A regular on Ashbourne market is MSM Toiletries and, on the face of it, it is one of those stalls which does what it says on the tin. All the stock, cosmetics, cleaning products, household items etc are laid out in containers. To those people who criticise the presentation of stalls they should look carefully here where everything was clearly labelled and well displayed. They do carry a lot of lines and so each container may have a mixture of three or four different items. For example they have containers of Ambi Pur air fresheners and MSM may carry only one or two of each scent. This is one of those stalls that every market needs – I can guarantee that every house in and around Ashbourne buys the items which MSM Toiletries sells monthly and possibly even weekly. They may not have the range that supermarkets carry but the items were generally well-known quality brands.
What you may not realise is that the items are often cheaper to buy from the market than in the supermarkets. Something I noticed about the MSM stall, and this is true of most stalls, is that there were clearly regular customers. They talk to the owner of the stall, buy regularly from her and, in return the stalls are able to buy more of what their customer really want. This is old-fashioned retailing and something we are in danger of losing.
Of course, there has to be a driving reason for customers to Try Ashbourne First – no shop is a charity (unless of course it is one of our excellent Charity Shops). With MSM Toiletries, the nature of their range means I could easily do a price comparison (with tesco.com).
Ambi Pur Wild White Rose air freshener – MSM £2.99, Tesco.com £4
Glade Electric Clean Linen refill – MSM £1.99, Tesco.com £3.65
Brylcreem – MSM £1.99 for 150ml , Tesco.com £3.95 for 250ml
Sanatogen Vital 50+ 90 tablets – MSM £6.99, Tesco.com £8.07
Brut original deodorant – MSM £1.70, Tesco.com £2
A few years back those price differences would have made a real difference but people seem less willing to hunt out a bargain or are suspicious. Maybe in the current economic climate good old-fashioned bargain markets are what we all need.