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Shopping habits November 27, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

A short report on Prime Time (https://www.rte.ie/player/series/prime-time/SI0000000825?epguid=IH000383040) where Conor Pope of the Irish Times was making a lot of sense. He made the point that many of the impacts of the pandemic on retail are actually an accentuation of pre-existing trends with a shift to online and so forth.

Whether these stick or not I think is more open. If a vaccine is forthcoming and if that works reasonably well, at least to the extent of a general reopening within a year or so I suspect that people will go back to shopping in person as almost a pastime. And why not? Many of us have spent happy hours in book and music shops. For those who find clothes fill function or whatever more power to them. And on a side note I still enjoy on my weekly trips to LIDL just browsing shelves – in a way simply because it is good for getting away from working from home for even a brief period.

That said having ordered in some products that aren’t easily accessible I have a funny feeling I’ll – should the job survive – be doing that for the forseeable and long after the pandemic. Home deliveries are just simply handier.

Of course all this is also predicated on more rather than less people being able to continue working, at least some of the time, from home.

And what about a key issue, those who have lost their jobs either temporarily or longer? Exactly how does this brave new world accommodate them, or more specifically, what measures are there to assist them until matters stabilise in a more positive way? That’s where the state comes in. All very well to talk about consumers and changing patterns of expenditure and consumption but a lot of people are having a very very tough time of it. In all the discussion they seem to play a role of near invisibility – but for their jobs, some of which may not return, all the angst about the limited ‘reopenings’ envisaged must seem entirely abstract.


1. sonofstan - November 28, 2020

“That said having ordered in some products that aren’t easily accessible I have a funny feeling I’ll – should the job survive – be doing that for the forseeable and long after the pandemic. Home deliveries are just simply handier”

I absolutely hate shopping online. I enjoy leaving the house on almost any pretext and like nearly all kinds of shops with the exception of supermarkets, so these last months have been a trial. I’m looking forward to being able to go into a hardware shop – not a B&Q, the old fashioned local one – needing something I don’t know the name of and explaining it to the grumpy lad behind the counter, possibly even drawing a picture.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

Ah, now there we are opposites – bar book and music shops I prefer supermarkets, but I do share the get out impulse – even Woodies or PowerCity would be a nice change. There’s one of those hardware shops around the corner here. Brown paper and string and every size of rawl plug you could ever need. A great spot but closed for the duration.


sonofstan - November 28, 2020

I know the one – indeed a great shop.


6to5against - November 28, 2020

There was hardware shop very like you describe when I moved into my town about 15 years ago. Looked utterly chaotic, absolutely stuffed to the brim with stock, much of which would have been years old – but always serviceable.

Like you, I used to go in to buy things I couldn’t name, (to do jobs I could barely manage). I learned after a while to skip the first part: just tell them what I needed to do, and they would tell me how I should do it, and then sell me the needed equipment (or not, maybe tell me where else I could get it instead.)

Wonderful shop. Burned down ten years ago. How I miss it


Fergal - November 28, 2020

Ah, great hardware stores! Love them…
‘No, you couldn’t do that without a bit of lime’
Now, you’ve kids in B+Q who haven’t a clue…
‘Do you have any epoxy?’
Blank stare…
Repeat question
Angry stare …
20 minutes later, no
‘And will you get be getting some soon?’
Young lad has disappeared…

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020


There’s a certain zen like calm that I get when walking along aisles of gloss paint, drill bits and weed killers. Interrupted only by the tv stations at the end selling ‘finally a duster that really dusts’ new devices!


alanmyler - November 28, 2020

There was one of those hardware shops beside where we used to live in Dublin, Churchtown Stores. Two brothers ran it, they wore the old brown shop coats, figured out the bill on the back of a brown paper bag using a pencil kept behind their ear, they stocked absolutely everything, and it cost strange amounts like 72p which I guess was their wholesale cost plus some mark-up. Great place. It closed a few years ago I believe. Now out here in North Meath we still have some great shops. I went into our nearest farm / builders supplies shop shortly after we moved out here, to get some ready mix cement to fix something or other in the house. I was used to popping around to Churchtown Stores, or Woodies, so I was the naive urban DIYer. I was told that “there would be no call for that around here” but they had those huge bags of cement and of builder’s sand if I wanted those, which I didn’t. Lesson learned, I was in the country now. Earlier this year I had to buy a hoe for the garden as the head snapped off the old one, so up I went to McEntee’s in Nobber. What an Aladdin’s cave of stuff, sheds full of all sorts of farm supplies. And a hoe that you could use to break up Saddam’s bombproof bunker in Baghdad. Herself has recently found another great hardware shop in Kells, which sells everything from nails to PC printers. There’s something about those sorts of shops that on-line will never replace. Long may they last.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

That’s very true – you literally have to be there in them to appreciate them. And the smell of fertiliser. Musn’t forget that.


alanmyler - November 28, 2020

I was an early adopter of the loss of smell which people with covid have been climbing onto my bandwagon, so the smell of fertiliser means nothing to me unfortunately. Slurry now, that’s a different matter, one doesn’t need a sense of smell to know when that’s being spread on the fields, one can actually taste it.

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