Village shops: outdated or revived model? Relevance for local supply, social functions and economic viability

An increasing number of villages in many countries do not have any local supplier at all. In the retail sector of Germany, the large supermarket companies require at least 5,000 inhabitants in the catchment area to run a shop. The aim of this paper is to assess the contribution of village shops to local supply and social life as well as about their economic viability. Therefore, findings from a telephone survey of approximately 100 shop operators in Germany are presented. The results show the limited supply and social function of the shops as well as their precarious economic situation. Many shops only offer a small range of goods so that the coverage of basic needs is difficult and they are mostly visited for supplementary purchases. Most village shops provide a snack area as a meeting place, but these are relatively seldom used. The findings indicate that permanent public and civic support is required to sustain many small shops in small villages. Because of the market conditions, however, public initiatives cannot halt the trend towards increasing numbers of ‘food deserts’; at best they can slow down the process. Where village shops cannot be sustained economically, home delivery services, mobile supermarkets or improved mobility services are feasible options for assuring local supply for less mobile people.


Issue Date:
2013-06
Publication Type:
Journal Article
DOI and Other Identifiers:
1418 2106 (Other)
2063 0476 (Other)
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/149412
Published in:
Studies in Agricultural Economics, Volume 115, Number 2
Page range:
92-97
Total Pages:
6
Note:
http://dx.doi.org/10.7896/j.1229




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-11-14

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