Here in darkest, rural, France profonde, we regularly receive these small hardware catalogues that arrive with the post. Inside is everything from chimney cleaning rods, to home welding kits, and fail-proof rat traps. Yesterday morning I visited this particular one to buy a large, heavy duty, tarpaulin, to cover the pool for winter (my old one is in shreds).
And this is what the 'shop' looks like. They park-up somewhere central, open the side doors, and, after a couple of hours, are off to the next town. Many years ago these mobile traders were a life-line to country folk, but now everything is available locally, and they've started to disappear.
When we first arrived in France 40 years ago, similar, but much smaller, traders would call by our house on a regular basis. There were clothes vans, groceries, a butcher, a baker, and an agricultural supplies van. At the time we very pleased to have these people stop by, as it saved us the long trek into town. In fact we used to buy things that we didn't even need, just to keep them coming. Nowadays they are all but gone; even the baker no longer calls. Shame!