Don’t make folk feel guilty about going shopping - Kevin Buckle

As COP26 focuses many people’s thoughts on climate change it is clear from talking to customers that after all we have been through with the pandemic what many would like is a pass to just stop worrying for a couple of months and have a carefree run-up to Christmas.

By Kevin Buckle
Saturday, 6th November 2021, 7:00 am
Having been denied it for so long people, have fallen back in love with shopping
Having been denied it for so long people, have fallen back in love with shopping

People are genuinely overwhelmed by the number of causes they are asked to consider and while some may find this attitude selfish it does actually address one of the important issues we are being asked to think about – and that is mental health.

People have already started buying Christmas presents and news of shortages will only accelerate that and often they mention that they are hoping that this Christmas will be a big improvement on the last, when if nothing else there was a great feeling of apprehension.

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It is felt, hopefully correctly, that the worst is now over and while many will still be thinking of lost loved ones people want Christmas to be a time of happiness rather than foreboding.

While customers buy that Arctic Monkeys record or Gorillaz T-shirt for their children’s Christmas they are also sensible enough that they would like to see their children grow up without the global warming we are currently heading for if nothing is done and act accordingly.

As I mentioned, mental health issues have also come to the fore especially during lockdowns and while I always considered retail therapy to be a bit of a cliché I do now think that having been denied it for so long people have fallen back in love with shopping.

It is very noticeable now that families are treating shopping as an important part of their holiday far more than in previous years and while I hope Avalanche plays a small part in providing something of interest for everybody we are undoubtedly helped by a new found interest in shopping from younger generations which adults are only too happy to encourage.

The hospitality industry may not be so lucky in that it would appear going for any sort of formal meal is not something today’s youngsters are keen on, preferring the far more informal atmosphere of fast food eateries.

It is a worry that as visitor numbers do get back to more normal levels that there are goimg to be more restaurants opening in the spaces left by retail than can really be justified by demand.

I’m told that European families are more likely to eat in a restaurant, as can be witnessed on a sunny day in the Grassmarket, but whether Princes Street and the new St James Quarter can sustain the number of eating places predicted is another matter.

For now I think any sensible person would agree we all need to do our bit in the fight against global warming and having COP26 in Glasgow has very much brought that home but lets also recognise the stress caused by the last year and a half and give people a chance to recover without feeling guilty about asking for a plastic carrier bag because it is raining!

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