Supermarkets 'killing Britain's small shops'

Retail expert Mary Portas has blasted supermarkets for killing local shops such as butchers.

The television presenter has written in the Radio Times, fearing the "seemingly unstoppable march" of supermarkets. She said: "The rise of the supermarket giants and our love affair with them is killing Britain's small shops. We're sacrificing not just our greengrocers, our butchers and our bakers, but also our communities for convenience.

"The first shopkeepers to suffer from the onslaught of this new breed of self-service shops were the greengrocers, butchers and corner shops that have gradually disappeared from our high streets," she added.

Portas said that, as a child in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, she would always volunteer to run errands and would often find her mum drinking tea with the shopkeepers as they delivered to her home.

"So when my mother died when I was 16, and I was the one who was left to look after the family, all our local shops were there to look out for us," she said. "It was the local butcher who was our greatest salvation, putting aside offcuts of meat, which I picked up on the way home from school, to feed my siblings and myself."

Portas described her local shopkeepers as "the cornerstones of family life" and said the question was how small shops could survive when they could not compete on price or range.

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