When Big Businesses Drive the Smaller Ones Out

Do you friends remember the hit from 90's called "You've Got Mail" starred by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? Well, that movie may demonstrate how a big business would crush a small store "just around the corner" beloved by loyal customers for years. Although that's not the main purpose of that particular movie but whatever.... That's what happened to a small grocery store which just like in the above mentioned movie was located just around the corner, in my neighborhood. A small grocery store which made our lives comfortable with its late night shifts, affordable prices, smiling staff and a satisfying variety of goods' brands. It is a friday night and you can sit back to enjoy a movie with your wife when that cutthroat kid of yours is finally asleep. What's missing though? A big and tasty sandwich of course.....I mean two big and tasty sandwiches.......I mean two for each of us......yeah two is better than one. Then you rush to the fridge to see what's going on there when its emptiness knocks you out with a Marciano style heavy uppercut. That's exactly when a small grocery store around the corner will be your savior. Grab that canned tuna fish, cheddar cheese, pickles and whatever else you need......just don't forget to complete that list with some ice-cold drinks. 

It didn't take long though. A new huge supermarket opened just a few steps away from it, on the same block. And just like in that movie we began to witness those shelves in the store around the corner get empty in the evening though not re-filled in the morning. And the staff decreasing from one day to another and night shifts lasting longer than usual just to earn a few more pennies or........or to sell the last goods before they expire. 

It couldn't stand the competition. It stayed there for another five or six months before it ended its shift but never opened again. The moral of this story based on real events is that (just like in "You've Got Mail") changes are natural and sometimes they are for the good. I can still remember impressions of Meg Ryan's character when she finally had the courage to enter Joe Fox's books superstore. All the criticism she had in her mind before, faded away when she saw that the opponent was not just a rich corporate shark but rather a modern product that did indeed care about its customers and offered something new without stepping over the much-loved traditions. This is what business is about. A strong, reasonable and well-planned business will always displace the weaker one. I guess it's a natural thing. And to be sincere, the new supermarket in my neighborhood offered better prices, better service, huge variety of goods and more space for shopping carts. Although it has no night shifts and thus, friday nights must be planned beforehand and with a mathematical precision for watching a good movie without a sandwich can be painfully depressing.