Retail Monopoly

I was less than overjoyed when Co-op took over Somerfield, leaving us two Co-ops.  Not good for choice when both in-town supermarkets stock identical ranges.

But Co-op’s mini-monopoly is about to be eclipsed.  I just passed the recently-closed Stead and Simpson, hitherto our big(-ish) shoe shop, and one of the biggest shops on the high street.  It’s being refurbished, and proclaims itself about to re-open as a St Luke’s Hospice shop.

Hang on!  We already have not one but two St Luke’s in town!  How the **** do they justify three shops (two of them large) within one minute’s walk of each other in a small market town’s high street?  This is clearly an organisation with more money than it can spend.  I shall have to try and make a point of avoiding events that contribute further to that excess!

Posted on March 26, 2013, in charity, retail. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. In fact we have THREE St Luke’s Hospice shops already – you omit their bookshop in Paddon’s Row, methinks. My understanding is that they intend to consolidate the three existing shops into the former Stead and Simpson unit.

    However the proliferation of charity shops in towns large and small is an issue, especially for those independent traders who have to compete with them whilst paying for stock, staff, business rates and other taxes….costs that charity shops, in the main, avoid.

  2. Heh. No, the Paddon’s Row shop is the small one amongst those I already counted. I must have missed one of the others.

    I know all about the issue with charity shops. They allegedly sometimes even have an unholy relationship with landowners whereby they occupy premises just to save the owners having to pay taxes, thus helping keep supply down and maintain top prices on those units leased to commercial tenants.

  3. For the sake of completeness, the three St Luke’s locations are: Paddon’s Row, Brook Street and Duke Street.

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