Big .v. Small

What to choose….

When it comes to food shopping there is many retailers and food providers out there but do you shop big or small?

Both have good and bad points, do you shop just one or both?

The big ones….

More than likely everyone has shopped in one of the bigger retail shops, like a supermarket or a big high street chain.

You will find that you can get most, if not all, of what you need here. But should you be shopping at just the supermarket?

So what are the pros-

Stock- Supermarkets stock almost everything under one roof. No need to shop around just straight in pick, pay and leave. Job sorted.

Price- As the supermarkets buy massive amounts of stock and have connections with most of the major food producers, they can afford to sell their items at a good price. GF and allergy safe food is pricy at the best of times, so if you can get it at its cheapest, why wouldn’t you.

Variety- Bread is not just bread. All GF folks will know there’s some food items that are just better than others and supermarkets stock many a choice so if your favourite isn’t available your second will mostly likely will be.

Accessability- I know at this time Covid has shortened the supermarkets opening times, however they are still open 7 days a week for many hours a day. This makes them the most accessible shops to go shopping in. Even myself who finished work after 8pm can bob in on my way home.

Size- With Covid restriction still in place the size of a shop may determin whether you visit or not. Shops may ask customers to wait outside. This can be rubbish if the weather is poor. Supermarkets are larger stores capable to hold many customers reducing the likelyhood of having to wait outside or bump into to many people when shopping.

So what are the cons-

Inflexability- You get whats there. As you are purching pre-made items there is no room for flexability in what you can buy. Yes, most supermarkets have deli counters, but most of your purchases in the supermarkets wont be from them.

Repetitiveness- Most of the items sold in the supermarkets are the same items you purchased last year and the year before. It’s lovely when supermarkets change it up, but this tends to be a seasonal thing. This however, could also be seen as a pro; as people know they can get what they want from there at anytime.

Not supporting the little guys- I remember when the high street was a mix of many different shops, now its a few and a supermarket. The supermarkets have gotten a bad name for this and I can see why. If a supermarket opens in your town many of the smaller shop’s seem to disappear, which is sad. But I don’t think the supermarkets are to be blamed soley for this. People are busier than ever and many people just don’t feel they have the time to do a traditional high street shop, so when needs must they pop to a place where its all under one roof. Unfortunatly however, by doing this we have left the smaller shops behind and many have closed due to lack of custom.

The smaller guys….

The traditional high street is dwindling and we need to try and support these smaller shops before they dissapears of our high streets.

But can you do a full shop without visiting the supermarket?

So what are the pros-

Supporting the smaller guys- There is a massive campaign at the moment on social meadia about shopping small. Whether this be online or in person. With the Covid pandemic closing many of our high streets the smaller shops are struggling more than ever. Shopping small keeps our traditional high streets afloat and provide vital imcome for local people.

Flexability- Supermarkets are brilliant for multipul item choice, but there’s no flexability in what you can buy. Smaller shops that produce their own items are more likely to be able to change up and swap out specific items for another. A local coffee shop I visit to buys cakes from said to me today “everything can be veganised” and thats brilliant! To know if I can’t have this item I can swap it for something else is calming and really appreciated. And most place won’t charge you any difference to do so.

Variety- As mentioned above supermarkets have a wide varitey of items to buy. But variety in smaller shops is just as prominant and impressive. For example supermarkets may have 20 types of bread to buy but it is more than likely 10 different brands of white and 10 of brown. Where smaller shops may have 10 types of different flavoured breads and in varieties the shops do not stock.

Freshness- If you are buying from a smaller retailer you are more likely to be purchasing item made fresh. Fresh produce is less likely to contain high levels of presevatives as they do not need to be sat on a shelf for along time.

The cons-

Price- Most of us know if you buy unique its more expensive. Unlike the supermarkets smaller shops don’t buy in mass bulk therefor their products tend to be more expensive than a supermarket.

Accessability- Small shop’s often have shorter opening hours than a supermarket, so are less accessable. They are normally open 9am-5pm so most wont be able to visit mid-week. However, many are open weekends and have online shops too.

Size- Many of the smaller shops are just that, smaller. This can cause issues currently with the Covid restrictions. You are more likely to have to wait outside before entering to abide by the social distancing rules.

Covid closures- In the UK we are again under country lockdown. Due to this none essential shops have been asked to close. This includes many of our high street independent retailers. Please check online if your local shops have had to close as many are still open online.

Both supermarkets and smaller shops have pros & cons and you may not be able to shop soley at one or the other. Both need our custom to stay open but our local high streets are fighting back and all the support we can give them is worth it.

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