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The Changing Face of Shopping

1.For the past eighteen years, Dilip Sardesai and his wife Andrija have run a small stationer’s shop in the university city of Newcastle, in the north-east of England. As well as selling paper, pens, computer and office equipment, they also offer a photocopying and fax service. The work long hours to keep the shop going, and both of their children help them after school. Dilip sees the personal contact he has with his customers as the most important part of his job. ‘Many of our customers are from the university,’ says Dilip. ‘We’ve seen generations of students come and go – we like to offer them the kind of personal service they can’t get in a larger shop. We’re never too busy to stop and chat about exams … or whatever they want to talk about…
2.Nicole Parnot is the manageress of a Forum hypermarket, situated 20 kilometers from Arras, a town in the north-east of France. Forum has 600 stores in five different countries and plans to expand into Eastern Europe. The huge hypermarket employs over 300 people, and has parking spaces for over 3000 cars. ‘People nowadays have busy lives,’ says Nicole, ‘so we try to attract families by offering them a complete shopping experience, icluding a full restaurant service and free entertaintment for the children. We try to make it possible for shoppers to do all their weekly shopping in one place. People come here not only for food and household goods, but also clothes, electrical goods, books, CDs… in fact, we sell everything from peanuts to personal computers!’

 

3.Five years ago, Dave Stirling had the idea of selling CDs over the Internet. The business he started from his home in Ohio, USA, now sells 500 000 CDs a year and has made him into a millionaire at the age of twenty-four. ‘I could see right away that this was the future of the shopping,’ says Stirling. ‘Why should you pay $15 for a CD – and spend the time and money getting to the store and parking your car – when, by clicking on your computer, you can have the same CD brought to your door for half the cost? And of course, there’s the choice – we promise to find any CD and deliver it within seventy-two hours!’ According to Stirling, this only the beginning. ‘I believe that one day we will do all our shopping over the Net: it’s easier, quicker and cheaper. Shops and supermarkets will soon be a thing of the past.’

Date: 2015-12-17; view: 509


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