Friday, 28 October 2016

All Things Must Pass.

As I walked into town today, I passed the former premises of my favourite bookshop, Eric T Moore, to see a builder chipping off its awning with a chisel. This made me reflect with sadness at the amount of independent businesses that have closed nearby in recent months.

Three shops have gone on the same street alone, with a number of others about the town following suit. The card shop I’d frequented for years (not wanting to fall for that Simply Clintons bullshit) shut its doors for the final time not so long ago, leaving me at a loss as to where to buy something other than the Forever Friends and comic-sans-fonted-yet-not-comic-in-content fare that's on sale everywhere else; people who once said how nice the cards I gave them were will probably now receive the selfsame design they gave me on the previous equivalent holiday; we may as well communicate by round-robin.

This is a pattern that's reflected up and down the country, as more and more small businesses struggle to compete with their multinational counterparts. It’s hard for an indie enterprise to get the same exposure as these familiarly-branded beasts, in the same way that I can’t compete with the success of Jack Whitehall (Lord love him).

Hopefully, this trend will settle down with time. Thankfully, the town where I live - Hitchin - still has plenty of individuality to speak of, though they’ll never be able to replace my once-favourite bookshop. It had been there for fifty years, I doubt I’ll even learn to read in that time-span.

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