I have read newspaper articles and letters over the last couple of years about Shetland shopkeepers’ concerns over the likes of Tesco arriving in Lerwick and the increase in internet buying. The worry is that local businesses cannot compete.
As a regular shopper in Lerwick, I can honestly say that local businesses are quite lazy when it comes to thinking about what people are looking for. I think Lerwick businesses need to move into the future, because what we have at the moment is a community of shopkeepers who really don’t care about their customers.
I believe this is a historical thing, harking back to a time when Shetlanders had no option but to buy in Lerwick.
I can provide numerous examples of a ‘couldn’t care less attitude’ by Lerwick businesses, which is very frustrating when you are out on a Saturday looking to spend money, and can’t find anything to spend it on.
Here are just a few examples:
Over the last few months I have gone to Lerwick several times shopping for shoes. I need a size eight in a shoe. Every time I have gone to the shoe shop, they don’t have a size eight in any of the shoes I like.
In May, I went shopping for a chiminea for the garden. I went to a big retailer at the Toll Clock Centre. No, they didn’t have any. I then got it from Argos. Last week, I got a brochure from the self same retailer selling several different chimineas. Oh – sorry, I bought it elsewhere.
The same retailer’s brochure advertised a certain pack of solar lights which I liked. Oh good, I thought. That’s just what I’m looking for. I went to buy them yesterday, to be told – ‘oh, they’re not in yet’.
This is typical of my experience when going shopping for something in Lerwick. It is extremely frustrating.
If this is what Shetland people are dealing with, no wonder they shop at Tesco or on the internet, or in Aberdeen.