My very first job was in a place called Clyde’s Grocery Store. It was a small grocery store located on the Ohio River in Maysville, KY. I have such fond memories of that place. It was family owned and the atmosphere was so down-to-earth.
Once Wal-Mart came to Maysville however, Clyde’s was unable to compete. It tried, oh boy did it try. But ultimately it succumbed to the same slow death that all the small stores are succumbing to nationwide and worldwide.
There’s just something so unexplainably wonderful about small-town, family owned stores isn’t there? Whether it’s a small grocery store, a clothing store, a book store, a café, or a restaurant, they just feel like home. They have personality. What’s more awesome than having coffee with a friend at a small-town café? What stirs the imagination like spending hours reading in a small-town book store? They are each unique unto themselves, whereas the large chain stores and restaurants are impersonal and are basically just clones of each other.
The realist in me knows that there is no reversing this trend. The small stores simply cannot compete with the prices of the larger chains. Wal-Mart can make a penny profit on each item and still make billions because their volume is so large. Whereas the smaller stores, with smaller volume, have to have to make a larger profit on each item just to barely break even. This is why the large chains can offer such low prices.
I am hoping that there will always be a home for the smaller stores though. I hope that there will be towns that will remain free from the larger chains. I hope upon hope.
Do you have any small family-owned stores or restaurants that you have fond memories of? What are your thoughts on the death of the small stores?