My philosophy on using local shops is quite straightforward – using local retailers means cash slooshes around in the Shetland economy a bit longer rather than instantly disappearing off island via a supermarket till. And using rural shops means they’re more likely to survive and continue to provide a valuable and convenient service to their communities - use it or loose it.
However, it’s pretty tricky to avoid supermarkets altogether. Since I do have to spend £100s each month in them, I prefer to give my custom to a chain with which I see eye-to-eye. Therefore, I’ve always favoured the Co-op’s business practices and philosophy to Tesco’s oft-reported and criticised dealings. If you’re in any doubt about the negative consequences of Tesco’s business model have a look at the tescopoly.org website.