It’s Definitely our Shoppers’ Fault! Local Shops Round on Customers

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.

6 comments on “It’s Definitely our Shoppers’ Fault! Local Shops Round on Customers

  1. American Shopper on said:

    Yeah man this ovis guy’s got it totally right. This one time I was like behind one of your great British shoppers and like this guy was searching for coins. It took ages and I like so nearly put down my tabacco product. But then i thought i would miss out on my quaint british shopping experience and what would i tell folks back home. So i waited. For like a whole minute! Waiting to buy stuff is like so communist. I’m like if there aren’t any shortages, there’s no way anyone should wait in line. If you have to search for coins you should like go live in North Korea or something.
    So like where I’m from, we use plastic. No searching. No coin euwness. No waiting. And it like doesn’t matter whether you have the money or not. Plastic can always be extended. Go plastic you British people!

    • WLOV Publisher on said:

      Hello, or should I say ‘Hi’ or ‘Howdy’ to our American reader. So nice that our small village website should be seen all the way over in the USofA. Or indeed over here, if you are an American in the UK in a kind of reverse of that famous Sting song. I love Sting.

      But American Shopper you are of course correct and I take my trilby off to you. Simply putting your shopping ‘on the plastic’ is the way to go. It always sorts itself out in the end. Of course it does.
      As it happens, as a ‘local businessman’ I do keep an eye on the old trade figures from stateside and I was very pleased to see that the levels of household debt are once again increasing, after the blip caused by all that financial ‘ho-ha’ – caused, once again, I am afraid by consumers not really knowing what they are doing and keeping an eye on things and not understanding the complex toxic financial packages their mortgages were tied up in. I despair of them. I really do.

      And just for the record, to show the Americans are finally getting back on track – US consumer debt rose in the final months of 2012 for the first time in four years. Total consumer debt rose 0.3% to $11.34 trillion in the fourth quarter, the New York Fed said in its quarterly household debt and credit report.

      Consumer debt had peaked in the third quarter of 2008 (see when consumers messed up and were asking too much from their banks), and since then had fallen by about 10% or $1.3 trillion. What happened there?

      Anyway, good to know our Americans are back to their spending ways!

      Cheers buddy!

      Mr Petersham

      • american shopper on said:

        Mr Petersham. Oh what a quaint name!
        We’re always ready to help our local shops here in the grand old US of A. I hope our actions prove inspirational for your local shoppers.

        • WLOV Reporter on said:

          Hi American Shopper

          Thanks for noticing our lil ole website here in the U of K!

          It’s ‘preciated!.

          By the way I love your country – you may have picked this up if you’ve read my posts here on WLOV!

          I’ve been there 27 times over a period of 40 years or so.

          I love the wide open spaces, the freedom of the freeways, the air, the people, the welcome you get over there.

          You’re welcome to visit our little piece of the UK any time – truth to atell it’s a pit poky and some of the people are a little miserable – but hey – whatcha gonna do?!

          You may have read on the site that our village is twinned with Thatcher, Arizona and a few of us dignatories visit there on our twinning programme fairly regularly.

          So if you live near there – I may see you soon!

          See ya pardner!

          Mr Petersham

  2. Literary lady on said:

    Mr Petersham

    Before you extend any more invitations to our American cousins to visit our village may I point out that these people seem incapable of communicating at anything less than shouting volume, and the most of their communication appears to focus on each others’ questionable relationships with their mothers.

    Please consider how a throng of these people would disturb the tranquility of village life. The bowling club may is already facing a struggle to avoid relegation into the Farm Foods Village Reserve League after Mr Crosby’s defection to Nether Crotchley, and need peace and quiet in the park on practice days.

    We gained the ASBO banning under-25s from going within 100m (how I loathe these European measurements) of the park boundaries on these days by using ‘adapted’ footage from the village fete British Bulldog tournament as evidence of antisocial behaviour. However, it is difficult to see how we would be able to ban noisy Americans without falling foul of the madness that is equality legislation.

    As custodian of the mobile library I have rules of silence in my armoury should I need to repel any American boarders attempting to disturb my reader’s peace. However, many village facilities would find it far less easy to deny them service.

    It is commendable to invite people to visit our village, but please think more carefully about WHO you invite in future. Americans may have a lot of money to spend in our shops and many other attractions, but is their presence really worth such a high price?

  3. Mystery Shopper on said:

    Personally speaking, or should I say “writing”. No, that won’t do at all. I’ll start again.

    Personally writing. . . Now, you see, that doesn’t make sense at all. May I start again again?

    From a personal perspective (ah, that’s much better) I yearn for the days far gone now, when so called “shoppers” had their expectations well curbed by the sensibilities of Decent Shop Keepers.

    Decent Shop Keepers knew how to manage their customers!

    The goods on offer were of the basic, much needed kind – meat and two veg and maybe fish on a Friday, new clothes for when your old clothes had worn out, needles and threads and various sized household brushes.

    There was only the old fashioned “credit” where you had the threat of having your knees cracked with an iron bar if you didn’t pay up at the end of the month.

    Old fashioned opening hours, with lunchtime closing and a half-day on Wednesday and – God forbid – no shopping on a Sunday.

    Old fashioned credit meant that the ordinary shopper didn’t buy more than they could afford to pay for and didn’t have to go to the Pawn Shop or a Money Lender in the meantime. Old fashioned opening hours meant a person had to plan their meals, keeping the nation trimmer and fitter and not at the mercy of unhealthy snacks from a “Fast Food” outlet (which in my experience do not offer food and are not fast). Old fashioned goods provided for a person’s genuine affordable needs and not their unaffordable desires.

    I blame a lot of the problems of the modern world on modern shopkeepers who strive to provide far too much to far too many and as such the quality of life for everyone has suffered irrevocably.

    I used to be a very successful door-to-door brush salesman, but alas my business had been totally ruined by the fact that my “customers” can now buy their brushes at almost any time of the day or early evening on any day of the week from a local shop.

    But, dear editor, I won’t fill your column with my personal complaints.

    To finish, I say “Hurrah” for your old fashioned ways in your Village. Long may they continue!

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