Supporting Local Stores January 15, 2008Posted by gordonwatts in life.
Sometimes it seems like our (USA, suburban) shopping life is spent in big-box shopping stores like Walgreens, etc. While I don’t mind them, I don’t like what they have done to the smaller stores that used to exist. Living in Marseille really drives the point home: to collect ingredients for a home cooked meal we will often visit a butcher, a vegetable market, a bakery, and perhaps, also, a pastry shop – though that last one is often the same as the bakery. In the US we might just go to someplace like Whole Foods or other big-box retailer.
As a result, when here in the US, I usually try to go to the local place first, and only after that doesn’t work to the big-box chain store. Just outside of Fermilab, for example, is a grocery store called Family Foods. It has been there as long as I can remember. A Walgreen’s has just opened up across the street from it. It is a sad fact that 2 of the three times I walked into Family Foods I had to then walk across the street to Walgreens.
Today, here in New Jersey, Paula and I had to get a document notarized so that I could travel out of the country alone with Julia. We started with the local Metuchen Savings bank – which looks like it is doing great business, but ended up walking over to the Chase bank to get it done. The Metuchen Savings bank had us waiting for about 15 minutes before we walked over to Chase. Chase, actually, had less business going on inside it so was able to serve us right away – so perhaps that is a counter argument. 🙂
And you can see this starting to happen in France as well. There are big-box super markets all around Marseille — just none that are in the downtown area. I’ve been to them once or twice – they are cheaper and always filled with people. I hope there is always space for the small local shops in this day and age of globalization (which, btw, I am very much in favor of).