There’s no doubt about the main priority of the busy enterprise run by Carolyn and Gordon Gow in Camelon Main Street - even in these days of seemingly ubiquitous internet coverage.
Gordon’s News is nothing less than a vital local service, and at almost any time of day you can expect to find themserving a continual stream of local customers.
It could be a packet of chewing gun or a whole list of items, but while it’s certainly not a supermarket it’s the one place most local people are likely to visit at least once in the course of a typical day.
But is local news important and do people want to know what’s happening in Falkirk – as well as Camelon?
“Of course,” says Carolyn. “It’s definitely an older market for print these days, as with all newspapers, but people do care about what is happening round about them, and the Falkirk Herald is the one place you really have to look for information.
“Unlike supermarkets, we’re happy to offer subscriptions because we know it works for a lot of people, and it’s good that people see their paper as such an essential that they don’t want to miss a copy.”
She adds: “We can’t compete with supermarkets on some items, but on the other hand they don’t offer anything beyond a range of goods exchanged for cash.
“Over time this sort of shop develops into a place where you know you are going to meet people and have a chat while you are picking up your Falkirk Herald.
“We know our customers as individuals, and do our best to make it ‘their’ local shop - the sort of place where there can be a little more to a visit than simply handing over cash.”
The Falkirk Herald is an essential part of the mix, she says, because there is literally no other single place or product covering every aspect of life in and around the town.
The online coverage is often welcome, she adds, but for some customers there is still no substitute for having the print version in your hand, with pages to turn.
The retail business is continuing to evolve, just as the news business is adapting to new technology, but thanks to real newsagents like Gordon’s News many loyal Falkirk Herald readers are happy to combine the weekly paper and a spot of shopping.
Many of those customers may also be checking out Falkirk Herald online and on Facebook in between editions - but “the paper” (printed on actual paper) is still important.