Sunday, 9 March 2014

This is a local shop for local people!

Do you shop locally or are you a supermarket sweeper?

I have to admit, I'm mainly a supermarket shopper and also buy a lot online. However, my recent experience has made me think again.

I live in Whitley Bay which is a coastal town near Newcastle upon Tyne. It has a town centre with lots of shops - some small chains, some independent local traders and I live about 10 minutes walk away from the high street. As I work (part time I grant you) and have a young family, I tend to grab as much as I can in one place - i.e. the supermarket. If I can't get it from a supermarket, then my paypal account gets a hammering online. It's easier isn't it? You can get everything you need can't you? It's cheaper too right?

Well, picture this. The girls school had their annual World Book Day recently. My eldest decided to go as Zoey from her current read 'Dork Diaries' (i.e. just go in normal clothes), and my youngest wanted to go in her bear costume which we have had for quite some time. Easy, I thought. Then, two days before the event, she announced that the bear costume was too small and would be too hot and scratchy to sit in all day.

Aha! I'll pop into Asda on my way home from work tomorrow. They had loads of costumes yesterday. We went online and she chose an Alice in Wonderland costume.

The problem was, the whole world and it's dog had bought costumes within that time and Asda hardly had anything left and nothing at all in her size.

I picked the kids up from school and delivered the bad news. I told her not to worry and that we'd go to the big Asda not so far away. Except they had nothing suitable either. Tesco, nothing. Our local wholesale superstore, nothing. After driving around for 15 miles with a stinking headache and an increasingly disappointed child, we decided to call it a day and go home.

I tried to order the costume on the Asda web site with collection from our local store but missed the 'next day delivery' by five minutes. We'd resigned ourself to patching up one of the costumes they already have (I'm not crafty at all but it was looking to be our only option left!)when I suddenly had a brain wave.
I recalled seeing a fancy dress shop, Bananas on the local high street. I'd never been in before and in my mind, it was more for adult costumes, would probably be more expensive, wouldn't have the stock. How wrong could I be?

I looked on the website and found the perfect costume. They had the right size in stock - Hooray! And it was cheaper than in the supermarkets - Double Hooray! I called them the next day and the put it to one side for me. When I went to collect, the friendly owners gave me a discount as there was also a sale on so I got it even cheaper again - Treble Hooray!!!

The shop was an Aladdin's cave of goodies with just about everything you could think of and at a good price. I can't believe I drove around getting all stressed when I could have just gone to the shop on my doorstep. I think you'll agree it is a lovely outfit too.

It has made me realise that my local town has a lot to offer, if I just took the time to take a look. I will definitely be spending some more time there soon. There are a few places to try for Mothers Day gifts. Not only will I undoubtedly find some nice items but I'll also be doing my bit to help local businesses and keep the town vibrant.

Do you have good local shops near you?

By Bee


  1. Ahh that's lovely. I love finding independent shops full of goodies for myself or someone I know. There used to be a few where I used to live. I moved just under 2 weeks ago and haven't been into the town centre yet so hopefully I'll make a good find when I do :)

    1. I hope you've found some hidden gems Keri.