Letter: No real bargains in the supermarket price wars

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The Independent Online
Sir: The losers in the supermarket 'takeover' are the customers of neighbourhood shops, who were inveigled into patronising the supermarkets at the expense of local stores, and also the environment.

Today's young housewives do not remember the ease with which the family shopping could be done at the local shops five minutes' walk from home.

Now it is necessary to get out the car, drive to the supermarket, queue for parking space (use petrol, waste time), load trolley, unload same at checkout (after queuing anything up to 20 minutes), reload purchases, fight with trolley (and strain back) trying to manoeuvre over uneven surfaces in car park, load car boot, drive home (more petrol), unload shopping and carry it into the house, load fridge and freezer (electricity used) and cupboards. Each item has been handled six times. Time taken: two hours, plus expenses and general hassle, particularly to those in less than robust health.

I yearn for the days when tradespeople called at the house - greengrocer, grocer, baker as well as the milkman (we shall lose him, too, if we are not careful). The reinstatement of these services (which could be offered by supermarkets) would provide employment and benefit the community.

Yours faithfully,

KATHLEEN M. JENKINS

East Grinstead,

Sussex

4 January

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