- cash and carry
- The changes in contemporary shopping, particularly for food, are not purely a matter of shifts from small retail units to supermarkets. The retail customer may select one of the major bulk buying outlets for cheap products, and most of the latter generally advertise a competitive price system of some form. This has led in some areas to the demise of local ‘corner shops’, which find it difficult to compete on price and range with their supermarket rivals. A clear area where the small shop could previously outperform was in terms of their longer opening hours, but with the advent of late-night shopping and more lately the twenty-fourhour supermarket, this advantage has been largely lost. The small shops and indeed social clubs rely on ‘cash and carry’ businesses for supplies, where goods may be bought in bulk with little packaging or frills and at lower cost. The mark-up between the cash and carry price and subsequent retail price provided the element of profit for the small shopkeeper. The concept of cash and carry shopping has now spread into the retail market, with some major retail stores adopting a more Spartan approach to shelving and packaging in order to pass on price savings.A significant further example of this phenomenon has been the use by British daytrippers of the vast French hypermarkets which have sprung up close to the French ports. Because of differing national rates of duty on alcohol and a reassessment of duty-free allowances in the UK, British shoppers can enjoy extremely significant price savings over domestic purchases even on discounted prices at large retailers. Changes in domestic law have enabled purchases to be limited only by the notion that goods purchased must be for personal use; selling goods on remains unlawful, although there is much anecdotal evidence that this does in fact occur. This has not deterred the illicit trade in cheap alcohol and the emergence of ‘booze cruises’ designed to take advantage of the cheaper continental ‘cash and carry’ prices, a situation that is sure to continue with the advent of the Eurotunnel and an increase in the frequency of ferry channel crossings. The consequences for the British brewing and retail market in alcohol have been significant, with an increasing number of public house closures particularly in areas around ports. This also led to a legal challenge by one brewery over the Government’s refusal to synchronize duty rates.GUY OSBORNSTEVE GREENFIELD
Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . Peter Childs and Mike Storry). 2014.