I experienced two ends of the retail spectrum this week – and it’s made me even more aware of the very real value of buying local.
My son’s girlfriend turned 18 yesterday and so I had asked for ideas. Coming from a male teenager, this was difficult to get in the first instance but fairly easy once I had started the conversation with something relating to Pokemon Go and the onset of the new Premier League season.
I ordered online. I know I should have looked in a shop in town but I was busy last Wednesday and I thought it would save time.
Fast-forward to Saturday afternoon and a nice delivery chap appeared at the door with a rather sizeable box.
It was only earlier in the week I’d read about the amount of excess packaging which online companies were using needlessly – I remember raising my eyebrows and tutting in that way only an old person can understand. Imagine my horror when I opened this sizeable box to find packaging which had the potential to keep the Titanic safe from any icebergs and a gift inside which would barely tip the scale at ‘puny’. Not really the killer gift for an 18th – how I wished I had nipped to Croasdales in town.
Earlier in the day, my retail experience by shopping local was a different story altogether. My bike had experienced an ‘issue’ (self-inflicted) and I took it to one of our local traders. Advice was swift, in-depth and fulsome and said bike was in the hands of a mechanic with even more tools than me within moments and fixed within minutes. Admittedly it was a minor repair in the scheme of things, but there was no charge and I wheeled my steed back to the car with a spring in my step.
I’ll go back to that bike shop again. There’s the lesson for all retailers and us shoppers.
Yes the internet is easy, quick and convenient but there’s nothing like interacting with a human, feeling the oranges (or whatever you’re buying) and leaving the packaging for others to un-do. I know now why I always bang on about buying local.
The shop? Revel Outdoors, in Brentgovel Street. Lovely people.