Local Shops

Posted on 3 min read

Local Shops

Since moving from the city, one of the strangest things I’ve come across is the way local shops open or rather don’t open. I’m old enough to remember when shops opened, usually six days a week with half day closing on a Wednesday. Then things started changing so that many shops started adding Sunday to their days of opening. Finally, things moved on to some retail premises operating 24/7. You could go and buy a pot of strawberry youghurt at 3:30am if you wanted

A Problem

With the advent of the internet and dare I say, the likes of Amazon, you can get almost anything you want, whenever you want without leaving the comforts of your favourite armchair. Some say it’s an ideal world. However, there are times when I like to be ‘touchy-feely’ about the items I want to buy, but lately, I’ve come across a bit of a problem in the towns close by. All the shops I want to go in are closed.

Give Them A Call

I mean, they’re open, with neatly laid out tables outside, but there’s little notes affixed to the middle of the locked door saying the owner will be back soon! They often leave a telephone number too, supposedly so you can give them a ring and say you’re standing outside their shop in the pouring rain and want to look at the second-hand starter handle for the 1935 Ford Commer that they have for sale.

Imagine turning up to Tesco or Wallmart and there was a note on the door….

How The Local World Works

Several times now I have driven the 8 miles to the town with the shops that never open. Even emails have been exchanged regarding the price etc of items with a footnote saying they will be pleased to see us when we visit. Of course, when we do visit, the door is locked and the same little note with the same telephone number to call the owner. I know it’s probably how the local world has run forever, but I just can’t get used to it. Imagine turning up at Tesco or Wallmart to do your weekly shop only to find it locked up with a little note on the door asking you to call the proprietor.

Not My Kind Of Shopping

I think I would die if I did call the number and the owner turned up only to find that I didn’t want the item that I’d gone to look at. I would be beside myself with guilt at having disturbed them from whatever it was they were doing and wasted their time. Maybe I would end up buying it rather than saying no? You see the dilemma I face? Maybe they’re used to running their show this way.

I Like To Peruse

What about the items they have outside the shop? There’s a lot, neatly laid out on tables. It must be a shoplifters paradise. I have always tried to support local business wherever I have lived. I know it can’t be easy these days for any size of retailer as we’ve seen recently with the collapse of some big name stores. It makes me wonder though, why these small shop owners lock the place up. Perhaps they have other jobs? Who knows? It’s just not for me though, to call the owner when I show up. I love to be able to open the door and peruse and hopefully buy something.

I'd love to hear from you

16 Comments
  • Jay
    August 31, 2018

    I feel the same – would never call for that exact same reason (and probably many more).

    Meanwhile, you’ve been nearly prolific lately and I’m loving all the posts!

    • admin
      August 31, 2018

      Thank you, Jay. Yes, I seem to have had an urge to write lately and I’m glad you’re enjoying them.

  • Sue W
    August 31, 2018

    Haha… that’s Wales for you! Not really, it’s country living. I do know what you mean though Trev, often the neighbour at the shop next door knows exactly when the shop owner will be back. I don’t mind too much.

    You know that little black rubber sleeve thing that fits on the handle of the log burner when it gets hot? Well, I inadvertently left mine on the top of the burner, some time later the smell of burning rubber alerted me to my mistake (What a mess), anyway, I slipped down early the next day to the little log burner shop.

    The sign said open at 10am, I went for a walk and came back at 10.15. Still closed, went for a coffee, 10.45 still closed. This time I read the mobile phone number on the door and rang it,

    I spoke to the answering machine and left a message! 8pm – Hello, sorry I missed you, how can I help? Come down at 10am tomorrow and I’ll have one for you. Next day 10.15 I was at the shop door and was given one free of charge with an apology!

    • admin
      August 31, 2018

      Wow, I suppose I should try calling. It’s all a new learning curve for me, so I’ll have to give the owner a call. I love your story, that’s what you call service. Great Sue.

  • Anonymous
    August 31, 2018

    I agree. In some small towns especially. Even here in Cheyenne it happens, so you’re forced into shopping at huge stores. Sad.

    • rugby843
      August 31, 2018

      I may be lots of things, but I’m not anonymous!

      • admin
        August 31, 2018

        Thank you, Rugby. I have no idea why it said you were anonymous. Please accept my apologies. Yes, I think you make a great comment about being forced into shopping at huge stores. How going shopping has changed and it used to be so much more fun.

  • zumpoems
    September 1, 2018

    First off, that’s a heartwarming picture at the start — heartwarming for those like me that haven’t been to Wales since 1988.

    I am with you, I wouldn’t call up someone unless I definitely wanted to buy — maybe its more efficient for the shop owner, who to your point, has another job? Sort of odd, though. Thanks for the well written post. Love reading these!

    • admin
      September 1, 2018

      Thank you, Zumpoems, if you ever get to visit Wales again, let us know. Thank you for your very kind words.

  • Amanda Ricks
    September 3, 2018

    That would drive me crazy, having all those shops closed when I want to go inside to look around. Guess I’ve been in the city too long to have enough patience. 🙂
    p.s. your SSL certificate seems to have expired. Your site is coming up as “Not Secure.” Just thought I’d let you know. 🙂

    • admin
      September 3, 2018

      Indeed, it drives me crazy at times. Thanks, Amanda for letting me know about the SSL certificate.

  • Hope
    September 5, 2018

    Big, small, tiny, gigantic areas are all different. Store hours, days they are open, put a note on the door “will be back at 5 PM”. Some towns in rural areas years ago on Wednesdays would open their regular time, but closed at noon, then opened at 4 or 5 PM.
    It’s so interesting to see how the world lives! 😉

    • admin
      September 5, 2018

      Thank you, Hope, it certainly is interesting.

  • Ken Brown
    September 27, 2018

    Ludlow…knew I recognised the photo…even from 300 miles away. Had to check on streetview though. Been there a couple of times and my folks stayed in that hotel many moons ago. Funnily enough I seem to remember a strange number of closed shops – but it did have a great market as I recall.

    • admin
      September 27, 2018

      Thanks, Ken. Ludlow’s a lovely place and still continues to have a weekly market. There’s also the Ludlow Food Centre which is a great supplier of locally sourced meat, wine and jams etc.

      • Ken Brown
        September 27, 2018

        Oh yes…came away with bag-loads from the Ludlow Food Centre a couple of times. Remember buying a huge bag of quince with no idea what to do with them! A decent café too as I recall.




Previous
We’ve Had To Light Our Woodburner
Local Shops

Translate »
%d bloggers like this: