When I was around 4 years old in the mid 50’s (I know. Hard to believe isn’t it?) I remember my mum going to small owner managed shops in Stalybridge for our weekly shop. We would then have our grocery and greengrocery orders (they were two separate shops in those days) delivered to our door. We would pick up our fresh meat from a shop known as a butcher’s who actually only sold uncooked meat – no pies, cooked meats, cheese or exotic sauces (albeit I do believe his beef dripping originated from neighbouring Dukinfield). Meat for later in the week was ordered but not delivered until Tuesday and Thursday by the butcher’s wife.
Add to this, pop delivered by the Corona Man, doorstep milk, coal dumped at the back door, three insurance premium collectors, twice daily newspapers and even Beer at Home by Davenports at Christmas – no off licences.
Move forward a few years (at least) and it appears that everyone now relies on home deliveries once more. The difference this time is that we have changed the source of our shop, dropping the High Street in favour of the internet and have also exchanged the independent food retailers with large supermarket home delivery.
The original concept of 60 years ago was driven by customer service whereas now it is convenience and cost.
The High Street Banks continue to close branches because they state that they are not busy enough. Most people now use the internet and banking apps. Pretty soon we will lose RBS from Nantwich and Sandbach albeit their customers will dovetail into Nat West. The upshot is however yet more empty High Street space.
Whether we like it or not or indeed whether we know it or not, we all have to continue to evolve in what we do and how we do things. At South Cheshire Development Agency we continue to engage with businesses that are facing these challenges head on and are being pro-active in adapting their circumstances to become better at what and how they do things.
If you feel that your business environment is changing and are held back from dealing with these issues through lack of funding, then get in touch with me and hopefully we can do something about it.
I still miss the ‘pop man’ delivering lemonade and Tango every Friday. The trouble was, having an older brother and in order to get my share, both bottles had gone by Saturday lunchtime. Roll on next Friday!