It looks like WLOV has stirred up something of a hornet’s nest.
Following our article in WLOV on Sunday, in which I Maisie Walsh chief reporter for WLOV, interviewed Malcolm Haxton the Chair of our village’s association of shops (OVIS) about the challenges faced by village retailers there has been a something of a storm raging.
As the spokesperson for our local shops in a time of great challenge and economic hardship, Malcolm took the unusual position of using this platform to criticise people who shop in the village, saying that these should ’stop moaning and show some dignity and loyalty by shopping in the village.”
As you can imagine, Malcom’s outburst has caused a few eye brows to be raised in the village. But not perhaps in the way that you would expect. I spoke to a number of shop owners in the village to gauge their views following Mr Haxton’s interview in WLOV.
Derek Fimbers, who runs the local barbershop and tobacconist - “Pipe and Snippers” had this to say about Mr Haxton’s comments:
“I’ve been cutting hair and selling tobacco-based products in the village for nearly 60 years and I think Malcolm go this absolutely right. It’s people who shop in the village who are dragging the village down – not us traders. It’s about time someone spoke up for us. Since we’ve had this so-called consumerist society from the 1970s, it’s been nothing but take, take, take from us small businesses. I’ve had to learn three new haicuts and stock another three types of cigarette or cigar. And no one’s bought a cigarillo since 1979 and I’ve still got thousands of them. I wish people would make their minds up about what they want. And just settle down. I blame all the people who presented Holiday on a Sunday evening in the 1970s and 1980s. Ever since Cliff Michelmore, John Carter and that BBC mob started introducing new this and new that and French people like this and Italians like that – it’s been hell for us. Well, I agree with Malcom enough is enough. We have enough things now. Surely to goodness.”
Derek’s views are echoed by other villager shop owners including Val Snead from the hair salon “Val’s”, Trisha Bolt from the hair salon “Trish’s” and Jennifer Barber from the hair salon ‘Barber’s’. As well as shoe shop owners Syd Scott, Arthur Lees and Harry Bradshaw.
Malclom Haxton, has sought the views of all his OVIS members and has come up with a list of complaints about the standard of shoppers in the village and published them in a White Paper entitled “Village Shoppers – Shut Up and Shop.”
In this paper OVIS claims that local shoppers:
- frequently expect shops to be open at times convenient to them and refuse to accept that shop owners deserve time off 0n Wednesday afternoons and other random times sometimes at short notice
- sometimes ‘come out without their wallet or purse’ and expect shops to extend credit – sometimes for periods of up to 24 hours
- waste time searching for coins that are ‘at the bottom of their bags’ when other shoppers are waiting
- expect a choice of things such as clothes, shoes and hair cuts
- expect ‘new’ thinsg regularly
- expect to be able to change things that don’t fit or break – even after they have left the shop.
OVIS claims that all these demands are placing excessive pressures on shop owners.
Later this week, WLOV will publish the plan that OVIS insist will improve shopping in the village. Keep reading WLOV to find out more.
What are your thoughts on the claims made by OVIS? Are you a local shopper and are you just not very good at shopping? Would you appreciate a short course on ‘How to shop better’ given by OVIS? Please let us know your views.
Please note: WLOV and OVIS have no formal connection even though it may look as though WLOV is giving a free editorial platform to local businesses in order to encourage them to finally place some advertising with us. WLOV editorial independence is tantamount.