK the cakes from the baker were typically Scottish, thats whipped double cream tipped onto the top of a bread roll with jam – but at least you could buy a loaf and the occasional strawberry tart in the summer.
But despite the impact the supermarket has made on the high street – we love them. And I have to say that I find myself welcoming the news that (if rumours are true) we are about to have an Asda dropped onto the former site of a nearby MFI. Within a couple of years I’ll be wandering down to the local corner shop to buy a pint of milk and coming back with 6 bottles of Furstenberg, The FT, razorblades, a jar of pickles, the latest DSLR magazine and a 100 grams of smoked cheese. But not with the milk – I’ll have forgotten that in my retail spending frenzy.
It seems that with supermarkets having largely completed the destruction of the high street with out of town supermarkets they are now going in for the kill, suffocating the last businesses that have persevered over the years. But I can’t complain about the impending arrival of Asda – at the moment if I want anything it’s a 10 min car trip to the local Tesco (even I need money from a free to use ATM) – so I can’t complain.
Our remaining local retailers are bound to feel the strain – the mini market and the newsagents being the hardest hit. That’ll leave our local hairdressers, bookies and the headstone business. Hmmm…. a headstone for the high street, sadly ironic.
So it looks like our local high street is about to get replaced with one large, brash, neon lit, corner shop – that’s a pity but at least I’ll get an FT when I fancy one (though note to Mrs O, I can’t promise to remember the milk).