When shopping in Orkney you soon discover that a lot of shops either sell a variety of unrelated items or have smaller shops within them rather like miniature department stores. A TV shop will also sell kids toys, kitchen items for example.
So sometimes picking the correct shop can be a task. There is a shop called ‘Delectable Mrs D’s” which unsurprising does women’s lingerie, however if you want horse tackle it is also the place to visit as within the shop there is another shop owned by a friend, selling such items!
Finding what you want could be an exasperating task if it were not for the shop assistance’s thorough knowledge of their stock. You will not be fobbed off with the ‘is it on the shelf?” in response to a question if they have any of a particular item. Usually the assistant will walk you to the area with the items you require. Because of this the quickest way to buy anything in Orkney is often to just ask at the shop counter rather than trying to browse the varied shelves.
There are a variety of gift shops in Kirkwall where some time can be spent browsing should that be what you want to do, but the knowledgeable staff make even this browsing a pleasure.
There are specialist food and drink shops as well as suppliers of local produce, so whilst the selection may not contain six varieties of steak mince, what there will be is a good local selection with food miles often measured in less than two digits.
There are a couple of industrial estates with the sort of companies ready to supply your fix of power tools, car parts and the like. Even here the name and outward appearance can be misleading. For example I thought for years that the large unit called ‘Birsay Farmers’ only sold equipment of interest to farmers, and was not really open to the public, the other day I discovered was not the case although it does carry this sort of stock as well.