I'm getting yet more feedback on buying from the supers (featured in the past two columns). Here are two interesting, rather more 'remote' responses. Mollie emailed: "We visit supermarkets as well as using the C&Cs. We are a very small convenience village shop and just don't get through an outer of some items before the 'best before' date has gone by.

"We have a few elderly customers who want a particular line which others don't, so it's a way again of pleasing customers."

She adds that a lot of items are cheaper bought this way and she doesn't have a store room it all goes directly on the shelf.

"We did find one C&C that breaks up outers, but the price is higher. In the next village the volunteer shop is supplied by Sainsbury's."

And from Rona Morrison (Cross Stores, Cross, Ness, Isle of Lewis): "We own what may be the largest shop on the Isle of Lewis outside Stornoway. We are 25 miles north of the town and sell almost everything, from groceries, frozen, alcohol, hot snacks, hardware, electrical, plumbing, coal, cement, animal feedstuff and so on.

"The Co-op used to run a cash and carry in Stornoway but closed it a few years ago and now offers retailers a 10% discount off the shelf price. Our nearest cash and carry is in Inverness 85 miles by road and with a two hours 45 minutes ferry crossing. The wholesaler Filshill delivers from Glasgow to the island once a week. We get all our milk and branded bread, and most of our dairy, fresh fruit and veg from the Co-op, who deliver to us three times a week."

Her parting shot: "Tesco opened in Stornoway a couple of years ago, but they refused to offer us any discount so we don't often buy from them."

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