I remember when supermarkets were first introduced to England. The shops down the high streets were separated into their particular areas of expertise: butchers, bakers, candlestick makers. Well… maybe not candlestick makers, but certainly haberdashers’, newsagents’, sweet shops, hardware stores, and fishmongers’. Then you’d have a general store or two. The owner knew you. He or she was aware of the number of siblings you had, and your favourite sweets. My local general store was connected to the butcher’s shop. You walked in through the butcher’s, and through to the dried goods and other essentials. As I walked into the butcher’s shop, the man behind the counter and I had a kind of comedy ‘bit’ when I was a toddler. I’d walk in and he would say:
“Good morning madam! What are you looking for today? Lamb? Beef?…”
“Spam!” I would answer.
“Spam, spam, spam, spam…” he’d echo back quietly, along with me, Python style as my mother rolled her eyes before I terminated the exchange with the phrase “Bloody Vikings!”
If you’re not aware of the Python scene, here it is…
Meanwhile, outside the local towns, supermarkets began to draw business out of the towns and villages.
Actually, in the villages, the forward-thinking world of the self-service general store in the local town was almost revolutionary. There were still little shops where the owner would pick out all the things for you. You’d point to the things you wanted, and the owner would pick and pack them for you, while ringing up the total on the till, as he or she discussed matters of the day with you.
The supermarket was politically neutral. It didn’t know about your poorly dog or the rosette you won for jumping your first clear round on a Shetland pony. It was a warehouse with trolleys and tills.
As more business moved to supermarkets, and away from local shopkeepers, our villages and towns lost their characters a little at a time. Little places where people were more than just customers disappeared. The grocer’s shop with the fresh-from-the-field organic cauliflowers, peas, beans, and potatoes went out of business. Of course, it wasn’t called ‘organic’ produce. It was just produce. Everything was organic. Slowly, though, standardised crops made their way into the supermarkets. They were shiny and plentiful, due to waxes and pesticides. Slowly, the villages and towns died. You were urged to buy from local shopkeepers, but did you? If you could go back and make the choice again, wouldn’t you support your local shopkeepers?
The thing is… you are part of a community now, online. Your friends and associates on social media are the shopkeepers. They know you. They care about what’s happening in your life. They’re ready to guide and advise you on the best ways to improve your business or health or lifestyle. Are you buying from your local shopkeepers? Rather than going straight to corporate, do you look around for a friend of yours who may be an affiliate for a piece of software or a business opportunity? Rather than shopping around for the best price, do you shop around for the best DEAL? Do you figure in how much VALUE you will get from doing business with an actual person you know has your best interests at heart, or do you know ‘the price of everything and the value of nothing’?
- I sell directional, transformational coaching for indiepreneurs. My shop is rebeccabardess.com/coaching
- I sell organic skincare, bodycare, and homecare with Essante Organics. My shop is: wildcraftedwarrior.com
- I sell info products and books for online marketers with Elite Marketing Pro. My shop for that is: attractionmarketing.tv/emp
- I sell lead generation, and product creation tools for people looking to build businesses online. My shop for that is trypls.com
What do you sell, and where can we find your wares? Leave your info in the comments (but don’t spam, spam, spam it with links. If people want what you’ve got, they’ll ask you for the link). Let’s all support each other. If you’ve found this post useful, please share it with others. Thank you for your support of my new blog. I appreciate you.
Happy shopping! 🙂
P.S. Remember that I’m giving away free strategy sessions at the moment. You can grab yours here – FREE STRATEGY SESSION