Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Specialist shops and personal service

Uncovering the past. This old sign is revealed above the chain Superdrug in the High Street
It reads: Fishmonger. Baker. Family Butcher.
This sign reminds us what a town's High Street used to be like. It had a butcher, a baker and a fishmonger. Now all those things are under one roof - Tesco. 

Petersfield does still have a butcher but it's not on the High Street. High Street's are expensive places to have a shop. Only chains and jewellers can afford to be there. Specialist shops are in back streets or side roads where rents are cheaper. But most towns are all chain stores. It's convenient to park at Waitrose (for example) and do all your shopping there including gifts and birthday cards. But spare a thought for any little specialist shops in your town. If they are to survive they need your custom.

Petersfield is lucky in that it has a lot of small independant shops. Not in the High Street but in the peripheral roads - Dragon Street and Lavant Street. Like Handmade Happiness. People are thrilled to discover this shop selling all kinds of gifts handmade by people who live in this area and cards that local artists have had printed. It's special, the standard is high and it attracts people who don't always want impersonal, artifically lit ailes of goods. They want something a bit old fashioned. Like these old shop signs. It represents old style values like specialist knowledge and personal service.


molebags said...

lovely to see that magnificent old sign, I took a pic of it the other day too! C x

Anonymous said...

The high street big boys are under serious threat from online retailing. Don't worry Jenny, you will be able to grab a high street shop for peanuts one day!
(I understood that the big M&S store at Homlbush nr. Brighton was designed so that it could be easily turned into a distribution warehouse for when all their business goes on-line).