A Big Plan for Developing Retailing in Our Village to 2020

As many of you will be aware, there is quite a debate raging in the village about the shopping we have here.

The shops say the shoppers ‘ain’t buying enough, ‘cos they ain’t very good at it’ and the shoppers are saying. . .well, let’s just wait to find out what the shoppers have to say. We’ll cover all sides of the debate, on WeLoveOurVillage.com.  Although we do know on what side our village-purchased bread is buttered and believe that our shops have a right to be heard first and longest. After all they are the ones who buy things first before other people can buy them and lots more of things too.

This week, in two parts Malcolm Haxton from OVIS (Our Village’s Independent Shops) spells out his vision for the future of retail in the village which is in turn spelled out in the “Big Plan for Developing Retailing in our Village to 2020.”

Malcolm Haxton writes:

“I have a dream that someday, someone from outside the village will come here and buy something and will be fairly happy with it. It’s a dream I share with my fellow OVIS members, and by God I will not rest until that dream becomes a reality.”

In layman’s terms our Big Plan for Developing Retailing in Our Village, lays out a pretty attainable vision for shopping in the village. Having worked with a number of leading retail consultancies and specialists we are ready to spell out the changes we need in the village if we are to retain our position as a place to shop for things you really need or if you haven’t the time or money to get to somewhere with better shopping.

Here are the first items we have in our ‘Big Plan for Developing Retail in our Village to 2020.’ OVIS demands these changes in the shopping habits of people in the village. Some may say that we are too focussed on meeting the needs of’socio-demographic segments with affluence and mobility and that we ignoring other segements including the poor, the sick and the old.  But the BPFDRIOV demonstrated that this is not how we are looking at it.

Many of the changes we will suggest later in the week – make our shopping more accessible to our villagers by extending opening hours by up to 25 minutes and phasing in more areas where people can stand and chat or take 3 hours over a coffee.  Indeed one of these areas has already been assessed and I can disclose it is near-prime village land with panoramic views of the local thoroughfares – it’s on the village roundabout.

Now, if your read the demand of my members I am sure you will see that many are just common sense – a few simple rules that will enhance the shopping experience for literally dozens of better off and active shoppers in the area – “The Professional Shoppers” as I like to call them and after all if you’re designing Wembley you don’t do that with the local village team in mind:

And believe me we are dreaming of designing Wembley.

If your loyal WLOV readers take their time to study them – and resist poo-pooing them - I am sure that anyone who has shopped or tried to shop in the village will see they are perfectly fair.

OVIS demands:

These demands are from Section One of the Report “More efficient village shopping”
We demand that villagers improve the efficiency of the shopping experience in the village by:
- ending arguments over who will pay for morning coffees and afternoon teas in the cafes of the village
- an increase in the average walking speed by everyone who shops in the village – many people walk around the village too slowly indded independent research by OVIS has found a 50% increase in dawdling and a 37% increase in dilly dallying in the village in the last few years
- single file walking at all times – our pavements our narrow and shopping footfall and throughput can only be increased if we allow ease of access along our pavements and thoroughfares
- money being ready for payment – our members often complain of shoppers being ill-prepared to pay for their items and only retrieve their wallets or purses after the sum of money due has been requested by the shop owner, as one of our members put it “it shouldn’t be a surprise when we ask for money in return for goods and services’
- men having change in pockets and not purses – again OVIS estimates that large amounts of time our wasted by men trying to extract change from purses, Ovis believes that coins were made to be carried by men in their pockets and then regularly jingled especially at bars
- ending shouts of ’ooooooo’ at people they think they know over a distance of 10 yards or more, particularly across roads – this is one of the many irritations our younger shoppers have mentioned to me when they are out shopping in the village – all too often a major bit of shopping by someone younger and with money to spend is curtailed when they are put off by an older person recognising someone they know and then trying to get their attention by making a a two-pitched ‘oooooo’ sound, so that they can catch up with them for a chat. These noises can be can be irritating to other shoppers. And can wake babies up in prams pushed by attractive and affluent female shoppers.
How’s that for starters?
In return, members of OVIS will aim to deliver a better retailing experience for some. But more of our further demands and what it could mean to the village – later in the week.  Until then – happy shopping in the village!
"This type of luxury, multi floored shopping paradise could be a realistic vision for the village if we focus on pandering to the better off villagers and moving away from those who only ever buy coffees and haircuts and outmoded tobacco products" so says Malcolm Haxton of OVIS.

“This type of luxury, multi floored shopping paradise could be a realistic vision for the village if we focus on pandering to the better off villagers and moving away from those who only ever buy coffees and haircuts and outmoded tobacco products” so says Malcolm Haxton of OVIS.

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