Losing the battle against chain stores
Author: Linda
Submitted by: Linda   Date: 2016-09-07 10:13
 
I am feeling quiet sad at the moment,reading that yet another small British store is closing down in The Netherlands.
This is the third small British shop in the 5 years that my shop has been open. Not just the small British shops, but lots of small independent retailers are having to close their doors after years of serving their communities. Why? One of the reasons is that large supermarkets have caught on to the Ex-Pat community. The supermarket chains are selling British grocery items cheaper than the small shops can source them for. The problem is that if they do not sell enough goods to make a profit, they remove them from their shelves, but by that time the small shops that did sell them have been forced out of business. Another reason is that a lot of people buy online, that is why we have chosen to sell both online and have a brick and mortar shop. One problem solved? Well not really, most people think that if they have goods sent to their homes from Britain that it is cheaper than going to a British store here in the Netherlands. That is not always the case, but people do not check prices, they think a small shop must be by definition, more expensive. If small shops keep having to close down, we will lose the variety in shopping. Every store you go to will be a chain store, so there would be no point going on a shopping spree outside of your home town, as all the chain stores sell uniform items. Where's the fun in that?
Here in Hilversum for example a lot of shops are standing empty, it is a sad sight to go into a town and see so many empty shopfronts. I love going into Amsterdam because there are still a lot of tiny independent shops and it is great fun to roam around discovering little gems. Small shops that you can browse without having the feeling that you have to hurry, or feel that you must buy something. Shops where you feel like you are visiting an old friend, where you can chat, and just generally feel welcome. A small retailer will also work harder at finding that something special you want. That is something you just do not find in a large chain store. Please support your local independent shops, remember, we only miss something once it has gone. We do need both the large retailers and the small retailers, that gives shoppers a choice. We can and should work hand in hand with each other.
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