Using my experience and my current needs, I wonder if I have the solution to the problem of purchasing those little items for the larder that are often forgotten about. Years ago I had a friend called Leslie, who was a shrewd operator, a fine businessman, who ran a large grocery Emporium in a country district where his customers came from all walks of life. He ran three mobile shops with great success, the basis of which was that he knew his customers needs
I suspect that a lot of pensioners, like myself, are dependent upon friends, including neighbours, relatives and hired help. I also suspect that young mothers under pressure are in a similar state. We all probably get one large shop a week or a fortnight, but the problem is that at the last moment we discover we are short of some essential, and short of taking a taxi at great expense, we have to do without. It therefore occurred to me that there might be an opening for entrepreneurs across the country to start running mobile shops in those areas where shops have ceased to exist. The basic principle is quite simple, once the shopkeeper knows the taste of his customers, he will not require a vast selection of commodities, like a supermarket, which in turn will reduce his overheads and the storage capacity at his headquarters. A simple system of flagging by the customer when they want him to call, will save him time, and probably all they need will be a few items to carry them over to the next big shop. He will never be able to out do the supermarket.
The fact that there are no mobile shops could signal one of two things, either nobody has thought of it, or it is unsustainable. Leslie, didn’t carry a great variety of goods in his shops as far as I can remember, but he would never have maintained the system unless it showed a handsome profit. Perhaps the buying public needs trained to the idea, and it might turn out that the more they use it, the more they want to use it. I suspect there will be quite a number of white vans coming on to the market at reasonable prices in the near future. As an offshoot to one of those small garage supermarkets, it might be a worthwhile experiment, or at least assessing the possible viability.