The star of the BBC TV's store makeover programme Mary Queen Of Shops has thrown her support behind local retailers with an attack on the "unstoppable march" of the supermarkets.

Retail guru Mary Portas, who recently helped C-Store readers Chris and Juliet Porter transform their struggling store in Corfe Castle, Dorset (Convenience Store, April 30), had advice for small shops which were struggling to compete on price or range.

She said: "I've always summed it up in three words: service, specialism and connectivity to their local communities and if they work with each other to create high streets we want to visit, they'll be stronger."

Writing in the Radio Times, Mary Portas described local shopkeepers as "the cornerstones of family life".

She added: "The rise of the supermarket giants and our love affair with them - is killing Britain's small shops.

"We're sacrificing not just our greengrocers, our butchers and our bakers, but also our communities for convenience."

Chris Porter said Portas' visit, to be screened on BBC2 next week, was "very hard on us right from the beginning".

He said: "The three of us went through the store and it was a bit like a headmistress talking to naughty schoolchildren. You could argue that feedback is always good, but she went much further and told us straight away what we were doing wrong."

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