Sunday, October 18, 2009

The end of the mom 'n' pop shop

Unfortunately the days of the mom 'n' pop shop are long gone. I realized this today when I got up nice and early to do some shopping for an event I was having. My first destination was the liquor store at 9:20am, only to find that they don't open until 10am. As I stood there, I could see the employees trying hard to not make eye contact with me. As if to say, 'if we make eye contact we will be compelled to open the doors for you.' After about 5 minutes of waiting in my car, I decided to leave and go elsewhere for my drinks. Even then, because the sale of alcohol is controlled by my province, I only had the option of going to 1 other place for my purchase. After that, it was off to the bank. I reached the bank at 9:50am. At 9:59 and 57 seconds, one of the employees unlocked the door, just in time for them to open at 10:00am. It actually took him 3 seconds to unlock the door.

Later on in the day, I stepped back out to run an errand. I reached the store at 5:07pm, only to find out they closed at 5:00pm. Although I was pretty annoyed by that, it turned out I wasn't the only one. Another customer who had reached there at 5:04pm also found their doors locked and was fuming.

What has happened? It used to be that even a few minutes after closing hours, stores would make the exception for one or two customers to quickly come in and make their purchases. Opening a few minutes early was a nice gesture that said, 'don't stand out there in the cold waiting, c'mon in and get what you need.' I'll tell you what has happened, corporations realize that whether or not we make it on time for their operating hours, we will show up again tomorrow or the day after that, as we have no choice. We don't have many options for places where we can buy our liquor, do our banking or even get our prescriptions and they know it and are taking full advantage of it. Local stores which were run by a lovely older couple are long gone. I think they can only be found in places where there is a population of less than a 1000 or so. Our options no longer exist and unfortunately we now have to heed to the beck and call of the almighty corporation.

I miss the little shops, and every time I pass a small store that is now struggling to stay in business, I think of a much easier time, not so long ago. *Sigh*

RIP mom 'n' pop shop.

Happy Shopping!!

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