‘Grocery stores, card shops and florists are ruining our town centres,’ said one shopper, dismayed that she had to ‘fight tooth and nail for a parking space, had to wait ages to be served, couldn’t get any loyalty points when I did and had no chance of finding a decent charity shop to offload my junk in,’ following the closure of the local out-of-town supermarkets. ‘Supermarkets were such good meeting places, hubs of the community. Now all we’ve got is these faceless designer shops full of different stuff. I don’t want to go shopping not knowing what I’ll be buying, I want predictability,’ she added.
Many townspeople blame Tesco for the start of the slide, by overstating profits and creating a perfect storm in the shopping industry that allowed small, independent shops to thrive while edging pound shops, kebab stands and so called ‘express’ versions of the supermarkets off the high street. ‘All this variety will destroy shopping,’ said one resident, ‘thank God Amazon is still here.’