In the age of the discount big super-sized retail stores that are spreading across the world’s landscape like locus, it is refreshing to still have the small shopkeeper providing their individualized service.  For example, the unique experience that a customer shopping in a souk comes across in the Middle East is an event not to be missed. Going into a rug shop and being served fresh brewed mint tea and enjoying small talk with the owner before even beginning the buying process is a nice touch. After several minutes of pleasantries, a couple members of the staff begin the process of rolling out roll after roll of the many varieties of rugs for sale.

Shopkeepers waiting for customers - Cairo, Egypt.
Shopkeepers waiting for customers – Cairo, Egypt.

The independent store owner is an expert in the products they sell. The service is outstanding and even though the shop normally only deals in a certain type of product line the variety cannot be beat. These tenacious entrepreneurs are furiously independent and are desperately trying to hold onto shops that sometimes have been passed down thru several generations.  Unfortunately, the constant march of progress is breathing down their backs and in country after country in one large city after the other gigantic shopping malls, supermarkets, department stores, super discount centers, large restaurant chains, and other multinational goliath type companies are gobbling up the small store owner like one gargantuan video monster on steroids. Like the small mom and pop retailers scattered across the wasteland of rural America that have been consumed by the huge impersonal supercenters ,the small shopkeepers in emerging global markets  will also regrettably  be mostly eliminated in the years to come.


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