I’m the first one to complain when yet another large store closes its doors for the last time – on the news recently it was the turn of Toys R Us – my sons’ second home when they were younger.  However, it was brought home to me today just why this is happening.

We’ve been on the Isle of Wight over the weekend de-winterising the ‘van’ and getting the plumbing sorted and a concrete pad laid for a washing machine.  After clearing a mountain of fallen leaves from the back of the van, we saw how muddy the ground was underneath.  We decided to purchase either some hardwearing grass matting or a long plastic runner to walk on in order to keep our shoes mud-free when checking the gas bottles or cleaning the back windows.

We went into Newport, the main shopping centre on the Island, and visited 4 large stores who all told us the same thing:

“We don’t stock anything like that.”

Eventually we had to give up, as there was nowhere left for us to try.  One of the stores, B&Q, was selling rubber matting at £5 a square, but we wanted 30 feet of it!

Sam sat in our front room at home at 7pm last night and searched on his phone using the words ‘grass/reinforcement matting’ and ‘plastic matting’.  Straight away several varieties of hardwearing matting were displayed.  There and then he bought 30ft of matting for £55 in total.

Just 16 hours later the matting was delivered straight to our front door.  We didn’t have to drive around anywhere to search for it.  I just cannot fault our online shopping experience at all.

If the majority of the population are shopping online, as I suspect they are, then it’s no wonder our high streets are disappearing.  It’s so sad this is happening, but I suppose it’s not worth stores ordering goods that do not sell very often.

We’re off again on Thursday to install the washing machine and lay the matting down.  I’ll be back after Easter, but will publish the short story winner and runner up tomorrow before I go.

Happy Easter to you all! I’m going to leave you with a lovely photo that I took from the ferry as we sailed back to the ‘dark side’.  x