That's the first person I've heard describe the imminent arrival of Tesco in such terms, and I can see what means. No recent visitor to Palm 2 can fail to have noticed that Abdullah and his team have been sharpening up what I imagine retail gurus would term their "customer offer". The delicatessen has broadened its range and the fresh produce is looking fresher. Home made soup has been available since (I think) before Christmas and the front of the shop has been reorganised to be more spacious. Now they're offering to refill your Ecover bottles and even to look after parcels delivered to your home when you are out. They've also revived the home delivery service they tried out a while back (text your orders to 07889935310. Must be for £15 or more).
Naturally, I consider it a duty to tease Abdullah about what is in some ways a move upmarket but I know that he is completely sincere when he insists that Palm 2 will remain a shop that strives to serve everybody in the neighbourhood. I'm full of admiration for the measures he is taking to meet the challenge of the retail giant soon to open just down the road. He's playing very shrewdly to his strengths: local knowledge, distinctiveness, a personal touch and the deep loyalty of many of his regular customers.
It's important to remember that many local people will welcome Tesco's arrival as an improvement to this part of Clapton. They might turn out to be at least partly right. But to lose Palm 2 as a result would be a disaster. Its friends know what they must do: visit frequently and spend, spend, spend. That way, the optimism of my friend the mushroom fan may turn out to be fully justified.