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meadowrun
15th Mar 2018, 09:02
This inspired the thought:
We had a very good mobile fishmonger who would deliver whatever fishy delicacy you wanted. His van was emblazoned with his company mission statement.....

'Fish so fresh the next of kin are yet to be informed'.


It is well known that the internet shops and many remaining concrete ones are trying very hard to perfect delivery systems in synch with what the internet has made possible. Fast, Secure. Fresh.
They are struggling with that.


The above quote, I hazard refers to the 50s. Imagine how well that trader would do now in the era of mobile phones and computers?


Perhaps the delivery systems could be created around mobile stockroom trucks/lorries of various types delivering directly to the consumer.
Computers keep track of 100% of the stock, schedule re-loads, handle all the clerical stuff. Would not encompass all that is available at these places but a good % of the popular items could be stocked.


There were quite a few things delivered to homes in the early.mid 20th century, and it worked. just a thought at 0202

Pontius Navigator
15th Mar 2018, 09:11
MR, like our milkman carried a few bottles of orange juice. I think the bread man had eggs. The milk man had a modern electric cart. The bread man also provided manure for our apple trees.

Both were from the Coop and we still had a Coop shop and Chemist across the road.

Then there was the Kleen Eazy man now replaced by some threatening Balkan. I seem to remember a mobile hardware van too. As for the knife sharpener, we still had one in our village last year - knives, shears, lawn mowers.

Not to forget the rag and bone man, at least he paid you for your rubbish rather than the ubiquitous charity bags today. The rags probably went to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Shoddy industry.

WilliumMate
15th Mar 2018, 09:51
My post quoted above was from around 2003. The business served remote communities/farms. We were about 20 miles from a big supermarket and some 6 miles from a small shop. He worked on regular or repeat orders or telephone orders and had a good trade.

I work in logistics and our customers are normally concerned with single item, high value loads and are prepared to pay a lot of money for a bespoke service both national and international. One vehicle and driver, no groupage.

Your idea could work, but as the customers want the lowest price and often free delivery the costs involved would be prohibitive. The big players have massive distribution centres stocked by HGVs and then use fleets of vans to serve the houses. The poor sods driving the vans are expected to carry out up to and over 100 drops a day for little over the minimum wage or are encouraged to rent a van and be self employed, further cutting their costs. However, fall ill and these companies charge you around £150 a day to get a replacement driver in.

The big concrete supermarkets all have their own shop on line and delivery service (same day if needed) or shop on line, drive in and collect. I can get same day delivery of furniture, white goods, carpets, if in stock.

Like others, the distribution business is engaged in a race to the bottom driven by consumers demanding ever lower prices and ever quicker delivery so by placing extra layers of cost into the equation it would become non viable as punters would go elsewhere.

We are sheltered from this by the nature of our business and I did not realise how bad it had got at the local level until talking to a van courier while dropping in central London. Contracted to a well known company he hires a small branded van from the company for £135 a week. After paying for insurance, fuel, two lots of NI contributions and other costs he was on about £3 per hour net working 15 hr days driving in London. He couldn't wait to get out, but the van rental was on a three month contract he had signed. That's how they get them.

treadigraph
15th Mar 2018, 10:22
PN, remember the French onion sellers?

WilliumMate
15th Mar 2018, 10:29
We have the modern day equivalent round here. A Dutch HGV with the trailer being a walk in flower store. Visits the flower shops in the area and always seems to be well patronised.

sitigeltfel
15th Mar 2018, 11:21
...and the lone driver who turned up at one of my projects yesterday with a 350 kilo, marble topped table.

"How did you load it" asks I?
"Forklift" says he.
"How are we going to get it off" says I?
"Err..." says he.

Fortunately I had a team of burly Kosovan and Polish tradesman at hand to do the lifting, and I learned a lot of new foreign swear words.

Pontius Navigator
15th Mar 2018, 11:53
Treadmill, indeed and we were in Birkenhead. Mrs PN can remember the Danish butter boats in Grimsby.

WM, I bought an under cabinet LED array from our local DIY on their 10% off day. £27 plus time and fuel. Didn't really like the light output.

Ordered an alternative product on line last night, it arrived at 10am, better product, more light, only £26 and no time or fuel cost. Of course near industrial slavery.

G-CPTN
15th Mar 2018, 14:11
We have the modern day equivalent round here. A Dutch HGV with the trailer being a walk in flower store. Visits the flower shops in the area and always seems to be well patronised.

We used to see such 'Dutch' registered trucks arrive in our village to service the flower shop - haven't seen it for a couple of years now - I will ask what happened.

ExXB
15th Mar 2018, 14:44
We have the modern day equivalent round here. A Dutch HGV with the trailer being a walk in flower store. Visits the flower shops in the area and always seems to be well patronised.Quite common here as well, outside the single market.

G-CPTN
15th Mar 2018, 14:51
We used to see such 'Dutch' registered trucks arrive in our village to service the flower shop - haven't seen it for a couple of years now - I will ask what happened.

The arrival day and time was unpredictable (I used to see them parked up overnight), their prices were not cheap, and other suppliers were found close by, so the flower shop no longer uses them (unreliable).

KelvinD
15th Mar 2018, 15:33
Pontius: As you were in Birkenhead in those far off days, you may have known Little Neston. I grew up there in the 1950s and we used to marvel at how Onion Johnny used to arrive on his bike every year. We had no idea of how far away this place called France was but we knew he must have cycled miles to get to our village! I think BR had something to do with it! Always friendly blokes and always made welcome when they arrived.

G-CPTN
15th Mar 2018, 15:42
we used to marvel at how Onion Johnny used to arrive on his bike every year. We had no idea of how far away this place called France was but we knew he must have cycled miles to get to our village! I think BR had something to do with it! Always friendly blokes and always made welcome when they arrived.

On Tyneside (and Tynedale), the French onion man (on his bicycle) would arrive each year.
It was only when the regional newspaper published an 'exposť' that I realised that, far from one onion seller arriving on the ferry with his bicycle loaded with strings of onions, there was a team with van-loads of onions (and bicycles) that flooded the region with 'Onion Johnnies'.

Ah! the ignorance of youth . . .

treadigraph
15th Mar 2018, 15:43
I remember them (just) in Penzance; I used to marvel at how they'd come all that way on a bicycle just to flog a few onions; didn't occur to me that Gaston, Pierre et Renee each had a bicycle, and their camion was parked up in a lay-by somewhere with several tons of the things aboard!

Edit: snap!

hiflymk3
15th Mar 2018, 16:25
The onion man, the rag & bone man, the milkman. Tick.

A little off topic, here in Hastings, (stop laughing at the back) much of it was built during the Victorian era. On many of the terraced streets are traces of what once were shops with a flat above. The shop part has now been converted into living space.

What intrigues me is how many shops there would have been in a small local area. Butchers, bakers. grocers, green grocers etc. I guess they all made a modest living until the supermarkets arrived.

It takes me back to when I was a kid growing up on the Isle of Wight. In our little town there were the above but also a toy shop, sweet shop, tobacconists, a hardware store, a shoe shop. Down a lane was a market garden for veg.

Simpler times eh?

treadigraph
15th Mar 2018, 16:33
When we moved to Purley in '72, there was a modest Sainsburys, an International (remember them), several butchers, grocers, a proper toyshop, several shoe shops, Timothy Whites, etc. Now, a massive Tesco, small Sainsburys Local, couple of other convenience stores and a plethora of estate agents, charity shops and fast food outlets.

MG23
15th Mar 2018, 17:07
Perhaps the delivery systems could be created around mobile stockroom trucks/lorries of various types delivering directly to the consumer.

I believe Amazon have talked about doing that. Bezos has probably patented it already.

G-CPTN
15th Mar 2018, 17:31
A neighbour works for Amazon in a warehouse based on an industrial estate in the nearby city.
They offer 'one hour' delivery across the metropolitan area.

I don't know whether that is for the whole range of goods or for selected items only.

Gertrude the Wombat
15th Mar 2018, 20:32
... and a plethora of estate agents, charity shops and fast food outlets.
Not to mention mobile phone shops that don't sell mobile phones.

Wanted to buy a mobile phone the other day - went round all the shops I could find in town, and only one of them actually sold phones (the rest sold contracts or air time or whatever, but not actual phones that you could put your existing SIM into). And when I asked for one that would work in Canada they said "Europe only mate".

So I went to the out-of-town Tesco and bought a mobile phone. Unlocked. Without a SIM. That will work in Canada. I did try the high street first, but the high street weren't even trying.

Pontius Navigator
15th Mar 2018, 20:41
There was a line of shops opposite, at least 50 yards opposite. Corner shop sweet shop, little more than a kiosk, a bank, green grocers with herbs on drying racks, off-licence, newsagent, bike shop where your accumulators could get charged and buy acetylene, a harberdashers, the chemist, the Coop, and the Coop chemist. No butcher!

When we moved in, the green grocers and newsagents brought tea and cakes.

G-CPTN
15th Mar 2018, 20:55
One reason why (even) small towns had a variety of shops was the difficulty of travelling to the nearby towns to buy their essentials, therefore entrepreneurs 'set up shop' to supply the demand.
Once public transport (for the masses) arrived, people started travelling further afield to shop, and once the motor car became 'universal', out-of-town supermarkets became widespread - killing off any remaining 'local' shops.

hiflymk3
15th Mar 2018, 21:38
Don't forget fishmongers, Mac Fisheries and all. Their shopfronts opened onto the pavement, all types of fish on display, bloody eyed and down in the mouth. Crab paste on toast for a snack. Mmm.

meadowrun
15th Mar 2018, 21:42
....and the evolution of all the "killing off" seems to be ever increasing internet ordering and home delivery.
Trouble is (for delivery purposes), dealing with the complexities of urban design is proving a hard nut to crack and long distance has its own difficulties.
Anything operating or being proposed does not seems to rise above the - "This is working well in all aspects" evaluation.


I'd rather have a cosy high street myself. don't mind a bit of a walk and some socialization with neighbours but I think they are all goners, at least in any fondly remembered style.


So, how they gonna do it properly?

Carbon Bootprint
15th Mar 2018, 22:15
So, how they gonna do it properly?How about this? :}

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/10/23/1414039030233_wps_3_Australia_Lamborghinis_de.jpg

jimtherev
15th Mar 2018, 23:12
As lots of people say, small shops have nearly all gone from the High Street. However, Mrs Jim & I are surprised by the number of eateries. Not just the multinational franchises or Wetherspoons, either. Small independent restaurants - a variety of them, from just-above-greasy-spoon to elegant; from English (not many of these) to European to Oriental. Obviously good money there, if they get it right, and a good experience for those of us who find the good ones!

Pontius Navigator
16th Mar 2018, 08:05
The high street is all very well and a good one very enjoyable but as out of towners we feel lost in some stores crammed with clothing. The same store's internet presence, in contrast, can be simple and uncluttered: one dress (no sniggering) rather than a rack packed tight with every size and colour of the same garment, except Mrs PN's size.

More importantly, for me, is the ease of finding obscure items and better price on the internet.

Fareastdriver
16th Mar 2018, 09:58
I would avoid internet shopping for groceries from the supermarkets. The 'shoppers' will always pick the oldest stuff on the shelves so you end up with a pile of groceries that have to be used within the next two days.

Pontius Navigator
16th Mar 2018, 11:04
FED, and their a!ternative choice might be rather adventurous. I also HATE the supermarkets that fill the delivery crates in the main store thus blocking the aisles.

Of course they will be searching for old stock :)

Mind you, our local Coop didn't deliver and only sold Class 1 veg. They would keep it in the back until needed by which time the stuff on the shelves was waste and the restock on the way to being rotten.

MG23
16th Mar 2018, 16:16
As lots of people say, small shops have nearly all gone from the High Street.

Still plenty over here. But we don't have staggeringly high council tax to push them out of business. Or councils pushing ever-higher parking charges to discourage anyone other than the unemployed from shopping there.

The big problem is that so many of the shops only stock the fast-selling items, so I have to buy online if I want something unusual, when I'd rather just have picked it up from a local store on the way home. So it produces a vicious circle where they cut more stock and I buy more online so they sell less and cut more stock.

G-CPTN
16th Mar 2018, 16:34
councils pushing ever-higher parking charges to discourage anyone other than the unemployed from shopping there.

Is it your contention that the unemployed arrive on foot or by public transport?

Our nearby town has free parking - that is there is no charge (as a result of a battle by politicians insisting that the rich areas should enjoy the same free parking as the under-advantaged ex-mining areas did) - resulting in chaos as everyone drives into the centre so there are no available spaces (people working in the town who used to seek out free parking in residential streets now take up the spaces in the long-term parking areas which used to be paid parking with annual passes - which are no longer available).

By the time that shoppers arrive there are no vacant parking spaces available.

MG23
16th Mar 2018, 16:56
Is it your contention that the unemployed arrive on foot or by public transport?

They're the only ones who can afford to waste the time required to walk or take the bus down town. The rest of us would drive to out-of-town stores.

In the last few years I lived in the UK the council increased the price of parking by about a factor of ten, and 'pedestrianized' the high street so it was no longer possible to just park outside a shop for two minutes while you went in and bought something.

So I stopped going there. And most of the local stores disappeared, to be replaced by charity stores, bookies and coffee shacks.

Oh, and, yeah, they did introduce 'residents' parking' schemes in the area so we couldn't park in the empty residential streets, either.

Edit: here, they just fill downtown with junkies, crazies and bums, which is equally as effective a deterrent.

Pontius Navigator
16th Mar 2018, 19:28
Don't forget fishmongers, Mac Fisheries and all. Their shopfronts opened onto the pavement, all types of fish on display, bloody eyed and down in the mouth. Crab paste on toast for a snack. Mmm.

Actually fishmongers seem to be reviving the mobile shop. 40 miles from Grimsby we would pre-order fish and they would be delivered once a month. Now, some 80 miles away we have a Grimsby fishman once a fortnight.

Gertrude the Wombat
16th Mar 2018, 19:50
Or councils pushing ever-higher parking charges to discourage anyone other than the unemployed from shopping there.
Wot you have to understand is that with

council tax rises capped
government grants to councils falling
council's being given more and more services they're responsible for delivering
pretty well the only way many of them have got to balance the books is to squeeze as much as they can out of their commercial businesses, which in many cases is car parks. When I was the councillor in charge of a £9m council car parking business we could afford to balance a variety of criteria rather than going for the pricing algorithm that would maximise income regardless of any other objective, but I suspect that few councils can afford to do that these days.

As an example of the sort of trade-off, modelling might show that you maximise income by putting the price up to a point where you have some empty spaces on a Saturday afternoon (yes, really). Which doesn't help much towards your "vitality of the high street" objective.

cavuman1
17th Mar 2018, 16:33
The largest grocery chain in the United States, Kroger, is based here in Cincinnati. Their second largest store is nearly 150,000 sq. ft. under roof and is located five minutes from our home. I suffer from COPD and my Bride from MS, so we don't like grocery shopping! :\

About six months ago, Kroger implemented "Clicklist", wherein one places one's order and pays online, then, a day later, drives to the store within a one-hour time window where a store employee loads one's groceries. The cost of the service is $5.00 per order and well worth it! It takes perhaps twenty minutes to select items on line, five minutes to load the purchases into the car, and ten minutes to unload and distribute all of the items, starting with a beer for me to supervise! Thusly a two-hour shopping trip wherein one selects items off the shelf, places them in a cart, removes them to a cashier's conveyor belt, bags them, loads those bags into one's vehicle, then, finally, unloads them at one's domicile (a six-tiered transaction) is reduced to only one when click list is utilized! No more dealing with morbidly obese morons on spaz chariots, no more waiting in line with ADHD ill-behaved whining children, no more growing impatient with food stamp recipients squandering their ill-gotten wealth on vast quantities of soft drinks, candy bars, and potato chips! :{

We have found that the shoppers select excellent meats and long-dated dairy products. When substitutions are made, they are customarily upscaled. Should we elect to invest another $10/order, our groceries will be delivered to our doorstep. I wonder if they'd drink my beer at no extra charge? :E

- Ed :ok: