/ Shopping

This week in comments – how do you shop?

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It’s all about how we shop this week, from whether Sunday opening hours should be extended and train ticket offices should remain open, to looking at house size when you buy a new home.

Does house size matter?

Does size matter when buying a new home? According to RIBA, many newly-built homes are dramatically smaller than recommended minimum sizes, as John Ward has discovered:

‘We have looked at loads of new homes on estates and in smaller developments and rarely do they provide the basic room sizes that we need or sufficient storage. These new houses are often “presented” to give an illusion of space with minimal furniture [e.g glass tables to pretend they take up no space] and dinky chairs and cabinets.’

But Mark Oliver thinks he has a better solution to minimum sizes:

‘The average number of people per dwelling is currently around 2.25 compared with around 5 in the 1920s and 3.5 in the 1950s, so they might well not need to be as big. Perhaps we should be looking at space per person? And do larger homes fit with our need to reduce carbon emissions?’

Ring-fence the banks – it’s the government’s only choice

Our chief executive explained why he agrees with radical new proposals to ring-fence banks. Here’s what Goldman had to say:

‘The financial world was good when there were lots of providers. Potential damage was limited by the spread of customers to providers. Governments have allowed hundreds of lenders to be swallowed up. Very few remain and these are mostly driven by the need to feed dividend payments to investors. Not all, but most.’

Planned train ticket office closures – do you care?

675 train ticket offices could be shut down, but not everyone thinks this issue is a big deal – like Mark:

‘Personally? Couldn’t care less. Very rare that I queue up to talk to the ticket office, and if I do, it’s only because one of the machines isn’t working. Hopefully they can use some of the savings to better develop the machines, as they offer a very poor experience for a novice traveller, though fine for the experienced commuter.’

But kevstanley had a different take:

‘As things stand, it’s impossible to buy all ticket types from machines. My partner uses a Disabled Person’s Railcard, and while it’s possible to use it online – assuming it’s a planned journey – we’ve yet to encounter a ticket machine which sells tickets with the requisite discount. So for unplanned journeys, the ticket office is the only option.’

Sunday shopping – lose it or improve it?

London retailers want strict Sunday opening hours to be relaxed during the Olympics, but what do you want? Shez is behind the plan:

‘I only have the weekend to do my shopping so more hours on a Sunday would be greatly appreciated! Also I’m sure this would also be a great boost for employment opportunities for students and those that prefer to work weekends!! In these gloomy economic times it is probably something to think about.I also think it should be optional for stores to open on Sunday’s. Might not be economically viable for all!’

And Lynne is this week’s commenter of the week, for remembering those who work in shops on Sundays:

‘I would like to speak for the workers and their families!! I think they work long enough hours and reduced hours on a Sunday gives them valuable time at home. I work full time but the shops are open quite enough me for to shop, don’t let us be selfish and think of me me me.’

Jane Baxter says:
16 September 2011

My personal opinion is that shops are open for long enough already – and that anybody should be able to organise their life to buy the shopping that they need! Particularly as almost everything is available on-line as well!
When on holiday abroad it is easy to adapt to their systems. In France, for example, shops are shut on Sundays, and even supermarkets are only open on a Sunday morning! It may require more planning but it is perfectly possible to shop within the more limited opening hours. In Italy (though I admit my last visit there was a few years ago) shops all shut between 12 and 2 (sometimes 3), though they often stay open until 7 or 8 to compensate! Again – adapt and survive!!!!!!