Opening and closing, new shopfront and signages greet new faces with new treats. Most of the time however, the familiar lingers in or under new packaging or management, priced according to the market’s love of trends and value of novelty like the first to past the post on social media or risk-free takers of experience to counteract ennui or feed the spirit of generosity and creative gift ideas; that will not keep them coming back enough times to keep things running let alone build a loyal fan base on whom one could rest upon for survival.
One cannot and will not keep spending on something that stings the hands that reach into the pocket—the joy of consuming chipped away and its raison d’etre—as opposed to one that is kind to the budget of the masses; problem only for penny-pinchers, calories-counters and so on.
One would remind us that rent, other running costs and a reasonable profit margin counts against affordability in the face of say, closing to cut losses or if one is luckier, make money from subletting, selling goodwill, recipes, know-how, franchising and other rights or shifting for lower rent after concretising a base from where to gain access to a bigger market, taking with them established market presence, awareness and loyalty.
It doesn’t make me sad to see a shop closing down knowing that another would just spring up in its place run by enthusiastic and optimistic business owners with the confidence the size of their creativity or capital expenditure such as decor and display cases— with the right strategy, the right business becomes an irreplaceable source of comfort and friendship. That home-based businesses (HBBs) are also thriving makes me worry even less, particularly the favourable outlook on the morals of those who support them (as opposed to cut-throat, capitalist landlords, amirite? *insert winking face* Just kidding), with lower prices at the cost of predictability and dependability but I suppose (amongst others) for you not only support their living expenditure, hobby, love and so on but valuable family time or indulging in other recreational/social/positive mental-health conducive activities, autonomy over working hours and how much one wants to tolerate as regards (difficult) customers without having to deal with a slave-driving boss. It also allows for some toggling between physical rent-payable store vs HBB within limits (of course) perfect for those hoping to wait out the storm.
That we move away from the inescapable rat-race, the hamster-wheel of consumption and working forevermore towards practicing mindful living and our values, applying revered principles to our lives, prioritising quality time with people or ourselves as Covid taught us to— are very same I dreamed for myself.
If only they (HBBs) could sort out delivery by making it competitive with other businesses which would look very likely if there were more HBBs mushrooming within a catch area in which to dedicate delivery service.
I’d still support them even with the covid situation improving and we get to hang around more outside — this introvert likes her private space with her goodies but as we set our priorities straight, we also get that extra time to enjoy sitting in a cafe surrounded by familiar and happy faces— we can also support their growth.