Letter: Personal touch

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The Independent Online
Sir: Like Hywel James (3 June), I have lived in rural England since the 1950s - Lincolnshire, Kent, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Dorset, Essex and now Wiltshire. For the last 12 years I have owned a village shop.

What Mr James writes is rubbish. Village shops pay more for their goods, have higher distribution costs and pay higher business rates per square metre than out-of-town multiples. The public is swamped by advertising that has convinced them that bigger means better and cheaper.

However, despite their higher unit costs, many small shops, by working on pitifully small profit margins, often not only match the prices of large stores but also provide an invaluable personal service.

Yours faithfully,


Rogers of Tisbury

Tisbury, Wiltshire

3 June