LETTER: Use your local shops

I WOULD like, not so much to take issue with, but to clarify the comments of Diane Hartley (Burnley Express, January 19th).

I agree, in principle, with Diane’s sentiments, but it should be remembered that it is the banks and supermarkets themselves that set up online banking and shopping facilities and encourage their customers to use them.

If that proves to be to the detriment of their own retail outlets, then they have to accept responsibility for it; it’s unfair to blame the consumer.

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The problem arises when consumers use third party online facilities at the expense of High Street retailers, for example buying books, DVDs and myriad other items through the likes of Amazon, rather than visiting a book shop, music store, or other physical outlet. HMV has just gone into administration for that very reason but, unlike banks and supermarkets, it is not the fault of that particular retail chain. In these instances the consumer has a choice and the choice is, as Diane says, about the kind of society in which we want to live.

If a town has no music or book shops, if one wants to buy CDs, DVDs and books, what else is one to do other than go online if one wants to avoid the additional expense and inconvenience of travelling elsewhere? It becomes a vicious circle.