That’s how we like to think of ourselves, and we are proud of it. Village shops have been getting thinner on the ground in recent years but with what’s going on in the food retail business recently are we all due to be appreciated anew?
At the time of writing one of the largest supermarkets is planning to buy one of the largest wholesalers for £3.9Billion to become the UK’s leading food business. The large wholesalers own or franchise many of the symbol groups, such as Londis, Costcutter, and Budgen and large supermarkets have moved into the convenience market with smaller local stores. You can see where this could be going, even more clone stores all over the country. In some ways this is great – economies of scale, reliable supply, etc., but isn’t it also soulless and a bit boring?
Toft Shop has been shaped by its customers – we stock what our customers want because we notice what they buy and talk to them. We can do that because we are small, independent and involved. We can buy local, from individuals, from small specialist wholesalers who do not supply supermarkets, from anywhere we choose. In fact we have over 30 suppliers in order to stock our fantastic and eclectic range of goods.
The big supermarkets might be worried by the rise of Lidl and Aldi, but they’ll never be bothered by us, because we are too small and they don’t do what we are happy to do, be an individual shop rooted in, and serving its individual community. Let’s hope we can carry on doing that through the coming changes.