09 December 2021, The Tablet

Smaller is better

Smaller is better

In the queue at a local butchers yesterday it was gratifying to stand behind a customer putting in her Christmas order. There will be many who did the same last year, only to have the family and friends they had been looking forward to being with having to cancel due to the pandemic restrictions. It is good to see that – after what is beginning to seem an age – most of us are going to go ahead and stick to what we have alway done. It’s December and it’s time to plan the festive dinner.

But how we go about it has changed. I suspect that the queue I stood in yesterday included people who in previous years bought everything they needed in a supermarket. Yet now they go to independent shops, a habit that for many of us has become entrenched over the last 21 months. Former daily commuters who have had more time at home have switched to investigating high streets and local farm shops. Almost every small food retailer has reported an increase in sales. They have been rediscovered by shoppers who before the lockdowns had been ordering online from one of the big retailers.

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