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Support your High Street

Last year was the worst on record for retailers. The latest big name to ‘go’ was Beales, one of the UK’s oldest family owned department stores. One could be forgiven for thinking that the high street is on its way to the morgue.

Damn the downbeat statistics! There is plenty still to celebrate on the high street. Celebrate the one-off local independents, be it a cheese shop, baker, butcher, hairdresser – or, in our case, independent carpet retailers. Indeed, it could be argued that real ‘specialists’ have never had it so good.

Many years ago in the carpet industry, the MD of the largest multiple chain of carpet outlets went on record to say that he wanted to ‘wipe out the independents’. Today, that chain is no longer in existence – and independent carpet shops are thriving. Why? Because they are invariably family run; they are part of the local community; provide raffle prizes for local schools and they know most of their customers by name. Professionally, they are passionate about carpet, highly knowledgeable and, perhaps most importantly, offer good, old-fashioned, personal service.

It is not high noon on the high street. It is a hub that for centuries provided a meeting place for merchants, shoppers and churchgoers – all satisfying the need for human contact. It can, and does, fulfill the same role today. Human contact, in the form of real personal service, is what specialists provide. Britain has always been a nation of shopkeepers – and shopping is one thing we do brilliantly in this country! Support your high street!