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Taking community for granted

There’s nothing I love more than walking down the street and saying hi to the shop owners and people popping in to do their Christmas shopping.

I forget sometimes that the community we have here in Barry isn’t the same everywhere, not every town is lucky enough to have the same friendly people and spirit. Plenty do, but it’s not a given on every street.

This week I’ve been reading the news about Debenhams and Arcadia closing. Not only is it a huge shock for the massive number of people that will lose their jobs, but it also leaves a big gap in our shopping areas too.

What will those spaces look like when the department stores and Topshops are gone?

I’m so interested in what those empty shops will be and how shopping will change in the future.

There’s something about community that isn’t easy to create when you visit a chain store, but the ones that do manage it are usually those that do well.

I love popping into a boutique that knows you and puts aside a dress you like (to drop it over to your house that evening when you regret not buying it.)

Or a florist who remembers exactly which flowers you picked before, ready for your next bouquet.

Or the restaurant that knows what you’re going to order because they saw you reply to their Instagram story. Thanks Paletta!

Community is something I didn’t know I was missing until I moved here, and it’s all around us. Even in the small events that take place like the amazing Mental Health Swim we went to this morning.

I know we’re creeping up to Christmas and your mind is probably already full, but if you’re looking for a tip in this newsletter then I think it would be this.

Find a way to bring community into your business, no matter how big or small.

Whether it’s remembering what someone likes, sending a message for your client’s birthday or just genuinely checking in, I think our community is what has kept us going this year.

It’s what keeps local shops thriving (that and a lot of bloody hard work) and joins people together.

I can’t tell the future when it comes to Debenhams, but I hope we see more independents than ever because there really is nothing better than supporting small.


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