Almost all of us can remember using the local corner store for an item we suddenly discovered we needed.

However, these outlets that served local communities are disappearing, much to our inconvenience.  What are the reasons for the demise of the corner store?

One of the principal factors is price. These neighbourhood stores simply cannot compete with the Costco’s of the world.  Their volume runs mean that the small, local outlet cannot offer competitive prices from wholesalers.

Therefore, shopping at a local store can prove to be very costly.  Then too, the small corner store simply cannot offer the variety of goods that a chain organization can provide to shoppers.

The corner store obviously is in no position to sell items that a chain group can offer – everything from household necessities such as cleaning products, mops and brooms for example to furniture items both large and small.

The local outlet does not deliver merchandise as many of the large stores do for a fee. Walmart being one of them, sells a huge variety of non-food items as well as groceries, pharmacy and drug store items. They’re one-stop shops. Many food stores have branched out into drug stores and conversely, many drug stores now retail food items.

 Millennials nowadays buy online and are not interested in taking the time to stop at a corner store or look for a parking spot if one is not available. Many gas stations have kiosks, such as Seven Eleven, selling small food stuffs, milk and bread to fill in when needed.

Neighbourhood stores have tried to expand their product line by selling newspapers, cigarettes and lottery tickets, but offer almost no other essential diversification.

Those corner stores more often than not are owned and managed by immigrants who are willing to stay open seven days a week for perhaps 12 hours a day. Thankfully these people have taken over the remaining neighbourhood stores, as most of us are unwilling to devote long hours at low pay.

 When visiting the corner store it has become obvious that the main patrons during school luncheon periods are there to buy a soft drink, chips or chocolate.

The local outlet frequently at one time, was the site of neighbours meeting for a social interval with a friend.

Hence it is increasingly clear that the corner store is a remnant of the past, unsustainable in this era, sad to say.



Bruce Whitestone