Local businesses have to earn local customers

16:21 31 January 2013

WITH reference to Steve Tierney’s letter from your January 25 edition about shopping locally.

I try to always shop locally even though I don’t live in town and have to make time and use diesel to travel to town.

However, after making the time and then trudging from one shop to another enquiring after something, I usually find disinterested shop owners and staff telling me they don’t stock it, have never heard of it, or there is no call for it.

And even if I’m fortunate enough to actually find what I was looking for, it can be got for half the price local businesses want.

If local shops won’t keep up with the times and realise that they no longer have a captive market of shoppers who have nowhere else to buy things, they will find themselves out of business.

They need to be creative and offer what I and others cannot get online, not only the things people want to buy at a reasonable price, but friendly faces and good customer service.

There are several shops like this Wisbech, like ‘A Good Read’ and the laptop shop to name but two. I’ll go there and buy even if I have to pay a little more than I would online.

But if a local company tried to charge me £65 for something I can buy online for £26 and tell me that this is what its wholesaler charges and that it don’t really make much profit on it, I decide not to buy anything ever from them as I do not like to be treated like an idiot and lied to.

If local businesses want local customers, they have to EARN them.

Until then, shopping online from the warmth of my home, without having to avoid drunken foreigners, foul-mouthed hoodies and people riding their bikes fast through the Horsefair, is exactly what I prefer to do.

PAM THOMPSON

Broad Drove East

Tydd St Giles

Via e-mail

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