Looking Back: Good old-fashioned customer service and the friendly faces behind the counter

Before huge out-of-town shopping areas and the rise of the supermarkets stocking everything you could need, and more, the majority of shops were family-owned and operated.

Monday, 25th March 2019, 3:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 5:02 pm
A mother and her daughter window shopping in Boots new store on the corner of Gold Street and Drapery, Northampton, on September 12, 1959

The changing face of the 'High Street' and the future of town centre shopping has been at the forefront of many minds in recent years, as online shopping and purpose built retail parks attract people's spending power. Shop owners have always innovated bringing bigger, better, newer products to the public: modernisation of shopping has moved the items for sale from behind the counter onto the shop floor. Once hidden away in cardboard boxes and glass-fronted, wooden drawers, customers are now free to see the objects they desire, without any interference from a shop assistant. However, popping into a shop where a knowledgeable owner can help you find the exact thing you've been looking for, well that's still a priceless experience.

A Mother and a daughter window shopping at Boots new store on the corner of Gold Street and Drapery, Northampton, September 12, 1959
Chemist shop, H Bierne in the now demolished Wellington Place parade of shops, off Barrack Road, in Northampton, July 19, 1967

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A household appliances and television showroom in Wellington Place, off Barrack Road, Northampton, July 19, 1967
Manders Ltd, Sheep Street, Northampton town centre, August 7, 1968
Shoppers make their way down Peacock Way in Northampton, December 23, 1966
J S Billingham bookshop, at 79 St Giles Street, Northampton, November 23, 1970. established in 1896.The shop was filled with around 60,000 second hand and antique volumes
Lawes hardware shop, on the corner of Wellingborough Road and Bostock Avenue, Northampton, November 23, 1970
John Lever in his record shop in Gold Street, Northampton, December 14, 1966
The latest seating trends in the furniture section of Adnitts, now Debenhams, The Drapery, in Northampton, February 11, 1960