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In the age of the supermarket, Arkwright’s Emporium is a truly unique shopping experience.
Arkwright (Ronnie Barker) has not yet emerged from the dark ages of commerce. He is rude and mercenary in equal measure. Buying food from his shop is a kind of gastronomic lottery and dietician’s nightmare. He is obsessed by his twin business objectives: grooming his hapless nephew Granville (David Jason) for business success, and exploiting an infinitely gullible public.
However, in his heart he knows that Granville will never make a worthy heir to his commercial empire, but at least he can thwart Granville’s prospects of love and daydreams of wild adventure by ensuring that he is never allowed to wander much beyond the boundaries of his delivery round.
This leaves Arkwright with just enough time to conjure up his ever more ludicrous schemes for enticing unwary passers-by into his shop. Of course, once inside Arkwright’s Emporium it’s impossible to leave empty-handed.
In those few hours that Arkwright can bear to close the shop, his lecherous attentions turn to neighbour, customer and objet d’amour, the voluptuous nurse Gladys Emmanuel. Despite his persistence and some hilariously cunning ruses, Nurse Gladys manages, quite expertly, to keep her shopkeeper fiancé from getting his hands on her comestibles.