As British high streets become increasingly dominated by large chains like Costa and Topshop, the question as to how the small, local, coffee shops, clothing stores and book shops survive is raised more and more often. And ever more puzzling.
Obviously, the first answer that stares you in the face is price. Chain shops usually offer a tempting discount in comparison with their lesser known counterparts. Not to mention that you know that when you order that medium cinnamon latte, you will receive an enormous mug full of Costa’s own delicious combination of sugar and caffeine which never fails to disappoint- no matter whether you’re in Brighton or Birmingham. But is this safe, comfortable homogeneity dulling our, once vibrant, streets of Britain?
After a taste of coffee from a more unique, more authentic surrounding do you not feel like you’ve done something a bit different, tried something new…been a bit indie? And independent doesn’t always equate to extortionate. Yet that doesn’t translate to the heightened number of independent store closures that I have witnessed when walking down my own local high street.
So, why is it? Why aren’t we supporting our local entrepreneurs rather than feeding the huge corporations which continue to bulldoze any defenceless competition?
Have your say, join the debate.