Urmston Independents: Celebrate Diversity not Uniformity

The Rise of Stepford High Street …

Meh ... big-name retailers don't inspire.

Meh … big-name retailers don’t inspire.

Big chains have groomed high streets throughout the UK to look like clones: big-name coffee chains, Argos, Boots and Marks and Spencer are a ubiquitous presence.  People welcome them because they bring jobs into the community and they offer a reassuring uniformity (you know what you’re getting with Starbucks).

The truth of the matter is that small, independent traders in Urmston keep more of your money in the community.  They reinvest the money you give them by shopping locally, as well as recruiting staff from the local area and donating time and money to worthwhile projects in the local community.  The £10 you give an independent trader can be reinvested again and again, giving it a true worth closer to £50.  You’re unlikely to be seeing the MD of one of the big five supermarkets buying a pound of fruit on Urmston Market, nor the CEO of a big European franchise booking in to Salon Pierre for an eyelash tint.

That’s the only colour that comes in …

The proliferation of big chains and franchises has altered our expectations: we like them because we know what to expect, but how did we lose our desire to explore, to find something new, rather than being presented with what we are told we want?  Independent traders in Urmston offer a departure from the uniformity of corporate branding.  I’m thinking of the charming window displays in Urmston Bookshop, Fouette or the Glass Slipper, the beautifully handwritten menus in Lily’s Coffee Lounge or the Better Tuition bird.

We know you’re going to love this – whether you like it or not …

You might like that you know what to expect with a big retailer or service provider, but they can be inflexible.  Many years ago I got a haircut at a swanky, famous name hair salon in another metropolis.  Waiting for my stylist, I started to get alarmed that every single person seemed to be leaving with one of two haircuts (pixie crop or choppy bob).  A couple of hours later my suspicions proved correct; slinking home in a huff with my a choppy bob I hadn’t asked for,  I realised that this particular big-name salon offered only two hairstyles, whether you liked them or not!  I’ve never had a haircut I didn’t ask for at JW Hairdressing or PowerCuts or Walsh’s, and the point I’m making is that independent traders in Urmston are often better equipped to deal with our requests, offering a more individualised service.  Read more about the benefits of using local, independent traders where possible.

I’m not suggesting a boycott of big chains – but shopping mindfully and using independent Urmston traders when and where you can will often prove cheaper (see my previous post on how big corporations sometimes manipulate the facts to make their services appear cheaper) and will certainly keep more of YOUR money circulating in the community.

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2 thoughts on “Urmston Independents: Celebrate Diversity not Uniformity

  1. I’ll tell you one thing that will make me, and others, shop more locally. Somewhere for us blokes to buy footwear and clothing. There is nothing for us at all.

    I get my veg off the market and my meat from the local butchers. All other foodstuffs and toiletries come from ALDI / Sainsbury’s and Quality Save. Everything else is purchased outside of the area or via the internet.

    I do put money over the bar in the Nelson though 🙂

    • There is a stall on the market that has men’s clothing – it’s the first stall as you enter the market from Railyway Rd. And you cannot fault Urmston for its wide array of charity shops! I recently attended the Lord Mayor of Trafford’s ball – I lead a glamorous sort of life – and had a last-minute panic-dash around the shops for an evening bag. Found one in the Shelter shop on Gloucester Rd. for £2.50 – bargain!

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