I was very surprised to see that Tesco’s are partners in an “artisan” coffee shop chain (details here)
I have to be honest I was very annoyed and surprised to see this. Tesco’s is generally not a good name to bandy about in the independent world of business. There is much resentment amongst independent businesses about the way large supermarkets have worked hard to wipe out independents. As soon as an announcement is made that they have applied for planning permission communities do go up in arms to save their local economy. The debate goes on forever. Tesco’s do seem to have the least favoured name in the game!
I will hold my hand up. I do shop in large supermarkets – I have a Tesco’s near me which I regularly visit as it is very convenient. I wish I didn’t have to and try and avoid this, but I have a lack of choices when it comes to buying some goods. This choice will be further diminished if more independent business loose the battle for survival.
When I do support local businesses, I feel fabulous. Whether it is a local florist, a local farm shop or a small independent dress shop, I feel that I have done something (however small) to support my local economy. I value the customer service, the skill, time and effort that has been put into the business to provide me with the service that I am paying for. I make the choice with my eyes wide open as to which business I am supporting.
I guess that is what I am so annoyed about. Every independent business I know has hours and hours of toil behind it. It takes years to build good strong relationships with customers and we all endeavour to go that extra mile for our customers.
How annoying then that a large multinational company should try and emulate this … but by not being open about the fact that they are a chain with vast resources. They are trying to jump on the bandwagon of the fight for survival for the small businesses – by trying to take their customers! I wonder if someone in the boardroom flippantly said “if you can’t beat them, join them” when their profits were down last year.
This has made me more determined to avoid them and to ensure that I spend my money with local businesses. Businesses where I know people care and have worked endless hours to give me the product and services that I wish for.
There is a magic in visiting a local business. The owners take pride in what they do and what they have achieved so far. The hard work is evident in their product. There is a special atmosphere and I truly wish good luck to every real artisan and independent business out there!