The Main Street store run by Allan McGonigal (pictured) and his daughter Hayley is rightly seen by many customers as a key amenity in Polmont.
That’s not just because the Post Office – Allan is postmaster – and the shop are side by side, but also because it’s a one-stop resource for a multitude of different services and products.
It’s also a point of social contact for many, and – in a busy, newsy area, it’s inevitable a lot of the stories in the weekly Falkirk Herald are key points for a chat.
In an age where everything from shopping to news seems to be online, including the Falkirk Herald, the local paper is still seen as a must-have by many of the customers at Allan and Hayley’s Premier Store at 11 Main Street, Polmont.
“The Falkirk Herald is the key source for local news and the one thing that’s guaranteed to bring customers into the shop every week,” said Allan – who many, of course, still know as a major name in football.
“So much has changed when it comes to magazines – and they make an awful lot of hard work for us.
“Meanwhile so many things that used to be ‘local’ are now dealt with remotely – like pensions going into the bank.
“The Falkirk Herald is close to hand and, for some people, a local lifeline to what is happening round about them.”
The busy Post Office and store is managed by around eight staff, and is an operation that demands huge amounts of effort to run efficiently.
“We’ve kept the traditional aspects of customer service because people depend on us,” said Allan.
“People come to rely on a local outlet they know will keep providing the same service, week in, week out – that idea of the ‘local newsagent’ you can rely on is still hugely important to so many people.”
The working day begins at the ungodly hour of 5am so, by the time newspapers reach their readers, the Premier Store is already at full throttle.
The Falkirk Herald’s readers help general sales, meanwhile, because many typically buy other items too.
And of course many Premier customers will always find time to pass at least one or two comments about the week’s local headlines.