Like every good meme, the one about the English being shopkeepers lives on because there’s truth in it. Napoleon (or Barère) may have meant it as an insult. But that’s ok, the modern day English/ Brits (in all our diversity) have embraced shopkeeping with open arms. We now own the s-word.
From pubs to tea shops to books, it turns out that running a shop is the number one dream career for UK citizens. Because, let’s face it, who can resist a nice-looking shop? There’s something reassuringly familiar about the carefully arranged shelves, well-chosen products and politely disinterested service.
But what we really want is those elusive freedoms (that have been at the heart of the current heated Brexit debate): independence and autonomy.
Not only do we love the idea of shop-ownership, the UK Government is happy to put shopkeeping firmly at the centre of its economic strategy.