All the Little Shops UK: Value to Summertown?

There has been interest in how to save more of the small shops in Summertown. In that spirit, I’ve run across an initiative called ‘All the Little Shops UK’, which is in the process of building an online platform. They have a Web site already at

It is possible that online initiatives such as this can build a critical mass of users that will enable small retailors, for example, to have more visibility than if they are going alone online. Since being offline is likely to undermine a store’s visibility and viability, maybe we should help alert local shops to this potential. I think they can sign up free.

All Little Shops UK

Comments? Thoughts? We have been wondering about activities we might undertake to support local enterprises, and perhaps this is something to support.


  1. That’s all useful stuff, but I don’t think it gets to the heart of the problem. Do you look online before you pop out to buy a pint of milk? Do you use Google to decide where to pick up your next piece of interesting cheese? Small shops will survive only if we use them, and use them consistently. Tesco and Sainsbury have more staying power than small independents, but they will soon shut up shop if they get no business. Can we, as a community, act with enough unanimity to support our local businesses and squeeze out the multiples? It’s a tall order; we can’t make rules for one another.

    For sure, though, it’s no good wringing our hands after the event when a small shop closes. Collectively, we brought about its demise by failing to buy enough from it. Collectively, we did not deploy our spending power to overturn the national chains’ inevitable business advantage. Like it or not, we live in an age where the customer rules by force of spending, and the fate of shops in any given locality is determined by the spending patterns of the people who shop in that locality.

    My conscience is far from clear on this matter. How about yours?

  2. Bill Dutton said

    Agree on the need to use our little shops, but one trend over the last years has been for the Internet to be used increasingly for local information – even hyper-localism, such as neighborhood information. But of course, will neighbors shop in the local shops?

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