The Independent London Newspaper


LETTERS: Independent shops offer a friendly chat for lonely pensioners

Published: 27 January, 2017

• J O’FLAHERTY’S letter makes it clear pensioners worry about the cost of going shopping – as do most of us living in Islington (Pensioners would welcome cheap deals at the ‘cop shop’, January 20). 

Large companies, like Sainsbury’s, are building up a property portfolio as they open more and more branches (often on the same road). It is true that they offer some goods cheaply (milk and bread) but other items will be at the same price or more as an independent shop. 

Supermarkets do this to try to get as much of a customer’s total shopping budget as possible. Fair enough. But what they may not do is have a conversation with you, or recognise you, or make you feel like you live in a community.

For many pensioners, loneliness is part of every day. Now that supermarkets offer self-service checkouts, even doing the shopping doesn’t guarantee brief human contact or relieve that loneliness... and all because the supermarket lured you in to buy a pint of milk (for the sort of discounted price that is causing misery to British farmers).

If the state pension is roughly £8,000 a year, it is definitely enough money to buy milk and other essentials from whichever shop you want.

On a more positive note, I’d like to give a shout-out to Seasons and Blossoms – a unique N5 shop with a fantastic range. 

It’s a place to feast your eyes on seasonal produce and maybe try asking the staff if they have any special deals. The worst that will happen is they politely say no. Three cheers for conversations in local shops run by the people who own them.

Prah Road, N4






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