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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Making Choices: "How You Shop Defines You"

"These days, how you decide to shop defines you as much as how you choose to dress. We treat supermarket shopping as though it were a nonchoice, but it is as acute an ethical decision as anything else. This is illustrated in microcosm by the big four supermarkets' sale of books. They choose only a handful of titles a year and sell them at such a vast discount that they have effectively closed down scores of independent booksellers--lovely shops run by people who care about books--because booksellers simply can't compete on price. . . . We like the words 'cheapest option' and we think it's what we want. But is it really? 'Cheapest option' means no bookshops, no butchers, no fishmongers, no bakers. It means no fruit and veg shop, no cafe, no chemist and Starbucks in their place. It's not much of an option at all."--India Knight in a Sunday Times article, "Supermarkets are selling us out."