I ventured out today in the humid conditions of Oxford Street on a mission to take a watch to be repaired.
A simple task many would say. Take it to a watch repair shop.
But my only choice was an H Samuel. There used to be a little specialist watch shop in a little jitty off Oxford Street - but I found today that it had closed down.
That experience and specialised service has gone for ever.
So off to H Samuel I trudged, and once the girls behind the counter had finished their personal discussions they actually came over and asked if I needed help.
To be fair to the girl that served me - she was very friendly in the end - and said watch has been sent off for evaluation - but this could take up to six weeks.
Had my little specialist watch place been open they could probably have had a look and given me an answer there and then.
The invasion of the super giants along high streets and in villages and towns across the UK is eroding all the character and specialist services we used to take for granted in bygone days.
Hardware stores, grocers, fishmongers, butchers and bakeries are all being squeezed out by their larger adversaries, and many don't have the energy to fight them. This is also true in the IT industry as the small guys get brushed over for the larger players.
Size is not everything as I have said before.
But in the case of my watch - I suppose the real problem is the throw away society we have become - buy it cheap and then just chuck it away rather than repair it - seems to be the motto.
Why get a watch repaired when you can buy a new one for less than a tenner?
A sad state of affairs.
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