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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Mom and Pop stores

Mom and Pop stores are mostly a thing of the past nowadays in many countries. Replaced by the bigger chain stores that offer a competitive price advantage due to the ability to leverage price concessions from its vendors and other factors, it has just become too hard to compete.


But that's not transferable around many parts of the world, especially the poorer, less developed countries, Mom and Pop are still alive and kicking in their stores. That's because the big chains don't find these low income areas particularly profitable. But, people still need to live so they must have a place to go for food and other essentials.


The Mom and Pop stores look different than the ones I grew up with:



Mostly these are just street side stores where Mom and Pop are selling the goods they have made, caught, or farmed. There are no middle men. The family produces, grows, or raises the goods and also brings it to market on the streets.


This not only happens in the remote areas of the world, but can also be seen in the cities like Phnom Phen below:





Or even in Beijing, China:








This is their livelihood. All their income is derived from selling what they make. There are no government programs to fall back upon. There are no small business loans. There's no Pandemic relief support. It's just Mom and Pop without a safety net. Family is all they have for support.


Of all the areas I visited, none were more heart breaking than in remote India . This is the place that is certainly difficult for mom and dad to eek out a living. So many people competing for the same so little money that's out there to buy. Living standards are very low here but it's all they can do. Especially in this north east corner of India, that the government wants so little to do with because they don't even claim the people to be true nationalist. Mostly because they are a mixed breed of people from China, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.



Mom and Pop are certainly still alive in the world but they just don't look like I'm used to seeing. When I was a child, we had a small neighborhood market called Chase's market. It was back in the days where they sold everything, including being a butcher shop and selling meats. They were a small grocery store that sold everything you could possibly imagine.


I still remember going into Chase's market nearly every day for something. I remember how nice Pop was, whose name was Clifford. But his wife, mom, was named Erma, and she was the exact opposite of her husband. She had little patience, and was always mean. Except for one day per year. We shared the same birthday so each day in June, I would go in there and wish her a happy birthday. It was the only time you could thaw the ice that was in her heart. On that day, she would wish me a happy birthday as well, and tell me to pick out a piece of candy. It really was my only motive to wish her happy birthday to begin with. But, alas, Mom and Pop have long passed away along with that lifestyle here in America.

Nowadays, these have been replaced by convenience stores. They are much more targeted than the old Mom and Pop stores that I grew up with. They are much more focused on profits and margins and less concerned about community impact.


It's nice to be able to travel the world and see some of these old Mom and Pop stores still in business today. In a way it's like a rollback in time for me.

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
25 mag
Valutazione 5 stelle su 5.

I may have been we still have some good drinking stories

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
25 mag
Valutazione 5 stelle su 5.

I enjoyed this story not about people struggling but the family values. The whole family involved in every aspect of growing bringing to market and selling there goods. They may not have slot of money but close family values that you can't put a price on.

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Kirk
Kirk
25 mag
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Yeah good point.

I remember my Mom and Pop store was Chase’s Market. Yours was Tony’s Market.

I remember on my 18th birthday when I turned legal drinking age going into Tony’s to buy a beer on the way to school. I wanted him to card me so I could proudly show I just turned of age. He never said a word and just sold me the beer. What a disappointment!

You were probably with me that day.

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