“Modern computing has revolutionised almost everything around us with untold benefits in almost every sector. We have new ways to communicate, we can conduct worldwide business easier, we have new forms of entertainment via video games, safer travel, new methods of teaching and untold others. Yet, it is like an addictive drug, for that's what it is to humanity, we can no longer do without it, we rely on it in virtually every part of our life. However when it came to shopping it did not behave as expected. We let society determine it's success and it passed with flying colours, sales are high, products are cheaper and the consumer is happy (whether they openly admit it or not). Society didn't understand what it was doing, it didn't see the side effects until it was too late. This technological experiment came untested, untried, unapproved and it attacked the beating heart of our towns. Ironically we attacked our high streets without even leaving the house, we didn't even have the guts to look them in they eye as we did it.
Our shopping habits have changed, browsing around the internet looking for something to catch your eye and buy isn't the most natural task. We are specific. HMV failed not just because it couldn't compete with online but it no longer knew what it was, a music outlet, a DVD store, electrical retailer, mobile phone seller, bookstore, fashion outlet or coffee shop. It sold everything and nothing and when faced with too much choice, it's been shown we often buy nothing. Independent shops thrive because they do one thing, they do it well and they do it with passion. Why does Totnes love independent coffee shops? Cause every time someone hands over one of those coffees they believe it is the best coffee they can give you. When someone gives you a coffee from Costa, it's just that, a coffee and nothing more.”
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