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‘I banned myself from shopping at the big four supermarkets’

About three years ago, I was pottering around the store one morning and thinking about why my customers shopped with me and not with Bank or Republic, or on Asos.

I realised it was a combination of first-class customer service and the fact that when they went out wearing a garment purchased from us, they wouldn’t see 12 other people wearing the same thing.

Then I thought about my shopping habits and realised I did all of my food shopping at the ‘big four’:

Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. I realised my mistake: as an independent retailer I expect customers to shop with me, yet I’m not supporting the fantastic array of independent food producers and retailers we have
here in Herefordshire.

So I banned myself from the big four supermarkets and started shopping at smaller independent butchers, bakers, local producers and the fantastic farmers’ market we have right outside my store every Thursday.

The icing on the cake is that I now know all the other businesses and their staff in the town, and they reciprocate by shopping with me.

I’d estimate this strategy has added 5% to my store’s turnover in the past 12 months alone.

  • Luke Conod, Managing director of young fashion indie Fit in Hereford

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