While local shops should market themselves as being good for their local communities, they also need to think about how to make a profit. Consider the following two propositions.

Where is the real money made in supermarkets? In the middle of the store, where processed foods and well-known brands reign supreme, says Fortune magazine in its profile of US firm JM Smucker.

“Our strategy is to own and market No. 1 brands, sold in the centre of the store, in North America,” says co-chief executive Richard Smucker.

Where do you go to buy real food? The peripheries, says Michael Pollan in his Food Rules – and “stay out of the middle.”

“Processed foods dominate the centre aisles of the store, while the cases of mostly fresh food line the walls,” he writes.

If we assume that supermarkets are designed to generate profits from all parts of the store, how do these rules translate into how you have organised your shop? If your layout is designed so that people can dip in and buy milk quickly, how much profit are you surrendering? Is it a good idea to interrupt people shopping the peripheries with high margin processed items?