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Supporting Local Shops
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Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #1
04-11-2013 01:04 PM

Dear Honour Oak Park,

With the Sainsbury's now open in Honour Oak Park, it is harder than ever for our local shops to compete. Please try and show them your support, as they do have a range of items which are cheaper than Sainsburys. There is also a wider variety on items like Pasta Sauces, household goods, and cereals.

Maya Williamson of Honour Oak Park (aged 9) drew the attached poster to show her support for the local shops. We hope you are able to do the same by continuing to visit them.

Thank you so much,

A supporter of local shops

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Posts: 273
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #2
04-11-2013 10:06 PM

ermmmmmmmmmmmmm...........a 9 year old writing about the price of wine?

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Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #3
04-11-2013 10:20 PM

And best also to spell correctly the name of the parade of shops you claim to support (although the 9-year old did do so).

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Posts: 184
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #4
05-11-2013 07:45 AM

This made me chuckle Mellow

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Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 2013
Post: #5
05-11-2013 08:30 AM

My, you guys are brutal. Where is all our community spirit?

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Posts: 129
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #6
05-11-2013 08:51 AM

Bizarrely i've been shopping in local shops more since the Sainsburys opened Thumbsup

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Posts: 627
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
05-11-2013 09:43 AM

Not bizarre at all. I have also shopped more in Honor Oak Park generally since the Sainsburys opened. Sadly, most of the items we source at Sainsburys are not available in any other shop in the parade, which of course is why it works this way.

Some of the other shops need to diversify! This is not a consequence of Sainsburys - if they had of done this before we would have been shopping there more before too.

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Posts: 205
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
05-11-2013 01:23 PM

Same as lillam!

We do a weekly shop at Bell Green Sainsburys so don't need to go there in between. If I fancy picking something up on the way home I use local shops.

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Posts: 20
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #9
06-11-2013 10:56 AM

I'm unashamedly in favour of Sainsbury's simply because it offers things that no-one else on the parade does. It doesn't take my money away from other shops on the parade - it takes money that I used to spend in other supermarkets in the centre of London after work or at the weekend.

However, I would also like to see local independent shops prosper. To do that, I think they need to diversify and offer something different. I'm no Mary Portas, but if I owned a mini-mart I would be thinking along the lines of perhaps offering a range of good quality and authentic Indian/Thai/Chinese foods or tying up with local independent suppliers - say, Peter James butchers or Mr. Lawrence wines - to offer more interesting and better quality products than Sainsbury's can. I would also make a plea to local mini-mart shop owners to ditch the huge, gaudy plastic signs and tatty window posters - look at Hills and Parkes or Neroli for how to make your shop look attractive and inviting!

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robbie t

Posts: 16
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #10
06-11-2013 11:24 AM

I find this really interesting - I couldn't disagree more with with the 'supporting local shops' banner (as far as Honor Oak High Street goes).

In my opinion I find the local shops on the high street extremely poor in terms of choice and whats on sale (apart from that one with the orange sign Forest Hill Supermarket is it? which seems to be pretty good but too far away for me). The shops don't sell anything different, unique or fresh - if you think they do your in denial.

If you compare this to the one local shop I do support - the wonderful Turkish shop on Forrest Hill Road (which is closer to my house than Honor Oak High Street) - this shop knows how to compete with the Co-Op down the road and the new Sainsburys, better selection of fresh fruit and veg than co-op by far, great selection of flowers and plants, meat counter (which btw does lovely lamb chops), fresh olives selection, good choice of breads etc etc...

So far I see the shops on the High Street have done absolutely nothing to respond or compete with the opening of the new sainsburys (apart from putting the odd wine offer on). All I've heard is a lot of whinging and moaning from the shop owners. Take a leaf out of the Turkish Shops book.

The shop owners need to understand that Honor Oak Park is getting to be a little bit more of an up-and-coming area, and whilst they may sell some of the products that Sainsburys sell for cheaper (some jarred sauces, ceral and bottles of wine) a lot of people are more interested in fresh, good, produce than something being a little bit cheaper somewhere else.

Moaning that they sell a handful of products that Sainsburys sell for a bit cheaper and they can't understand why anyone would shop in Sainsburys doesnt cut it for me - sorry.

This post was last modified: 06-11-2013 11:25 AM by robbie t.

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Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #11
06-11-2013 07:48 PM

I was feeling the need to explore some of our locals HOP shops this pm. I went to Hill and Parkes and a few thoughts come to mind. Their range has declined since they opened and is really rather limited. The veg they had looked pretty scabby and I would not have considered buying any of it. I had a coffee and a piece of cake. Coffee was good; cake so-so and a little bit on the dry/stale side. Cost 5.10 seemed a tad high. Then I bought some things - nice things but not a lot and it cost 35. That all seems quite steep to me. One item was a small cartmel sticky toffee pudding - 4.50 which I only realised when I got home. I think that is outrageous - you don't pay that much for a large one in Waitrose/Sainsbury's. I know, I know, I still bought the good s and handed over my money but I will think very carefully before I go back. I suggest they urgently address their pricing policy or I wonder how long they will be around. And closure would be a real shame.

Then I went to Jumping Bean - an old and regular haunt. There was not a lot of new stock and not really that much I wanted to buy. There was some sort of local shopkeepers meeting going on in the middle of the shop - pretty off putting. They were trying to plan Christmas like it had snuck up upon them and they didn't know it happened in the third week of December. What they were coming up with sounded rubbish to be honest and I was sorely tempted to interfere and tell them. I did buy some stuff - odd bits for Christmas and a couple of cards- again about 35. But I wasn't inspired, it all felt tired, same old stuff, not a good range of cards etc.

So not the best experience. I think both need to try harder. As for other shops - I didn't need to go to Sainsbury's; I wouldn't go to the rubbish florist with it's tired old fashioned flowers, and I never go in the other awful 'supermarkets' as they are dirty, have unfriendly staff, and nothing I want to buy. Unfortunately I didn't need to buy a house, have my hair done, buy a pizza, get my bike fixed or go to the dry cleaners.

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Codrington Brill

Posts: 67
Joined: Mar 2012
Post: #12
06-11-2013 08:14 PM

I agree with you about hills and parkes. Staff are nice but I find it all a bit mediocre and uninspiring for the price. For instance, that sticky toffee pudding is delicious but you can buy that brand elsewhere, budgens for instance. It's a deli Jim, but not as we know it.

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Posts: 14
Joined: Jan 2012
Post: #13
06-11-2013 09:15 PM

It's probably high rents which cause the real damage to this parade of shops to be honest. As you know the forces of demand and supply set prices but I am not sure if the retail tenants are left with much once they are done with the rent and other business operating costs... I have always assumed this is why prices at Hills & Parkes and Jumping Bean are a bit on the "I saw you coming" side! I reckon high rents are probably the biggest single barrier which prevent true entrepreneurs from thriving and meeting the demands of those on this forum who clearly express a desire to shop locally.

As things are meant to be on the up generally now would be a good time to start a business (compared with a few years ago) so hopefully the landlords can pull their collective fingers out.

Not sure why we have multiple sub-standard mini-marts and take-aways in the parade in the meantime though - that is indeed a mystery to me. Perhaps they have some special deal with the landlords or other ways of generating wealth that is not immediately obvious - in any event I am really struggling to understand what their actual business model is. Perhaps they are on ten year leases with a few years left to run?

Anyway, you only have to look at other areas to see what we could have and I am sure over time this will all sort itself out - these things always do. The business rental market can sometimes take ages to move with the times and stabilise on price but hopefully the landlords of these shops can come to an agreement with viable local businesses that can positively impact the community rather than leave the premises vacant for ages, or rent out to businesses that local people don't want.

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Posts: 205
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #14
06-11-2013 10:27 PM

More moaning about the high street. Back off. Shop in hop if you want to and don't if not, but quit rubbishing our local shops on this forum. Annoying. Robbrockley I'm not quite sure what you want from what is essentially a small stretch of road in se23. In my opinion it offers a lot in a small local space... dry cleaners, bars, cafes, supermarket, newsagents, gift shop, florist, hairdresser, beauty salon, estate agent, funeral directors... It can't be more than the space and landlords allow. If you all want east Dulwich, then move there...

This post was last modified: 06-11-2013 10:31 PM by hoona.

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Posts: 640
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #15
06-11-2013 10:59 PM

I have been to Hills and Parkes twice, after reading lots of positive posts on the forum just after they opened.
I must confess I was less than impressed, I found it overpriced, with a pretty mediocre selection.
The coffee wasn't very nice and the cake just didn't taste that fresh-I think we brought a sausage roll as well which was pretty tasteless.
As I live in Forest Hill I just went back to shopping on Lordship lane for deli stuff, until Aga's opened on Dartmouth Road and now I go there quite a bit.
I must confess that I don't find any reason to walk up to Honor Oak Park and shop as Forest Hill and LordshipLane offer most everything I need.

This post was last modified: 06-11-2013 11:01 PM by nottinghillbilly.

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Posts: 39
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #16
06-11-2013 11:40 PM

Well I love our little parade. In particular Nerolis, jumping bean, the deli and Sainsburys (sorry). We aren't lordship lane, but we don't do too badly. I support it as much as possible - and probably more now Sainsburys has opened as I pop down much more often.

I understand that everyone has different views - but I take issue with critising the sausage rolls!! They are amazing and I am always so sad when they have run out.......actually mabe I am better of not saying anything.......all the more for me!!! Thumbsup

Oh and nandi Nandi is also good. Strange how often party supplies can be useful! Good coffee too.

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Posts: 20
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #17
07-11-2013 09:31 AM

This thread has become frustrating! Hoona, I don't like public criticisms of particular shops either and I don't care for the tone of some of the posts. But I don't think it's good to shut down all debate about the parade. I tried to offer polite and constructive advice to the mini-mart owners on what would get me through their doors - I don't see what's wrong with that, particularly as this thread was started by a 'supporter' (possibly owner) of a local mini-mart. If you think the mini-marts are perfect as they are, great, say so. I think all opinions expressed politely ought to be really valuable to local traders.

I think it's wrong to assume that people who say they'd like to see some things improve hate the parade - quite the opposite, I love it and want it to prosper but fear that it won't if some shops don't change with the times.

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robbie t

Posts: 16
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #18
07-11-2013 09:31 AM

I've either got the wrong end of the stick but from the original thread and the poster attached I think the thread starter was mainly talking about the mini-marts - referencing booze, cereal, milk etc...

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robbie t

Posts: 16
Joined: Jun 2013
Post: #19
07-11-2013 09:39 AM

I entirely agree with Ruddiger. Firstly I think theres some confusion around this thread - my understanding was that its not about the high street as a whole but the mini marts.

I too have attempted to offer some constructive criticism to some of the mini-mart owners. There seems to be a general feeling amongst some of the owners as to why anyone would shop in Sainsburys, when they sell a select number of items for cheaper!?!?! To me the answers obvious and its better that we inform and communicate (after all we are the customers).

As I mentioned in an earlier post - I would advise any mini-mart owner on the high street to take a 5 minute walk to the Turkish mini-mart on Forest Hill Road and take a look at how they are competing with the Co-Op a few doors down.

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Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
07-11-2013 10:31 AM

Robbie t, I presume you refer to the "Forest Hill Road Supermarket", in which case I completely concur. They have most things food-wise that Sainsburys lack, and I mean the big ones not just the local.

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