I do get some head-scratching queries at times. Pradhyman Patel wrote to ask whether he should embark on a new enterprise involving his first shop with enough covenants on the lease to push anyone into hairdressing or something sensible and less restrained. The lease offered by Bristol council said the tenant couldn’t sell alcohol, tobacco, confectionery, newspaper and mags, mainly because the shop next door was selling all this.

“I’m hoping to open as a pound value shop plus soft drinks, novelty items, hardware and greengrocery,” he writes. He then asks, in a more difficult vein: “What else can I offer locals?”

Well, erm, good question, but without getting on a train and visiting (my expenses don’t stretch to this) and having a good look round, it’s impossible to advise him.

I asked what was there before and what is there now and discovered that the empty shop (previously a butchers) is in the middle of five stores which includes a fish & chip shop and a Premier convenience store cum post office.

I suggested that anyone visiting the Premier would probably buy their soft drinks and snack items there, but then again pound shops are on the rise. Worryingly, he does not appear to have much funding.

Anybody out there in the real retailing world ever tried the pound route as core business?