When we came to this town one reason was the shopping was convenient. There was plenty of choice in the town centre and around. Now it is much changed and what might have been routine shopping is very different.
Many places were put out of business by the new big stores that the Council grovelled to have built but now the big boy chains are also closing stores. So shopping is now not so much the exercise of rational choice as the hurly burly of an overcrowded mega shed or finding, something, anything on the web.
This sad story comes from America where Walmart having achieved monopoly status in many communities is now pulling out because profits are down and they have gone into overstretch. So big that was supposed to be better has turned out for the worse. Over in the UK, Tesco, once alleged to be customer friendly has become distinctly one to approach with care.
Then there are the telephones. Here we learn that Currys, PC World and Vodaphone, all taken over are to be turned into one shop stores and that means a lot of shops must go. One interesting phone question is who you are with, is it who you think it is?
This was sent to me as an illustration:
1995: BT & Securicor create Cellnet.
1999: BT buy out Securicor and rebrands as BT Cellnet
2002: BT Cellnet spun off from BT & renamed as O2
2005: O2 sold to Telephonica for £18bn
2014: BT in talks to buy EE
2015: O2 sold to Hutchison Whampoa Limited (owners of 3) for £10.25bn pending regulatory approval.
2016: Sale of EE to BT for £12.5bn approved by Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Approval of sale of O2 to Hutchison Whampoa Limited, which is in the hands off Brussels, still pending.
There are times when I feel that we are all back in the jungle. The trouble is that now we are the prey and the predators are big and getting bigger.