I had a disagreement with one grocery chain store soon after I arrived in the area, it treated its customers and staff, abominably. A submissive population changed overnight. The other grocery store moved to larger premises and provided well for its customers.
One local niche shoe shop closed down in November 2012, the owner retired. In the county town, twenty miles away, its sister store continues. The younger generation of the same family run the shop. They do not have the customer manner the parents had; they are getting quite a reputation for being 'coarse', another way of saying ill-mannered and uncaring. The older generation were personable and their staff were very pleasant. Their shop was one of
two that fitted children's shoes.
Another shoe-shop chain is in difficulties, one which has local branches. Other branches are on islands, all of these remote shops do good business. They may close soon. This shoe shop also fit children's shoes. It is the city centre shops that are dragging down the remote area branches, where competition is greater. Staff and the local people are devastated at this turn of events.
Areas like ours where there are few choices, will feel a major draught with the loss of these shoe businesses. One shop remains with maturing owners. It sells a variety of goods and shoes. They do not offer any service for children. There is a business professing to be a discount store, you have to be astute to shop well in it. With all this upheaval, I suppose the ill-mannered people in the shoe shop twenty miles away feel that they do not have to make an effort to please customers.
We have come a long way since my first retail experiences. Online/internet shopping will still be available. It will be difficult to return to the completely uncompetitive market there was. It will be a contracted tougher one, and different. However, fuel prices are sky high, no change there then.