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Shop Local?

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When it comes to food shopping, it has always been said that most shoppers most of the time will go to the supermarket that is closest to where they happen to be. Diversions are definitely not the norm and unless there is a quite extraordinary reason for doing otherwise, there is so much choice that the best thing is just to do the easiest thing.

Now, with Covid-19 tying us to our homes from which we venture out occasionally for new supplies the ‘nearest is best’ principle is probably being given a major shot in the arm. And as the big supermarkets ration the number of people in a store and the number of items that may be bought, it is the local shops that are stepping up to the plate to plug the gaps when it comes to making sure we have enough to eat.

But what will all of this mean in a few months’ time when, hopefully, we have turned the corner? Will we be content to shop local, or will the urge to splurge grip us all, making us travel to get that sense of difference? It’s a difficult one to answer, but it seems a fair bet that from having become hyper-small in terms of our shopping radii, we will be happy to range further afield. How long this state of post-crisis euphoria will last is anybody’s guess.

By John Ryan