Chain monsters destroying shops
IN your recent article on the supermarket invasion of Stroud Green Road ( Fears over the arrival of yet another chain supermarket , Gazette, August 19) two of your interviewees described the loss of independent retailers as sad .
IN your recent article on the supermarket invasion of Stroud Green Road ("Fears over the arrival of yet another chain supermarket", Gazette, August 19) two of your interviewees described the loss of independent retailers as "sad".
This defeatist type of reaction is becoming common, particularly among senior politicians and businessmen, who are forever implying that this is just "one of those things" that is outside everybody's control and that we that simply need to accept.
In the real world, when an independent retailer is displaced by a chain store, it's not just "sad"; it's potentially disastrous. Small independent businesses, with the right local focus, are often vital ingredients in a buoyant community, especially when customers can interact directly with the owners.
This rarely happens with a chain store, because no matter how benevolent its manager, he or she could be fired or sidelined for expressing opinions or taking actions that conflict with the shareholders' values. So every time a chain store muscles its way into our local parades, it represents another nail in the coffin for local autonomy and scores another victory for homogenisation.
You may also want to watch:
One day we might snap out of our busy, electronically-assisted lives, only to discover a Stroud Green Road that is indistinguishable from every other shopping centre in the world, riddled with chain stores and all their gadgets for collecting money and statistics from ordinary citizens. The reality will sink in that you can neither barter nor banter with a barcode reader, and shopping will become so impersonal that we might as well do it all online. Then the chain monsters will win and we will be stuck with a Big Brother culture for ever. - Ian Shacklock, Monsell Road, N4.
- 1 Islington reports lowest coronavirus infection rate in London
- 2 Reaction from winners of Islington by-elections
- 3 London elections 2021: Latest results as they come in live
- 4 'Massive stabbing' in Old Street: Man attacked outside Moorfields Hospital
- 5 900-year-old Farringdon market can continue despite opposition
- 6 Labour's Sadiq Khan wins London mayoral election
- 7 Islington election hopeful faces trial on intimidation, cocaine and ABH charges
- 8 Arsenal boss Montemurro picks up second straight manager of the month award
- 9 Sharks and rooftop pavilions: Time for planning laws 'middle way'
- 10 Man, 70, charged with murder of Imani Allaway-Muir