THE National has published letters and articles mourning the loss of high street shops and vibrancy. While shops close and jobs are lost, the likes of Amazon rake in millions, add nothing to the local community, and pay little or no tax.

May I suggest an alternative which may or may not be practical? Suppose all Scottish shops band together online with an address like and publicise the site aggressively. I envisage a buyer requesting an item on the site and stockists replying to them. The buyer can then choose which retailer to deal with and go from there. I know there are thousands of sites where almost anything can be bought, but they do not bring people-friendly shops back to our towns.

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Only shops paying full UK taxes and the living wage could register. I realise Amazon is attractive because it can supply multiple items in one delivery, but it is an exploitative company, and all profits vanish offshore. Buying in Scotland may cost a bit more but it keeps the money circulating in the community, and could bring life back to our high streets.
Richard Walthew