Shopping in the UK
Shop assistents have a very strong union which limit their working hours. They open at 9 and close at 6. During the week there’re 2 special days – late night shopping – open till 8 pm.
Half day closing – stores close at noon, usually on Monday.
Wales, Ireland – shops can be opened on Sunday, but only for 6 hours. In Scotland there’s no limitation but you can’t have your hair cut.
In the centers you may find highstreets with shops (London – Oxford St.) with small specialized shops. The problem is that they cannot afford low prices so they’re expensive. They don’t offer a big variety of goods and don’t have any parking facilities. The highstreets are loosing business. Highstreet shops – grocery (grocer’s) – food (as supermarket), greengrocer’s, newsagent’s, fishmonger’s, dairy (shop), bakery (Am) – baker’s, butcher’s, confectioner’s, chemist’s, pharmacy, electrical appliances, hardware store = ironmonger’s, music store, bookstore.
DIY – do it yourself – items for manual activities.
Health food shops – sell wholesome food
The British prefer shopping centers – a string of shops in suburbs, shopping malls, large supermarkets. The only succesful shops remained are corner shops, owned by Pakistanis, ……. localized on corners. Many are newsagents, offlicences (may sell alcohol). They’re run by families, open 7 days a week, have very long opening hours (till 10 ot 11 pm).
London – Oxford St., Regent St., Covent Garden, Portobello Rd.
Regent St. – Hamley’s the larges toyshop
Harrod’s – department store, founded in 1845. It has about 300 departments. It sells exotic food, and in its food halls, you may choose from about 1 000 kinds of cheese.
Liberty’s – sells fabric and carpets
Selfridges – sells almost everything. At Christmas time, all shop windows are devoted to a theme, such as Alice in Wonderland or Father Christmas
Covent Garden – open street market (Pygmalion started here)
Portobello road – antique stores with books – literature, fantastic selection of textbooks in many languages.
Chain stores – Laura Ashley – sells clothes, fabric
Boot’s – chemist’s – medicine, drugstore things
W.G. Smith’s – books, stationery
Marks & Spencer – if you buy a thing at one branch, you can return it in another one