there is no demand

A phrase that winds me up is “there is no demand for that”, when I ask a shop why they don’t stock something.

It’s not just the contradiction of me just having just provided said demand, it’s the implication that I’m such a non–person that my demand hasn’t raised the total from zero. I have no problem with “there’s insufficient demand”, that’s fair enough: I’m only one person. No, what annoys me is the deep insult hidden in “there is no demand”.

Still, something good comes out of it. A shop that uses that phrase (not just a member of staff; some people have clumsy tongues) cannot have properly thought through their customer relations. If they’ve the mistake of implying a prospective customer is a non–person, they’re likely to have made others elsewhere. That’s not a good sign of their future good fortune. It’s an invitation for competition. That’s why a shop that says “there is no demand” when asked for something is a shop that’s more likely to fail.

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