Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Topic started by: Torslanda on June 09, 2018, 07:22:40 pm

Title: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on June 09, 2018, 07:22:40 pm
**Note to mods: Please don't move this to POBI unless it gets ugly.**

Maplin, Toys'R'Us, Poundlandworld, M&S restructuring, House of Fraser on the brink...

Is this the death knell for retail as we know it? Or is it just a sea change?

Leave aside the evil of the government, do the banks want to own entire empty high streets of retail premises? Will there be nothing left besides charity shops? Can local government manage without the business rates?

What are we gonna do now, Butch?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rogerzilla on June 09, 2018, 07:39:34 pm
It's not just about price.   It's about range.  If a shop has to order stuff in, you might as well order it online yourself.

The future of the High Street can only be in service-heavy retailers like you.  Box-shifting won't cut it.  Clothes retailing should work because people like to try for fit and the online version of that is a bit tedious.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: pcolbeck on June 09, 2018, 07:49:25 pm
Service is key or a USP.

A shop where you can go and ask advice about what you can buy should survive such as a great hardware shop. Unfortunately a lot of them have been kicked out by huge business rates and rents been predicated on the massive profits the chain shops such as Next could make per square foot in the 80s and 90s.  There will have to be a drop back to sensible rents and business rates or the whole high street will be empty.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Paul H on June 09, 2018, 07:56:31 pm
End of retail?  Are people buying less?
Yes the High Street is changing, some clever companies have seen this coming and used their physical presence to display goods without intending to do much supply from there.  Think Apple stores or in the bike world Specialized concept stores.  That's what the High Street will look like in a decade, somewhere to go look before buying online.  With HS income coming from suppliers wanting display space.
I was in Jessops a few weeks ago with a friend looking for a camera. Knowledgeable staff, helpful with information, not bothered about making a sale, very bothered that you knew they'd price match and could get anything delivered next day. I don't know if that's their business model, it certainly fits my theory and I can see how it would greatly reduce their costs not to have lots of stock.   
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on June 09, 2018, 08:10:31 pm
I commented on this a few days ago to SWMBO, to the extent that I reckon it's the death knell for large department stores, John Lewis seeming to be the exception, but they have the integrated supply chain through Waitrose as a drop point.

I reckon "department store" shopping can only really survive online.

The high street will regress to nothing more than charity shops and coffee bars.  Interestingly this weekend, I spent more on our farmers market than in the supermarket. 
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hubner on June 09, 2018, 08:21:37 pm
"Peak stuff" and the "experience economy"?

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: chrisbainbridge on June 09, 2018, 08:59:42 pm
I think there are multiple factors to blame.  One is the council / intu charging large amounts for parking.  i have noticed that towns with free or nearly free parking are still alive and have open shops.

Also towns with easy access.  Nottingham with its trams seems to have a vibrant city centre culture.  Since moving close to the tram stop we have vastly increased our use of city centre life for cinema, eating, concerts, etc.

Clothes shopping for both my wife and I is now almost entirely online.  order 10-15 items in 2 sizes, try them on in our own home, change shoes, necklaces, etc as required, return all but 2 items via collect+ or similar.  Drop off point is 5 minutes away.

Bike parts are bought online and my local reapir shop if I use him operates out of an old container.



Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Beardy on June 09, 2018, 10:33:52 pm
Perhaps the high street will become the home of the specialist independents. The sort of place where you go along to hang out and talk technique, during coffee and try new things out, be they fromthe shop stock or from a fellow player of your game. The shop will have affiliate links with major online suppliers so you order while your in store, and it gets delivered to your home, either by the time you get home or the next day.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Porkins on June 09, 2018, 11:06:02 pm
Retailers need to adapt by giving people a reason to visit their premises. Book shops do it by adding coffee. Argos are doing it with in-store pickup for non-Argos purchases on ebay. One of the existing retail chains should have added Doddle's function so that Doddle never had a reason to open their own premises. I'm sure Maplin could have come up with a reason to exist if they'd used some imagination. The high street has value for its social contact opportunities. Bookshops with coffee recognise that. Maplin could have had a small space for one of their staff to fabricate something interesting and encourage customers to have a go. If Maplin had taught me to solder I'd be loyal to them. But they all they offered was a long queue at the till with no staff to talk to.

Maybe the problem is that so many talented people left retail management because they couldn't see a future? The John Lewis partnership is still doing well because they have terrific managers.

Before the internet retailers were adding a 30% margin. Now they can't. So maybe the problem is that the managers had an easy ride before the internet and now their shortcomings are exposed.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: LEE on June 10, 2018, 12:05:39 am
Unless your town is a tourist destination or has a very high level of income then the High Street is dead,

The amount of choice available, on ANY given product* , makes it impossible for an actual shop to stock it (unless it's Coffee, Charity, costs a pound or it's a phone SIM).

*Wiggle list 93 different types of Rim brake blocks, a choice only possible given a warehouse/online retail model.

Rates, shoplifting, staffing, time-wasting customers, wasted stock..and so on, make it hugely expensive to maintain a high street presence.  A central warehouse and home delivery makes perfect sense (unless you want a vibrant high street).

Here's the rub though.  Everyone I've ever heard moaning about the demise of the high street has bought goods online. Irony no?

Why not convert high street shops into affordable housing?  That's what we really need.  Why do we actually need, or want, to walk around congested city centres any more?  Why not spend your weekends walking around countryside instead? 

Why do we long for the "high street"?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: T42 on June 10, 2018, 07:41:04 am
Why do we long for the "high street"?

Because it was fun, and gave you an excuse to end up in the pub at 11 am.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on June 10, 2018, 08:33:11 am
The High Street is evolving, that's all. It's turning towards those things you can't get on the internet: nail bars, coffee shops, fresh food, convenience shops. We're not at that stage yet but if all retail shops closed you can bet your bottom dollar that the premises would be taken up by "Amazon Touch'n'Feel" or the like where they could stack up stuff to look at, online retailers depend on bricks and mortar showrooms as much as their virtual worlds.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: MikeFromLFE on June 10, 2018, 09:32:01 am





Why do we long for the "high street"?

Since I saw this thread start, this is the question I've been thinking about.
Without trying to stay into the area that would get this discussion moved, I suspect it's part of the current nostalgia for a Britain that never existed.

This vision of the high street is where jolly housewives gaily skipped to the butcher, baker and greengrocer to buy their daily provisions, and they could look into the windows of the dress shop, the milliners, or the haberdashers.
Frankly it's bollox.
I'm old enough to remember proper High Streets (Green Lanes in Harringay, and Wood Green High Street in particular). Shopping was a chore, the choice was minimal, the shopkeepers were surly, and, while I can remember The Scotch Wool Shop, and Maynards sweet shop windows, we never bought anything because they were too expensive for us as 'ordinary' people. I can remember my mother buying meat that has 'gone off' from the local butcher.

This kind of not-remembered high street hasn't existed since the (maybe) late 60s. It's a product of the false memory of the Daily Mail crowd. I say good riddance.

Sent from my P01W using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rogerzilla on June 10, 2018, 10:17:29 am
One consequence of retail parks is that the sort of people who still use the town centre tend to be the demographic without cars (and often without jobs, judging from the fact some of them are drinking Frosty Jack's at 10 am).  They don't spend much and the shops get lower-end.  It's self-reinforcing.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on June 10, 2018, 06:54:47 pm
I suppose contemporary shopping goes two ways – online or the shopping as a leisure activity experience in some kind of Westfield-type mall. Unless a high street is convenient for foot traffic, people don't go there to shop unless they have no choice.

I confess I buy most stuff online. I don't see shopping as a leisure activity so I just want it over and done with. I can do that with a few clicks without leaving this seat. Choice, I think, is often a lie. Does anyone need 94 types of brake block? Or 10 types of cornflake? I doubt it. I read a study somewhere where the authors compared the actual range of a small high street convenience store and supermarket, and they wasn't that much difference in terms of type of item. It was just varieties of the same item. Advertising has done a great job of convincing us we not only need our favourite brand but we somehow have loyalty to it.

Change is normal, we're no longer a society were the housewife can pop out to the butchers, bakers etc. everyday at 11 (like my gran did, without fail). High streets can survive by providing a place to go and socialise, for the sort of shops that can't easily be replicated online, etc. And a plea to localism, give people an excuse not to get in their car and go to another grim out-of-town retail centre so they can wait around in a warehouse for a bored salesperson to tell them that no, they don't have it.

Of course, we no active planning that supports that kind of development, high streets become channels for cars and people going somewhere else, and you're left with the people who don't have choice. That means betting shops, fast food, and convenience stores with cheap booze and lottery tickets.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on June 11, 2018, 08:55:11 am
It's not just about price.   It's about range.  If a shop has to order stuff in, you might as well order it online yourself.
;D It always makes me laugh when I go into an actual physical shop (largely because I want to get something there and then) , ask for something , to be greeted with the response: "er.. no, but we can get it?"
Well I can get it!
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on June 11, 2018, 09:03:16 am
I am prepared to give a certain amount of leeway to physical shops in not having the exact variant of product I'm after.
e.g. cycle products. Years ago I wanted a new derailleur - went into JE James, not the smallest most independent cycle shop in the world. Asked for a 10 speed, low normal, short cage, shimano, MTB, rear mech.
No.
OK, forget low normal. Have you got any 10 speed, short cage, shimano mechs?
No, sorry.
OK, have you got any 10 speed, shimano mechs?
Doesn't look like it.
Have you got any shimano mechs at all?
er... no.

About 6 years ago, probably even worse now.
I'd personally be prepared to go to an actual physical shop if they had a reasonable range - after all, sometimes with amazon you get too much choice. But the range of products in physical shops diminishes to just the ones with the most margin purely because of the rise in online shops, so it's not just because online is more convenient. It's just not possible any more.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on June 11, 2018, 09:10:07 am
*Wiggle list 93 different types of Rim brake blocks, a choice only possible given a warehouse/online retail model.

That's too much really.
But you do need one that's suitable for each differing need - so one for 'normal' rims, one for carbon rims, one for each type of v-brake, etc etc. What you don't need is competing products that are ostensibly just as good as each other that serve the same purpose.
For any given need you want one, but only one, obvious choice. One role of the shop should be choosing which of the competing products that choice should be for each use case.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Karla on June 11, 2018, 09:28:57 am
Since John Lewis has been mentioned, remember that a lot of the stuff we've used then for, even pre-internet, was the stuff that has to be delivered in a big van: white goods, furniture etc.  They've always had the shop-as-showroom model, along with the tempting extra stuff to buy while you're there looking at beds.  They've also done quite a good job of what Ben says: selecting a good version of each product to stock, so I can either faff around buying and returning things online or I can go to John Lewis and I can be fairly sure my trip won't be wasted.  That, combined with excellent customer service, has given people (or at least me) a lot of brand loyalty.  They're website's pretty good too.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on June 11, 2018, 09:35:12 am
One role of the shop should be choosing which of the competing products that choice should be for each use case.

I am not sure I want my choice limited by a shop that thinks it knows best. What if it decided that SRAM is the most suitable product while I am searching for Campag?

That's like more of an ecosystem than a single product, so that's one exception to my idea that you have no real good reason for choosing one brand over another for something that does the same job.
But even so, the advice could still be "find a shop that specializes in/prefers campag".
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Tom M on June 11, 2018, 10:47:06 am
I was reading something about the changes to business rates and what the House of Fraser stores were paying. Seemingly the Oxford St store's (which is closing) payable rates went from £2.96m in 16/17 to £4.3m in 17/18, and that was still to rise to over £5m by 21/22. I know that's one of the main retail hotspots in the country, but that still seems a hell of whack. My local one (Wolverhampton) was on £500k, and that's another closing too. The town centre was struggling enough as it is with plenty of empty units and a long history of redevelopments that never came to fruition. It's a very big and prominent store though, and it's really going to leave a big scar when it goes. Not surprising it did to be honest though as I don't really know who bothered going there anymore.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on June 11, 2018, 10:57:40 am
I'm more concerned for the economic impact of retail implosions. One constant in all of these contractions is that jobs go.

Poundlandworld has failed to secure funding/find a buyer/cobble a rescue package. The BBC says 5000 jobs are 'at risk'. I'll venture to suggest those jobs are gone. M&S plan to close 150 stores (I think). Those jobs will not be absorbed by the company.

Part of me (the capitalist) thinks that it's a product of market forces, companies being in the wrong sector or not maintaining their USP. If there's no reason to shop there then people won't.

Part of me (the socialist) sees it as a potential tragedy and while I'm not suggesting that Raining Stones or Boys From The Blackstuff will be reenacted across the country, I can't help feeling sympathy for those put in an impossible situation by being thrown out of work.

I can't solve this. And that bothers me too.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on June 11, 2018, 10:59:13 am
We recently calculated what it would cost to run a fabulous beer emporium on our local high street (and had chat with a couple who successfully run a similar enterprise). The sums weren't very favourable even for a niche product with reasonable margins. It might work but we'd need a fairly high sales volume and given the local area, that seemed a stretch (at least not for the risk averse like us). Costs for high street premises and rent were high (despite there being no shortage of vacancies and every new development coming with a blank ground floor shop space). Given that, it's hard to see feasibility of opening shops selling low margin goods where you're competing with supermarkets and the like.

It's the same story for non-chain restaurants, they simply can't consistently pull in the traffic to meet the excessive costs and I suspect that the few local restaurants that have survived for a while are one rent/rate rise from disappearing.

Like I say, having a decent high street is achievable, but it won't just come about organically. It requires thought and planning.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: madcow on June 11, 2018, 11:11:48 am
We all know that the majority of the population is wedded to their car and when you have the big stores such as Marks, John Lewis and all the other fashion brands available in out of town shopping ares with free parking, it makes no sense to drive into a congested urban centre, then pay £££££s for parking and spend the next few hours worrying about when your parking ticket expires.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: citoyen on June 11, 2018, 11:18:46 am
I think there are multiple factors to blame.  One is the council / intu charging large amounts for parking.  i have noticed that towns with free or nearly free parking are still alive and have open shops.

I look at it the other way round - free parking on out-of-town sites is the problem. Parking should not be free - in fact, it isn't free, it's just that the costs are absorbed elsewhere, such that people who don't use cars end up paying for it as well. Land used for car parking space should be taxed heavily, and charged for at point of use.

People need to be made more aware of the true costs involved in their decisions, especially when those decisions involve car use.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Exit Stage Left on June 11, 2018, 11:44:25 am
High street banks have changed use over the past 30 years. They became bar-restaurants of one type or another. The same has happened to churches. Big department stores are harder to transform, so often stand empty.

Suburban high streets are now full of hairdressers, vape shops, takeaways and East European supermarkets. Subsidiary urban high streets are like that, but with more student targeted stuff, often Chinese.

The principal high street still functions as an area for female bonding through shopping. Teenagers also congregate there, with friction between 'Townies' and suburbanites. There are also lots of 'Homeless', occupying the vacant shop doorways.

My most recent retail foray was to pop into Sports Direct for a paid of size 14 trainers. I'd gone in to register my Father's death at the records office, and the need to get parked up in time gave me 15 minutes to play with.

On Friday we walked into town for a cheap ethnic meal and a drink in a traditional pub. On Saturday I went to a choir concert, slightly marred by the 'banging tunes' from a bar opposite the church. We live in a quiet rural enclave, so the centre of town is for seeing lots of people, and topping up my aversion to urban life.

As I'm a 59 year-old white bloke, who isn't a homeless alcoholic. I don't fit into any of the natural user groups for the high street. My retail preferences are builders merchants, wood yards, and tool suppliers.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: orienteer on June 11, 2018, 12:03:12 pm
High streets have lost their appeal to me by consisting almost entirely of national chain stores selling the same stuff (at the same national prices) I don't need or desire; fashion shops are strongly represented. Similarly restaurants are the same boring national chains where the menu items are costed to the last penny, not designed to excite the palate.

Smaller towns with more independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants are much more interesting.

Don't know what the answer is. Possibly lower business rates for independents?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on June 11, 2018, 12:09:45 pm
I think there are multiple factors to blame.  One is the council / intu charging large amounts for parking.  i have noticed that towns with free or nearly free parking are still alive and have open shops.

I look at it the other way round - free parking on out-of-town sites is the problem. Parking should not be free - in fact, it isn't free, it's just that the costs are absorbed elsewhere, such that people who don't use cars end up paying for it as well. Land used for car parking space should be taxed heavily, and charged for at point of use.

People need to be made more aware of the true costs involved in their decisions, especially when those decisions involve car use.

This, really.

We effectively subsidise (and all pay for) out-of-town shopping. Many of the businesses situation in such locations earned significant tax breaks from local and national government for locating there in the first place (benefits not granted to the local high street). Plus there's in the costs of maintaining the roads, vehicles, fuel etc. then indirect effects like dealing with air pollution. All these disappear in the mix, but they're no less real. Those retail parks aren't really cheap, they just seem that way because the real cost is borne by society as a whole. Of course, it all conspires to make us more reliant on our cars, and none of it is really to our benefit.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 11, 2018, 12:28:42 pm
High streets have lost their appeal to me by consisting almost entirely of national chain stores selling the same stuff (at the same national prices) I don't need or desire; fashion shops are strongly represented. Similarly restaurants are the same boring national chains where the menu items are costed to the last penny, not designed to excite the palate.

Smaller towns with more independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants are much more interesting.

Don't know what the answer is. Possibly lower business rates for independents?

Currently there are lower business rates for small businesses. That may change. If it does, it will be absolutely devastating.

Other points:

(some) High Streets are homogenous because of the cost of occupancy. Only the big national can afford the rent and rates. (Some time ago now) I remember calculating that occupancy of a shop in the UK was 10 times the equivalent of the same in South Africa. If rents and rates are lower you get better variety and improved shop fitting and staffing - retailers can spend money on other things. However we like high property prices individually...

Business Rates are being used to keep the voters happy. They allow for lower personal Council Tax rates. We like that...

Retailers are in an unequal battle with internet businesses and internationals. Internationals don't pay appropriate taxes. Neither do internet businesses (they get a low rate per sq foot on a warehouse park). However we like being able to order 97 different brake blocks...

Towns are in an unequal battle with out of town locations that provide free parking. There should be charges per out of town space. We like free parking...

This is about employment, about recognising that well over 20% of people do not have access to a car, about community and being a social human rather than a selfish one.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: cygnet on June 11, 2018, 12:30:20 pm
NB It's Poundworld that are in administration, not Poundland.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Exit Stage Left on June 11, 2018, 12:36:53 pm
Out of town shopping is in the middle of town locally. There are plenty of brownfield sites from industrial premises, so the majors have built in the town. The council owns the big car park next to Tesco, which is free, and not time-limited.

South Ribble has the infrastructure and space to function as a modern settlement. Preston is constrained by its geography and history. 'Out of Town' usually means satellite towns, and urbanites are snobbish about them.

We were going to get a massive IKEA next to B&Q, close to the motorway. Some say that a legal challenge from Chorley Borough has put paid that. There's talk of a hospital there now. Hospitals are another facility that have moved out of town centres as demand for parking has become a major concern.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on June 11, 2018, 01:35:47 pm
NB It's Poundworld that are in administration, not Poundland.

Mea maxima culpa . . .

Posts edited.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rogerzilla on June 11, 2018, 06:59:25 pm
I am prepared to give a certain amount of leeway to physical shops in not having the exact variant of product I'm after.
e.g. cycle products. Years ago I wanted a new derailleur - went into JE James, not the smallest most independent cycle shop in the world. Asked for a 10 speed, low normal, short cage, shimano, MTB, rear mech.
No.
OK, forget low normal. Have you got any 10 speed, short cage, shimano mechs?
No, sorry.
OK, have you got any 10 speed, shimano mechs?
Doesn't look like it.
Have you got any shimano mechs at all?
er... no.

About 6 years ago, probably even worse now.
I'd personally be prepared to go to an actual physical shop if they had a reasonable range - after all, sometimes with amazon you get too much choice. But the range of products in physical shops diminishes to just the ones with the most margin purely because of the rise in online shops, so it's not just because online is more convenient. It's just not possible any more.
Often the internet sheds don't have it in stock either and don't tell you at the point of sale (where's the LHT frame I ordered a week ago, Spa?).  They are pretty pointless as retailers by then; they are merely a tool for ordering it from the supplier, loading the price by a large percentage, and sending it to you at your cost.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Exit Stage Left on June 11, 2018, 08:49:06 pm
I was talking to a former Ribble employee on a walk yesterday. He remembers the MD scanning the foreign exchange news to determine the best moment to buy. That's what the internet retailers do for you, as well as sourcing the product.

Ribble were bought out, and since then they've shed staff, and replaced them with workers who are happy with minimum wage.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 11, 2018, 11:06:22 pm
A wage reduction driven by customers whose prime driver has become price.

Are you sure these workers are happy with the minimum wage?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on June 11, 2018, 11:10:30 pm

Often the internet sheds don't have it in stock either and don't tell you at the point of sale (where's the LHT frame I ordered a week ago, Spa?).  They are pretty pointless as retailers by then; they are merely a tool for ordering it from the supplier, loading the price by a large percentage, and sending it to you at your cost.
The only thing that is annoyingly unavailable from reliable retailers is schwalbe tubeless tyres, it's always a guessing game which "in stock" label is least likely to be a lie ...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Exit Stage Left on June 11, 2018, 11:55:06 pm
A wage reduction driven by customers whose prime driver has become price.

Are you sure these workers are happy with the minimum wage?

Not as happy as they were before Brexit pushed the value of the £ down relative to their native currencies.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Manotea on June 12, 2018, 01:12:26 am
Very noticeable that three local independent LBSes have disappeared in recent years.

Only boutiques selling high end kit with personal support/maint service seem to be surviving.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Canardly on June 12, 2018, 05:32:41 am
Much is made of the impact of the internet and retail shopping. Whilst there is no doubt that the impact is huge, given fierce on line price competition and the convenience of home delivery, other factors are also at work, such as the availablity and cost of parking, the cost of fuel, access restrictions via traffic jams,  commercial rates, rent review increases et al, all of which have been cash cows for years but which have now become very significant factors in deciding whether customers can be arsed or not and whether or not a shopping visit is cost effective.
I have been made aware recently of the level of charges levied by bodies such as Just Eat and Interflora which, if accurate,  are breathtaking given the margins retail outlet operations are often working on!
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 12, 2018, 06:14:28 am
Not long ago I remember being at a presentation where two facts were stated.

The market share of discount supermarkets hadn’t changed much over several decades. Aldi and Lidl look to have had an effect, but in the marketplace they replaced Macfisheries and other discount supermarkets.

The market share of non bricks and mortar hasn’t changed much over decades, internet shopping looks like it has taken a huge chunk of the consumer spend, but in the market place it has replaced Littlewoods, Grattan, Freeman’s and others.

Now that may be different now, but it means that the marketplace probably hasn’t changed as much as everyone thinks.

I think the biggest factors are out of town shopping, punitive occupancy costs and the obsession with private transport.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Karla on June 12, 2018, 08:20:14 am
A wage reduction driven by customers whose prime driver has become price.

Are you sure these workers are happy with the minimum wage?

Not as happy as they were before Brexit pushed the value of the £ down relative to their native currencies.

I had a load of work done on the house recently and I really wish the Poles hadn't gone home  >:(
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: seraphina on June 12, 2018, 09:16:04 am
The advantage of good, knowledgeable sales people has also been further eroded by the Internet. Why risk trusting a salesperson when you can have hundreds of reviews online from people who've actually bought and used the product?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on June 12, 2018, 09:17:08 am
Very noticeable that three local independent LBSes have disappeared in recent years.

Only boutiques selling high end kit with personal support/maint service seem to be surviving.

It's easy (and safer) to sell a few high margin items than to rely on selling lots of low margin items. For the latter you're heavily dependent on external factors like small falls in customers, fluctuations in exchange rate, and any significant rise in costs will knock you out. And you can't keep that much in stock because that either requires money up-front or expensive credit insurance. Oh, and when people find out you don't have item x in stock, they'll wander off and buy it on the internet rather than wait for a few days.

I'm weird, admittedly, but I think we should just buy less and spend less time in our cars doing it. I honestly can't think of any worse thing to do on a Saturday afternoon than hang around a shop. Personally, I'd be happy to see more cafes, eateries and pubs on the high street. Of course, these suffer from the same problems as the high street.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on June 12, 2018, 01:30:32 pm
The advantage of good, knowledgeable sales people has also been further eroded by the Internet. Why risk trusting a salesperson when you can have hundreds of reviews online from people who've actually bought and used the product?

Knowledgeable salespeople were an endangered species well before internet shopping became mainstream.  Why employ a knowledgeable salesperson when a bullshitting oik can shift more stock for a lower wage?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 12, 2018, 03:57:34 pm
The advantage of good, knowledgeable sales people has also been further eroded by the Internet. Why risk trusting a salesperson when you can have hundreds of reviews online from people who've actually bought and used the product?

As long as those reviews are from real customers and not bots or paid mass reviewers...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: mattc on June 12, 2018, 04:42:14 pm
<snipped for brevity>
...

Towns are in an unequal battle with out of town locations that provide free parking. There should be charges per out of town space. We like free parking...

This is about employment, about recognising that well over 20% of people do not have access to a car, about community and being a social human rather than a selfish one.

that's an interesting stat J. Do you have any breakdown e.g. how many of those are in massive highrise flats, how many urban-vs-rural etc?

[In this discussion I always think of friends who have lost their driving licences due to medical conditions - I assume that way less than 20% are in a similar situation, but we should still try to consider them.]
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: citoyen on June 12, 2018, 04:50:30 pm
The advantage of good, knowledgeable sales people has also been further eroded by the Internet. Why risk trusting a salesperson when you can have hundreds of reviews online from people who've actually bought and used the product?

The problem with online reviews is you often have to read hundreds of them before you find one that is genuinely informative.

Even among a community of generally knowledgeable people, it can sometimes be hard to glean the wheat from the chaff - take the recent discussion here on the benefits vs disadvantages of Di2, for example.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hellymedic on June 12, 2018, 04:58:59 pm
Some customers like the sound of their online voices and post unfavourable views for their own and others' amusement.

TripAdvisor certainly breeds these.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: citoyen on June 12, 2018, 05:02:42 pm
TripAdvisor certainly breeds these.

Don't get me started on TripAdvisor...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hellymedic on June 12, 2018, 05:29:12 pm
Some online merchants encourage flamboyant reviews by pushing customers for feedback where none is needed.
If you like Bic ballpoints, you buy them. If not you buy something else.
If you are pestered to write a review then you might let rip...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andyoxon on June 12, 2018, 05:41:08 pm
Abingdon continues along the conversion to charity shop/ coffee chain - cafe - restaurant - pizza joint (now PHut, Doms, PapaJ, Ask & PE), despite the council making all car parks free for the first two hours. Most smaller independents are going/gone (including a bike shop) - apparently in the face of the high business rates.  A main unit of the refurbed precinct didn't fill for ages, in the end becoming a superdrug (moving from <100metres away), which is directly next door to a Boots, across the way from yet another pharmacy. 
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on June 12, 2018, 05:43:15 pm

Knowledgeable salespeople were an endangered species well before internet shopping became mainstream.  Why employ a knowledgeable salesperson when a bullshitting oik can shift more stock for a lower wage?


Are you listening Cement Block Shit Hole Inc.? (and others passim...)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on June 12, 2018, 07:48:13 pm
Online reviews, good god, that's the black hole of stupid.

Ultimately we want to buys lots of things. We want them as cheap as possible. We feign concern when we find out the people who make them in Faroffland are poorly treated and we all shake our heads when we learn that the people who sell them earn a minimum wage. Then we buy some more. Quality and service cost money and that gets in the way of more stuff, which is ultimately what most people seem to want.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 12, 2018, 10:39:36 pm
You forgot:

Then we whinge like stuck pigs when we realise that actually we've lost choice, jobs, and life is actually more expensive. But it is too late.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: pumpkin on June 13, 2018, 09:15:13 am
Now we have Network Rail selling off railway arches, so those small shops/repair units that occupied them are being forced out by large rent increases
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on June 13, 2018, 09:59:12 am
I suppose we want to be paid and rewarded well, have secure jobs and good conditions, while at the same time buying things at a price that provides for none of those things.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ScumOfTheRoad on June 13, 2018, 10:03:40 am
I suppose we want to be paid and rewarded well, have secure jobs and good conditions, while at the same time buying things at a price that provides for none of those things.

Ian, I hear what you say. But I would like to add something to that. I have lived in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark. They are different societies to ours.
As an anecdote, in Switzerland I bought a washing machine. The person managing my flat was horrified that I planned to fit it myself. No - a workman would come round and fit it. Everyone has their job to do. Again in Switzerland working n the railways is a very highly respected job.

So I agree with you - the UK is becoming a very unequal society. We have people aspiring to owning Mercedes cars, SUVs, taking long haul holidays, etc. etc. But on the other hand expecting those who work on the tills/cleaning the streets (whatever) to work for a pittance.


Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 13, 2018, 10:22:43 am
<snipped for brevity>
...

Towns are in an unequal battle with out of town locations that provide free parking. There should be charges per out of town space. We like free parking...

This is about employment, about recognising that well over 20% of people do not have access to a car, about community and being a social human rather than a selfish one.

that's an interesting stat J. Do you have any breakdown e.g. how many of those are in massive highrise flats, how many urban-vs-rural etc?

[In this discussion I always think of friends who have lost their driving licences due to medical conditions - I assume that way less than 20% are in a similar situation, but we should still try to consider them.]

No breakdown.

You will probably find that no car ownership has a greater effect in isolated rural areas, and this tend to be where asset rich (property), cash poor, older people live.

Recent reports (which may or may not be media hype) indicate that young people are far less likely to take up driving as part of their way of life. However, of course, they are quite likely to be in a household with access to a car.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: DuncanM on June 13, 2018, 05:30:05 pm
You will probably find that no car ownership has a greater effect in isolated rural areas, and this tend to be where asset rich (property), cash poor, older people live.
Also, larger distances and almost zero public transport.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on June 13, 2018, 06:23:50 pm
But again, why is there no public transport? Because everyone was persuaded to drive.

Which left behind everyone who couldn't – the poor, the old etc. And now everyone says 'but we have to drive! there's no public transport!'
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Exit Stage Left on June 13, 2018, 07:32:16 pm


Ian, I hear what you say. But I would like to add something to that. I have lived in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark. They are different societies to ours.
As an anecdote, in Switzerland I bought a washing machine. The person managing my flat was horrified that I planned to fit it myself. No - a workman would come round and fit it. Everyone has their job to do. Again in Switzerland working n the railways is a very highly respected job.

So I agree with you - the UK is becoming a very unequal society. We have people aspiring to owning Mercedes cars, SUVs, taking long haul holidays, etc. etc. But on the other hand expecting those who work on the tills/cleaning the streets (whatever) to work for a pittance.



I'm always interested in experiences of working abroad. I like to see how the Hofstede's cultural dimensions work out. I'm happy enough to accept that different societies have different attitudes. Different classes have their own norms as well. The UK does well for not matching action to words.

https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/denmark,the-netherlands,switzerland,the-uk/
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on June 13, 2018, 10:24:32 pm
I suppose we want to be paid and rewarded well, have secure jobs and good conditions, while at the same time buying things at a price that provides for none of those things.
I disagree, I make a point of shopping on our market, more expensive than supermarket, but as far as I am concerned supporting local producers is worth it.

Someone is going to come along and make a statement about how not everyone can afford to do that, I agree.  I'm well paid, and as a result have more choice than others.I exercise that choice in not being driven by lowest price.

Retail is not dead, its changing to be microscopically local at the same time as being massively decentralised amazonian
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on June 15, 2018, 09:02:27 pm
I think it would be good if, as several people have already said, unused shops were turned into housing. I'm not expecting it to happen though.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on June 15, 2018, 09:28:41 pm
I suppose we want to be paid and rewarded well, have secure jobs and good conditions, while at the same time buying things at a price that provides for none of those things.
I disagree, I make a point of shopping on our market, more expensive than supermarket, but as far as I am concerned supporting local producers is worth it.

Someone is going to come along and make a statement about how not everyone can afford to do that, I agree.  I'm well paid, and as a result have more choice than others.I exercise that choice in not being driven by lowest price.

Retail is not dead, its changing to be microscopically local at the same time as being massively decentralised amazonian

It was a generalist comment. I also make a point of trying to buy local, reasonable sourced stuff, and am willing to pay for the privilege. I am quite sure I support several craft breweries*. But yes, I have the benefit of being smugly affluent.

But there's a truism in the contradiction. There's ultimately a cost for all that cheapness.

*literally as we have shares in a few, and my wife likes nothing better than crowdfunding things and telling me about it later.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on June 16, 2018, 03:01:44 pm
Has anyone linked to this already? https://theconversation.com/five-ways-bricks-and-mortar-shops-can-survive-the-onslaught-of-e-commerce-98328
It gives five ways in which, in the author's opinion, physical shops can do well by providing things that can't be found online. The author calls these Experiences, Brand advocates, Places you want to stay, Frictionless experience, and Rewards for your time. It's not entirely clear that some of these, most obviously "frictionless experience" cannot be already found shopping online, but it seems to come down to prioritising experience and customer connection over purchase.
Quote
The future of retail is about social interaction. Customers want to be entertained, engaged and emotionally stimulated. Physical stores must enable consumers to have positive experiences. This may be done through creating an element of surprise for customers, perhaps through art, in-store pop-ups or virtual reality. If stores can surprise and entertain their customers, then they are more likely to develop an emotional connection and keep them coming back for more.
Of course online stores try to do this too, by bigging up image and eg including handwritten delivery notes, but they don't have face to face interaction. So that would imply that for the High Street it comes down to staff. Not staff doing easily automated work but creating "experience", so replacing till operators with "floor walkers" and baristas. Might all get a bit chugger-ish, hug the stranger, if they/we aren't careful.  :(

Finally as one of the comments says:
Quote
The answer may be to permit more other non retail businesses to exist in high streets.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: +paul on June 21, 2018, 09:24:58 pm
I saw this yesterday - this article puts forward additional views about the impact of gadget costs taking significantly more of peoples' disposable income, leaving less for other discretionary spending (among other points).

https://contrarianedge.com/2017/07/26/not-just-amazons-fault-changing-consumer-habits-killing-old-retail-biz/ (https://contrarianedge.com/2017/07/26/not-just-amazons-fault-changing-consumer-habits-killing-old-retail-biz/)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on June 21, 2018, 10:52:49 pm
I saw this yesterday - this article puts forward additional views about the impact of gadget costs taking significantly more of peoples' disposable income, leaving less for other discretionary spending (among other points).

It's not a new idea.  I recall reading an article some years ago that credited the rise of the PAYG dumbphone (as it was, then) with the sharp decline in teenage smoking around the turn of the century.

It's not so much that pocket computers (let's call them what they are - anyone comparing the role of a modern smartphone to that of a Nokia 3310 is being naive at best) are displacing fashion, as fashion moving from being about clothes to being about pocket computers.

(And of course the technology has absorbed other forms of spending.  People no longer buy music in record shops.  Or walkmans anywhere.)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: citoyen on June 22, 2018, 10:05:46 am
People no longer buy music in record shops.

Showing your age there. Trendy youths are increasingly ditching digital media in favour of 'vinyls'.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on June 22, 2018, 11:37:31 am
People no longer buy music in record shops.

Showing your age there. Trendy youths are increasingly ditching digital media in favour of 'vinyls'.
Well... trendy hipsterish types in their twenties, maybe. Actual teens, I don't think so. But recently my son's friend's father (so around 50 or I'd say a little older) was enthusing about rediscovering his teenage 'vinyls' (and yes he did call them vinyls) and buying more. 
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: mattc on June 24, 2018, 05:39:59 pm
People no longer buy music in record shops.

Showing your age there. Trendy youths are increasingly ditching digital media in favour of 'vinyls'.
... in Sainsburys (or at least in our one).

OT: I did actually spend some money in an actual HMV last week. I thought they'd all shut - hoorah HMV Bath! (It was probably built by the Romans.)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on June 25, 2018, 09:50:45 am
Bath has become nothing more than a retail park with some housing round the edges. Rumour is there's a geothermal spring somewhere and some quite nice buildings too, but nobody's really sure, it's probably just an urban legend.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on June 25, 2018, 10:46:07 am
Ditto here. Most of M24 is inconveniently situated next to a large Tesco Extra.

But without the ancient buildings and spa. 50p or nearest offer . . .
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jurek on June 25, 2018, 08:32:00 pm
People no longer buy music in record shops.

Showing your age there. Trendy youths are increasingly ditching digital media in favour of 'vinyls'.
Indeed.
Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon available on vinyl in Sainos Sydenham.
How cool is that?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on June 28, 2018, 06:36:35 am
John Lewis now reporting zero first half earnings, waitrose store closures and massive upheavals.  Thevpartener bonus is down from ten to 5%.

I'd say retail is a bit like a Norwegian blue, sick, pining for the fjords etc
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 28, 2018, 08:01:33 am
Theresa, it’s time to tax Amazon.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rogerzilla on June 28, 2018, 08:22:18 am
John Lewis now reporting zero first half earnings, waitrose store closures and massive upheavals.  Thevpartener bonus is down from ten to 5%.

I'd say retail is a bit like a Norwegian blue, sick, pining for the fjords etc
Never seen the appeal of John Lewis.  Overpriced and (with the exception of the blueberry muffins) Waitrose's food isn't good enough.  People can't afford it any more.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on June 28, 2018, 08:25:46 am
John Lewis customer service is excellent, their pricing is keen but not always the best, as always it's a trade off.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on June 28, 2018, 08:37:19 am
John Lewis now reporting zero first half earnings, waitrose store closures and massive upheavals.  Thevpartener bonus is down from ten to 5%.

I'd say retail is a bit like a Norwegian blue, sick, pining for the fjords etc
Never seen the appeal of John Lewis.  Overpriced and (with the exception of the blueberry muffins) Waitrose's food isn't good enough.  People can't afford it any more.

And, there you have at least 50% of the problem in a nutshell. Not having a go at you, rz, but for you and millions of others, it's all about price. But it isn't. JL customer service remains head and shoulders above the competition and their prices are keen when shopping at retail establishments. That's not a good enough combination, apparently. Tesco may be be cheaper than Waitrose, but their quality (especially of the cheap lines) is a bit shit, only exceeded in shittiness by the way they treat their suppliers.

I'm not having a go at those who truly need the lowest prices in order to survive, there's a place for that. But those who can afford to take responsibility for the quality of their food and service and choose on price alone get everything they deserve.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on June 28, 2018, 08:40:12 am
Waitrose in Bristol is always full of students, which probably says as much about universities as about Waitrose.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 28, 2018, 09:10:33 am
As Ham says, we’ve become obsessed with price, not value.

To get low prices you squeeze staff, suppliers, landlords, contractors. Fewer jobs, less meaningful jobs, fewer businesses, less local profit in the system.

Ouch.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ScumOfTheRoad on June 28, 2018, 09:16:22 am
Ham says:   Tesco may be be cheaper than Waitrose, but their quality (especially of the cheap lines)

The 'cheap lines' are there to create what I think is referred to as an illusion of choice. Tesco have three tiers of products  -  the normal brand, the cheap line which is branded something like Farm or whatever then the luxury line, Tesco Choice or something. From what I have read tis is a careful marketing strategy designed to make you feel better. It is not really to help you shop cheaply.

I beleive that you are MEANT to think that the value brand is not as good as the normal brand - even though they migth be identical.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on June 28, 2018, 09:37:51 am
Ham says:   Tesco may be be cheaper than Waitrose, but their quality (especially of the cheap lines)

The 'cheap lines' are there to create what I think is referred to as an illusion of choice. Tesco have three tiers of products  -  the normal brand, the cheap line which is branded something like Farm or whatever then the luxury line, Tesco Choice or something. From what I have read tis is a careful marketing strategy designed to make you feel better. It is not really to help you shop cheaply.

I beleive that you are MEANT to think that the value brand is not as good as the normal brand - even though they migth be identical.

That may be the case, in some cases it is likely there is little difference between basic and normal offerings however in some cases it is deffo crap. For purposes of comparison, I would pitch Waitrose "Essentials" range against the standard Tesco offerings, not the cheap ones. It's marketed as "affordable quality"; you can tell where it's aimed by virtue that things like "Essential avocado", "essential blueberries" and "essential asparagus" exist.

From my experience, Tesco standard items are exceedingly variable in quality, Waitrose far less so. I'm happy to pay that premium.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hellymedic on June 28, 2018, 01:13:45 pm
John Lewis now reporting zero first half earnings, waitrose store closures and massive upheavals.  Thevpartener bonus is down from ten to 5%.

I'd say retail is a bit like a Norwegian blue, sick, pining for the fjords etc
Never seen the appeal of John Lewis.  Overpriced and (with the exception of the blueberry muffins) Waitrose's food isn't good enough.  People can't afford it any more.

They were the cheapest place for Tampax when I was a teenager, actually!

Their customer service and quality are good.

The almost 'once in a lifetime' stuff is very good.

But selling stuff which can last >20 years is unsustainable if people are tightening their belts.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: fboab on June 28, 2018, 03:06:02 pm
People aren't tightening their belts. They're buying on price alone.

I'd like to think I know something about buying (it's my job) and although price is a major consideration we should also look at the total cost of acquisition which includes service, maintenance and cost of disposal.

I don't find the death of historic retail a particularly bad thing. It's just changed. I don't miss C & A or BHS. Society is different and we get the 'High Street' or more likely 'Out Of Town Retail Park' we deserve.

I do almost all my buying from a keyboard. I've got dozens of things I'd rather do with my time than wander amongst the masses who do retail as entertainment.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hellymedic on June 28, 2018, 03:48:57 pm
If they are buying at all. NOT buying trumps any purchase for me some of the time and I can't be alone.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Tom M on June 29, 2018, 12:04:27 pm
I can't blame people for going for price and convenience, despite whoever else is getting squeezed. Was looking at a particular book I wanted and checked on Amazon and Waterstones. Waterstones was £12.99 and could order free click and collect so could wander out from work on Monday and pick it up as close to a branch. Amazon was £5.99, and as have Prime membership for £3.99/month I could have it delivered for free to my house between 6-10 tonight if ordered before 12-00. When they can offer things that cheap, quick, and easy, then it's a pretty big pull to go online.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 29, 2018, 12:07:03 pm
How does that work out financially if you don't buy anything else for a year from Amazon?

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on June 29, 2018, 12:07:50 pm
How does that work out financially if you don't buy anything else for a year from Amazon?



Rather well for Amazon.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on June 29, 2018, 12:11:49 pm
and of course, it also works out rather well for them if you think "I've paid for Prime, I might as well carry on shopping at Amazon."
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jurek on June 29, 2018, 12:14:00 pm
The trick is to take advantage of their 'Try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days' offer.
The clever bit is remembering to cancel it before the 30 days is up.
I've done this twice so far.
I'll be surprised if they offer it to me for a third time.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: mark on June 29, 2018, 04:18:21 pm
I'm still waiting for them to offer it to me a third time, it's been quite a few years now.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on June 29, 2018, 04:35:28 pm
Having lots of shops is an indicator, possibly a symptom, of a weak city centre.
Quote
So, that behind us, how do strong and weak centres differ? Basically, like this:



Click to expand.

Strong city centres have a nearly three times as big a share of space dedicated to offices (62 per cent, compared to 23 per cent in weak centres). They also have a far smaller share of space dedicated to retail (43 per cent, compared to 18 per cent).
https://www.citymetric.com/horizons/podcast-fat-land-4024
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on June 29, 2018, 04:39:30 pm
As ever, you get what you pay for. I fall for the dubious charms of Amazon too. When I had a Tidy Hair hair shaver fail a year back, a new Wahl head strimmer was in my paws on the same evening. I wanted some security cameras recently – I suppose I might have got them from Dixons (or whatever it's called these days) if they had them and in stock, but that last few times I've been they've not endeared me to return and if you want me to pay a premium, well, that's got to be tip top.

We buy big stuff (like TVs) from John Lewis. Decent service, delivery, you know you won't get quibbles if there's a problem, and it's nice to have the opportunity to go look at it before purchase. On that basis I'm willing to pay more. I could have gone and ordered the same product online for cheaper, but you know, if you want service aspect you have to support it. It's the same for the internet, I'll put up with some adverts because I'm not paying for the content. It has to be paid for somewhere.

Cheap always has a cost.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 27, 2018, 03:38:52 pm
Shops might be dying but shopping isn't. In fact we're buying more than ever before, more than we know what to do with. (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/08/online-shopping-and-accumulation-of-junk/567985/) Buying online is so easy, and so cheap for us thanks to cheap shipping and global cost differentials, and we can do it anytime from anywhere. We're buying more than ever before.
Quote
In 2017, Americans spent $240 billion—twice as much as they’d spent in 2002—on goods like jewelry, watches, books, luggage, and telephones and related communication equipment, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which adjusted those numbers for inflation. Over that time, the population grew just 13 percent. Spending on personal care products also doubled over that time period. Americans spent, on average, $971.87 on clothes last year, buying nearly 66 garments, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association. That’s 20 percent more money than they spent in 2000. The average American bought 7.4 pairs of shoes last year, up from 6.6 pairs in 2000.
Buying 66 garments a year seems crazy but it's what people do. The figures in Europe might be less, though I doubt they're much less, but the pattern is the same. It's not only more than we need, it's more than there is room for, even secondhand:
Quote
Secondhand shops can’t resell all of the donations they get. Cline estimates that 85 percent of the clothing that is donated to secondhand stores ends up in landfills every year.
Perhaps we shouldn't feel so good, or at all good, about taking stuff to the charity shop.

This is all happening online, but physical shops are still with us. It's just that they're not for shopping anymore. (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/06/shops-arent-for-shopping-anymore/563054/) They're all about creating experience, getting on to social media and "capturing an experience" or at least a momentary simulation of an experience, thus "connecting the in-store retail experience to a global market in real and virtual time and space." What this seems to result in is customers marketing brands as experiences.
Quote
Twitter or Instagram are most often used for product-release announcements and requests, then Venmo for point of sale, forging an entire movement of “social merchants” out of the infinite scroll of immaterial content. It’s almost like a virtual pushcart rolled up to the social-media services where buyers’ eyeballs spend most of their time anyway.

Well, maybe.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: CrinklyLion on August 27, 2018, 05:40:07 pm
One reason to buy electricals from John Lewis is that they offer a 2 year warranty as standard, and they price match so long as the cheaper price isn't from an online only seller.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: spesh on October 25, 2018, 01:36:53 pm
And now Debenhams is the latest department store to fall victim to over-expansion/becoming a showroom for Amazon.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45972428

What odds on Mike Ashley blowing Newcastle's transfer budget on buying them up and merging with House Of Sports/Fraser Direct?  :demon:
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 25, 2018, 01:41:32 pm
Not surprised. The last time I went in our local Debenhams was about two years ago when they had half-price jeans. It's a large building and it felt almost as dead as BHS, which was opposite, though Debenhams had customers under 60. The surprising thing in all this really is that Sports Direct itself hasn't died!
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Canardly on October 25, 2018, 03:04:24 pm
In all of the mix above is income with many working people not having had a pay rise for some years, increased housing costs, hence declining spending power, and maxed out credit. Despite current RPI stats their reality is that out of London price inflation far exceeds quoted levels, so price becomes the overiding consideration.

The fleecing of the motorist via inner city parking also has a part to play. Its now upwards of £20 in Cambridge, for example, although park and ride is available.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on October 25, 2018, 08:51:52 pm
Significant - maybe - is the oft reported precursor to collapse that the retailer is attempting to renegotiate its rental agreement(s) with its landlord(s).

When did it become the thing for large companies to not own the real estate they trade from? And what particular brand of fucknugget decided it was a really jolly wheeze to sell the real estate assets so they could rent them instead?

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: orienteer on October 25, 2018, 08:54:35 pm
Pert of the drive for short-term profits to satisfy shareholders.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 25, 2018, 08:55:36 pm
I thought it had pretty much always been the case in retail.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on October 25, 2018, 09:23:54 pm
Sale and Lease-Back.

Who needs the family silver when it can be used to give the shareholders jizz-hands.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Canardly on October 25, 2018, 10:22:57 pm
M and S used to own many of their outlets and hold them on the books at original purchase price book value. Whether this is still the case or not, I don't know.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on October 26, 2018, 08:20:56 am
Significant - maybe - is the oft reported precursor to collapse that the retailer is attempting to renegotiate its rental agreement(s) with its landlord(s).

When did it become the thing for large companies to not own the real estate they trade from? And what particular brand of fucknugget decided it was a really jolly wheeze to sell the real estate assets so they could rent them instead?



As far as I know, it took wings in the seventies. Until then, companies of substance who could afford to, always bought their own property. Retail frequently just leases, but that's the nature of the business, they rarely have the capital reserves needed to buy. Between then and now, sale and leaseback was the order of the day to free up capital to either invest, pay back to shareholders or shore up.

Companies like M&S did build up a big portfolio (and holding without revaluation would not satisfy current regs)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on October 26, 2018, 10:36:08 am
M&S did a big sale and lease back about 20 years ago, I seem to remember.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on October 26, 2018, 10:43:10 am
FWIW (not a lot) my view is that sale and leaseback is driven by the orthodoxy endemic to the short term investment driven by financial institutions, as compared to dynastic private ownership.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Beardy on October 26, 2018, 11:35:16 am
Or, to put it another way, shareholder vs stakeholder. The current Shareholder economy demands that the shareholders get the best return on their holdings THIS YEAR. A stakeholder economy looks to maintain the best return on investment for everyone who has a stake in the organisation and takes into account the customers, the employees and the financial investors.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on October 26, 2018, 12:49:47 pm
No, not that simple. There are enough shareholders that would likely support long term strategies (Pensions, funds) and the one actually doesn't preclude the other. What is likely more significant is the way executive pay is calculated and bonuses awarded, which are typically on short term measures. Also there is a real issue of becoming diverted from your core business, so offloading things like IT and property do make sense, if done properly.

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rogerzilla on October 26, 2018, 01:44:59 pm
In answer to the OP, no, but it may be the beginning of the end for Philip Green.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: MacB on October 26, 2018, 03:32:38 pm
Fascinating subject and so many angles to approach from....re the sale and lease back, that also goes hand in hand with loading a company with debt. Bugger all to sink your teeth into if it all goes belly up.

On the OP I've sort of come round to thinking of it from the other end, as in what we might want to end up with longer term. I kind of like the global village concept with localised micro manufacture, though accept this sort of goes against the economy of scale mantra. As has been noted already in various ways, do we want to continue to encourage what we ultimately consider not desirable? More stuff, better parking, targetted tax/rate cuts, etc, though getting the online side to pay their due should still be a priority, just not specifically to help B&M ventures.

If you follow MMT(modern monetary theory) then they make a big thing about the idea of job guarantees, as in the state will always employ unused labour...I prefer a Basic Income, but same sort of concept. Or if you look at David Graebers work around 'bullshit' jobs. It's not like there's a lack of useful work that could be done, just needs the political will to pay for it.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on October 30, 2018, 05:26:22 pm
Sports Direct have bought Evans.

I want to say something pithy and witty - I just can't right now...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on October 30, 2018, 05:33:01 pm
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46037259
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rogerzilla on October 30, 2018, 05:44:37 pm
Sports Direct have bought Evans.

I want to say something pithy and witty - I just can't right now...
It might be one in the eye for Wiggle Reaction Cycles.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: robgul on October 30, 2018, 06:41:56 pm
Sports Direct have bought Evans.

I want to say something pithy and witty - I just can't right now...
It might be one in the eye for Wiggle Reaction Cycles.

The possibly bigger issue for the LBS sector is the amount of Evans stock that Ashley will potentially push into the market at cost/below cost to turn it into cash.

Be interesting to see how separate the Evans business remains - in the way that TriUK is not obviously part of Sports Direct.

Rob
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Canardly on October 30, 2018, 09:04:09 pm
Closing half the stores though but.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: robgul on October 30, 2018, 10:06:31 pm
Closing half the stores though but.

Perhaps? - that's a typical Ashley bargaining chip with landlords .... quite a few of the doomed HoF sites he acquired have had a reprieve.

That said, I can think of several Evans locations where you have to question the wisdom of opening a bike shop.

Rob
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 31, 2018, 10:00:50 am
Sports Direct have bought Evans.

I want to say something pithy and witty - I just can't right now...
It might be one in the eye for Wiggle Reaction Cycles.

The possibly bigger issue for the LBS sector is the amount of Evans stock that Ashley will potentially push into the market at cost/below cost to turn it into cash.

Be interesting to see how separate the Evans business remains - in the way that TriUK is not obviously part of Sports Direct.

Rob
Bad for LBS bike sales but perhaps bringing them more repair business as lots of low-quality neo-Evans bikes start falling apart a year after purchase?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on October 31, 2018, 12:21:13 pm
The current situation is that $AshleyBikes fall apart at less than a year old.

They invariably cost more to repair than to replace.

LBS gets to dispose of the remains. No wonder he's a fucking billionaire . . .
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Mr Larrington on October 31, 2018, 12:49:59 pm
My grate frend Mr Sheen, who works in a branch of Cycle Surgery, has nothing good to say about Evans and will doubtless be greeting this news with a certain amount of schadenfreude.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 31, 2018, 01:21:29 pm
The current situation is that $AshleyBikes fall apart at less than a year old.

They invariably cost more to repair than to replace.
Does this mean Sports Direct sell bikes? I've never seen any, hadn't realised it, but wouldn't be entirely surprised.

Quote
LBS gets to dispose of the remains. No wonder he's a fucking billionaire . . .
Do this carefully. We won't tell on you but you never know who might be watching.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: pumpkin on October 31, 2018, 01:29:02 pm
I've had Pearl Izumi cycle stuff from Sports Direct but people like Castelli/Exposure wont want premium stock going into outlets.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on October 31, 2018, 03:02:48 pm
Muddy Fox and Dunlop.

Although, now I think about it, the last time we were there I can't remember seeing them...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 31, 2018, 03:07:36 pm
Lots of Dunlop shoes in our SD but not seen any Muddy Fox bikes. Mind you, I can't remember when I last saw a Muddy Fox anywhere. But wikipedia says:
Quote
Muddyfox is a bicycle manufacturer from Basildon, Essex, England, specialising in mountain bikes and other flatbar bicycles. The company produced BMX bikes in the 1980s before a slump in the market forced them to switch to mountain bike production. The company has been a brand of Universal Cycles since 2001,[1] itself since 2009 a majority-owned subsidiary of Sports Direct,[2] and produces Silver Fox bicycles for bigbox retailers such as Argos.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: DuncanM on October 31, 2018, 03:17:23 pm
They had a load of BSOs (mostly kid sized) outside Sports D*rect when I walked past on Saturday on the way to Decathlon. How anyone can expect a "bicycle" that costs £49.95 new to last beyond next week (especially in the hands of the average 6yo) I don't know.
They sell Muddy Fox road and MTB shoes as well (I remember seeing them all over eBay when I was looking back in January).
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on October 31, 2018, 04:50:32 pm
https://www.sportsdirect.com/cycling/bikes/all-bikes (https://www.sportsdirect.com/cycling/bikes/all-bikes)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on October 31, 2018, 05:00:26 pm
My wife and I bought our bikes from Evans. I can't say it's an experience I was keen to repeat. Mine made a kerrrr-chck kerrrr-chck for every revolution of the rear wheel. Took it back to be fixed. Rode away. Kerrr-chck. Took it back. Rinse and repeat. Eventually, I had a rant and they replaced the wheel with the minimum of good grace. I don't think they actually did anything beyond loosening/tightening the cones the previous times. My wife's bike had a creaking stem. They tightened it and tightened it. Never really fixed it. It annoyed me a lot more than her so a year or so back I took it apart and noted it was missing half the gnarly ratchety bit from the insides.

That said, I'm scared of local bike shops too. They're full of slightly peculiar men who demand is that a 1/8th inch or 3mm frenulator like it's a thing you should know.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: bobb on October 31, 2018, 05:05:09 pm
Lots of Dunlop shoes in our SD but not seen any Muddy Fox bikes. Mind you, I can't remember when I last saw a Muddy Fox anywhere. But wikipedia says:
Quote
Muddyfox is a bicycle manufacturer from Basildon, Essex, England, specialising in mountain bikes and other flatbar bicycles. The company produced BMX bikes in the 1980s before a slump in the market forced them to switch to mountain bike production. The company has been a brand of Universal Cycles since 2001,[1] itself since 2009 a majority-owned subsidiary of Sports Direct,[2] and produces Silver Fox bicycles for bigbox retailers such as Argos.

I had a Silver Fox for many years! I bought it back in 2002. I'd just returned home from Oz and had very little disposable income, wanted a bike, so I got me a Silver Fox for IIRC £89.99. It was actually alright! Obvioulsy shite in comparison to the much more expensive GT that I now have, but it stood up to much abuse and never let me down. It got given to charity in the end, so hopefully some kid in Africa is now riding around on it  :)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on October 31, 2018, 07:20:07 pm
Marginally OT

Quote
That said, I'm scared of local bike shops too. They're full of slightly peculiar men who demand is that a 1/8th inch or 3mm frenulator like it's a thing you should know.

I do my level best to demistify the whole subject. I find honesty works . . .
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on October 31, 2018, 08:50:02 pm
I've only ever bought a complete bike from an lbs, and been grateful for the advice given.

Wiggle, Evans, CRC etc even the likes of sjs, OK for buying bits and clothing that you have already formed an opinion on in my experience
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 31, 2018, 08:53:40 pm
Agree with ED. I can't imagine buying a bike I couldn't at least sit on, see, prod and preferably take for a test ride.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 31, 2018, 08:56:07 pm
As for the bikes from Sports Direct (which I haven't seen, they don't seem to sell any in the one nearest us), I wonder whether a £50 bike for a six year old represents better value, or an almost £900 carbon road bike? (https://www.sportsdirect.com/moda-echo-carbon-road-bike-mens-976367?colcode=97636746)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: bobb on October 31, 2018, 09:10:44 pm
Marginally OT

Quote
That said, I'm scared of local bike shops too. They're full of slightly peculiar men who demand is that a 1/8th inch or 3mm frenulator like it's a thing you should know.

I do my level best to demistify the whole subject. I find honesty works . . .

If you don't mind me asking, Tors - where do you make the most money? Repairs, accessories, bike sales etc?

The only reason I ask, is because of the few lbs left in my home town, I can only work out how two of them survive. One from the sale of really high end bikes (I guess there are enough dentists in town) and the other from selling kids bikes (Christmas is every year as are kids birthdays). The others - I have no clue...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on October 31, 2018, 09:18:50 pm
To be fair to Evans they offer(ed) the sort of shop that you could go into without feeling you had to know anything about bikes. My usual bike (because I've yet to get Mr Saracen fixed*) is the Ridgeback Flight 1 I got from there for about £350. No complaints once they'd replaced the back wheel. It's done a billion miles with no servicing and nothing falling off (other than the rider twice).

*case in point, crank started to wobble, took into a shop at lunchtime – asked if there was something they could do – a genuine suck of air through the teeth and well, well we can't just fix it like that... seriously guys, fuck off**. If I wanted that experience I'd dress as a woman and take my car to the garage. This may explain why the crank still wobbles.

**yes, I know it's not all LBSs***

***and of course, I prefer LBDs, though not especially wearing them. Legs too hairy but I reckon my butt would look good. All that cycling.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 31, 2018, 09:31:58 pm
You've confused me now, ian. Is Evans one of the Latter Day Saints?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on October 31, 2018, 09:46:11 pm
There's danger lurking in those abbreviations. It's probably best, of an evening, not to muddle your LBS, LBD, and LDS.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on October 31, 2018, 10:51:07 pm
@Bobb No secret. The vast majority of income is from getting my hands dirty.

The kids seem unable to keep their front wheels on the floor as they ride home from school. This leads inevitably to the derailleur getting stuck in the rear wheel.

Lots of servicing, resurrection and 'been so long in the garden it looks like it was in the canal' recommissioning jobs.

Lots & lots & lots of tube replacements

luv'n'stuff

John
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: spesh on October 31, 2018, 10:54:08 pm
There's danger lurking in those abbreviations. It's probably best, of an evening, not to muddle your LBS, LBD, and LDS.

Never mind LSD.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Beardy on November 01, 2018, 07:50:28 am
There's danger lurking in those abbreviations. It's probably best, of an evening, not to muddle your LBS, LBD, and LDS.

Never mind LSD.
isnt LSD all about mind altering?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 01, 2018, 08:00:07 am
There's danger lurking in those abbreviations. It's probably best, of an evening, not to muddle your LBS, LBD, and LDS.

Never mind LSD.
isnt LSD all about mind altering?
No, that's LDS. The Last Department Store. Which brings us back to retail...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on November 01, 2018, 09:22:16 am
There's danger lurking in those abbreviations. It's probably best, of an evening, not to muddle your LBS, LBD, and LDS.

Never mind LSD.

I dunno. That would be an evening.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: yorkie on November 01, 2018, 01:06:58 pm
Mind you, I can't remember when I last saw a Muddy Fox anywhere.
Last time I saw a Muddy Fox was when I put my bike away last night when I got home from work!  :D Although in it's defence it is an MTB what I bought in 1995, back when they made bikes (and not BSOs) and it appears to have put up with the regular abuse meted out to it on the bridleways around York.
Re: Evans and SD, I'm not sure who I feel sorriest for - those who will be made redundant, or those who will be sucked unwillingly into the cAshley Sports Direct Fiefdom!  :(
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hellymedic on November 01, 2018, 01:09:11 pm
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-45707529 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-45707529)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on November 01, 2018, 01:22:41 pm
I'm not sure why it would be "catastrophic" or why we "need to stop the rot".
People don't want bricks and mortar shops any more, so no point moaning when they cease to exist. No point doom-mongering, that's just the way things are going nowadays.

Broadmarsh car park has been a building site for god knows how long. No idea what it's being turned into. Or what the state of the actual shopping centre is.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 01, 2018, 01:39:02 pm
That article could have been written 20 years ago. There have been failing shopping centres for as long as there have been shopping centres.

Why should Town and village centres be more protected? Because without them we become a nation of housing estates, simply a collection of individualistic people who think they have made choices, but in fact have had them made for them by Amazon, Facebook and others.

(The choices have also been made for them since the 1960s, in terms of retail development, but this is different. Maybe society is better off with the bottom half of the internet instead)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on November 01, 2018, 02:22:00 pm
I personally agree with taxing Amazon (more).

Two difficulties with it though:

1) If people choose to simply pay the tax, what more can you do?
The tax would be pretty high for it to be worth me taking time off from other activities to go into town, park, go into a shop on the offchance that they happen to have the thing I want, repeat for however many times they don't have the thing I want and have to go somewhere else.

2) Would it only apply to online business over a certain size, or all online businesses? If the latter would it not penalize small independent traders?
But if  not, would you not simply end up with shopping being dominated by lots and lots of small, independent, online retailers?
Would this not be a worse situation - as you would still have online shopping, but just a multitude of small, crap, badly-written websites and different attitudes to delivery, customer service, and returns - rather than one.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Benoit on November 01, 2018, 02:37:07 pm
You can't really tax Amazon a lot more than it is already taxed. They'll just move their business elsewhere where the taxes are lower. Maybe I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 01, 2018, 02:48:18 pm

Would this not be a worse situation - as you would still have online shopping, but just a multitude of small, crap, badly-written websites and different attitudes to delivery, customer service, and returns - rather than one.

Well, that might be better than the one crap, badly written website and terrible attitudes to delivery, customer service and returns that  you get with Amazon.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on November 01, 2018, 03:01:59 pm

Would this not be a worse situation - as you would still have online shopping, but just a multitude of small, crap, badly-written websites and different attitudes to delivery, customer service, and returns - rather than one.

Well, that might be better than the one crap, badly written website and terrible attitudes to delivery, customer service and returns that  you get with Amazon.

 :-\ what delivery/customer service/returns issues have you had with amazon? Not saying there aren't any, just curious as to what they are, 'cos I find them pretty convenient and quibble free.
My main issue with them is they tend to have an over-abundance of low-end / cheap chinese products, but are more lacking in higher-end, latest, quality, and well-known-brand stuff.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: bobb on November 01, 2018, 03:02:58 pm
You can't really tax Amazon a lot more than it is already taxed. They'll just move their business elsewhere where the taxes are lower. Maybe I'm wrong.

I don't think they can move their European operations to somewhere with lower taxes. They're already there. That's why they chose Luxembourg.

Of course - Brexit. We can then start taxing them, so look forward to that tat you buy on Amazon going up in price....
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Beardy on November 01, 2018, 03:18:56 pm
You can't really tax Amazon a lot more than it is already taxed. They'll just move their business elsewhere where the taxes are lower. Maybe I'm wrong.

I don't think they can move their European operations to somewhere with lower taxes. They're already there. That's why they chose Luxembourg.

Of course - Brexit. We can then start taxing them, so look forward to that tat you buy on Amazon going up in price....
Everything will go up in price on Brexit, either because it will cost more to import it or it will cost more to produce it at home. Prices for home produce my fall a little as employment protection falls away, but don’t bank on that because the fat cats will see it as a way to boost their profits.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on November 01, 2018, 03:43:07 pm
Once we fall through the trapdoor of oblivion EVERYTHING will rise in price because - whether it's true or not - falling though the trapdoor of oblivion will be to blame.

Don't want to get into POBI territory but suffice to say that the gammon will get well and truly roasted.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 01, 2018, 04:38:10 pm

Would this not be a worse situation - as you would still have online shopping, but just a multitude of small, crap, badly-written websites and different attitudes to delivery, customer service, and returns - rather than one.

Well, that might be better than the one crap, badly written website and terrible attitudes to delivery, customer service and returns that  you get with Amazon.

 :-\ what delivery/customer service/returns issues have you had with amazon? Not saying there aren't any, just curious as to what they are, 'cos I find them pretty convenient and quibble free.
My main issue with them is they tend to have an over-abundance of low-end / cheap chinese products, but are more lacking in higher-end, latest, quality, and well-known-brand stuff.

The website looks like it has escaped from the 1990s.

Every time* I've gone for next day delivery because of urgency, I've ended up with free delivery several days after I needed it.

I've been signed up to Prime twice when I had no intention of doing so.

*Twice. I assumed the first time was an aberration. Obviously not.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on November 01, 2018, 04:44:30 pm
The website looks like it has escaped from the 1990s.

You say that as if it's a bad thing...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: TheLurker on November 01, 2018, 07:50:22 pm
Quote from: Ben
People don't want bricks and mortar shops any more...
Speak for yourself. I bloody well do.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on November 01, 2018, 10:39:38 pm
Quote from: Ben
People don't want bricks and mortar shops any more...
Speak for yourself. I bloody well do.
Why would you want to spend time travelling into town and travelling all the way back again to/from a shop that might not even have what you want?  :-\ ???
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on November 01, 2018, 10:41:09 pm

The website looks like it has escaped from the 1990s.

Every time* I've gone for next day delivery because of urgency, I've ended up with free delivery several days after I needed it.

I've been signed up to Prime twice when I had no intention of doing so.

*Twice. I assumed the first time was an aberration. Obviously not.

All I can say is you must be clicking the wrong button. Check your glasses.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Beardy on November 01, 2018, 11:02:01 pm
I don’t know about the end of retail, but if my in box is anything to go by it’s not very well. It’s three weeks before ‘Black friday’ and I’ve got a number of emails proclaiming the start of BF deals.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 01, 2018, 11:41:36 pm

The website looks like it has escaped from the 1990s.

Every time* I've gone for next day delivery because of urgency, I've ended up with free delivery several days after I needed it.

I've been signed up to Prime twice when I had no intention of doing so.

*Twice. I assumed the first time was an aberration. Obviously not.

All I can say is you must be clicking the wrong button. Check your glasses.

Oh look, I’ve been bonjed again.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: TheLurker on November 02, 2018, 07:01:52 am
Quote from: Ben
People don't want bricks and mortar shops any more...
Speak for yourself. I bloody well do.
Why would you want to spend time travelling into town and travelling all the way back again to/from a shop that might not even have what you want?  :-\ ???
And why would I want to spend time sitting in front of a computer fighting with a shit web site, not able to examine the thing I want to buy, then have to hang around waiting for a courier who may or may not deliver what I've ordered or even if something is delivered it's the wrong thing because the fulfillment centre doesn't pay proper wages so gets the sort of workers that shit wages attract.  Of course that's assuming the web retailer really has what you want in stock and doesn't say "Oops sorry, we *thought* we had it, but we don't really. Try again in a day or two.  Sorreee" when you get to the bit where you pay.  Oh and just how many web sites do you know that accept cash or have real live people that you can quiz about the thing you want to buy?

And there's this marvellous invention called, "The Telephone" that let's me talk to people a long, long way away and if I really want to avoid a possibly fruitless round trip I can make a "Telephone Call" to find out whether or not the shop has what I want in stock.

Shopping on the web?  You can shove it where the sun don't shine.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: MacB on November 02, 2018, 07:27:30 am

The website looks like it has escaped from the 1990s.

Every time* I've gone for next day delivery because of urgency, I've ended up with free delivery several days after I needed it.

I've been signed up to Prime twice when I had no intention of doing so.

*Twice. I assumed the first time was an aberration. Obviously not.

All I can say is you must be clicking the wrong button. Check your glasses.

Oh look, I’ve been bonjed again.

You can only be Bonjed if you engage, you did, so self inflicted.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rafletcher on November 02, 2018, 08:06:53 am
Every time* I've gone for next day delivery because of urgency, I've ended up with free delivery several days after I needed it.

I've been signed up to Prime twice when I had no intention of doing so.

*Twice. I assumed the first time was an aberration. Obviously not.

Possibly/probably the Prime sign-up was related to asking for next day delivery. One can't usually get the latter without agreeing to the former.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on November 02, 2018, 08:12:55 am
And there's this marvellous invention called, "The Telephone" that let's me talk to people a long, long way away and if I really want to avoid a possibly fruitless round trip I can make a "Telephone Call" to find out whether or not the shop has what I want in stock.
;D The most depressing bit about that is when you ring up, and they then start tapping away on the computer and say "er..well, we've got 2 showing on the system, so should have, yeah". YOU'RE IN THE SHOP, GO AND HAVE AN ACTUAL PHYSICAL LOOK!

Oh and just how many web sites do you know ... have real live people that you can quiz about the thing you want to buy?

How many physical shops do? (That actually know)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on November 02, 2018, 08:16:22 am
The website looks like it has escaped from the 1990s.

Every time* I've gone for next day delivery because of urgency, I've ended up with free delivery several days after I needed it.

I've been signed up to Prime twice when I had no intention of doing so.

*Twice. I assumed the first time was an aberration. Obviously not.

I rarely need next day delivery because I plan my purchases ahead, and order things in advance of when I'm likely to need them.
You're obviously just part of the instant gratification brigade.
 
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 08:21:40 am
Every time* I've gone for next day delivery because of urgency, I've ended up with free delivery several days after I needed it.

I've been signed up to Prime twice when I had no intention of doing so.

*Twice. I assumed the first time was an aberration. Obviously not.

Possibly/probably the Prime sign-up was related to asking for next day delivery. One can't usually get the latter without agreeing to the former.

Nope, I was charged for next day delivery; Prime gives you free next day.  Prime is designed to suck the unwary in and I’m well versed in avoiding it. Which is why finding an email saying Welcome to Prime is so insidious.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 08:22:20 am

The website looks like it has escaped from the 1990s.

Every time* I've gone for next day delivery because of urgency, I've ended up with free delivery several days after I needed it.

I've been signed up to Prime twice when I had no intention of doing so.

*Twice. I assumed the first time was an aberration. Obviously not.

All I can say is you must be clicking the wrong button. Check your glasses.

Oh look, I’ve been bonjed again.

You can only be Bonjed if you engage, you did, so self inflicted.

Yes, you are right. I fed it.  :(
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on November 02, 2018, 08:27:05 am
Every time* I've gone for next day delivery because of urgency, I've ended up with free delivery several days after I needed it.

I've been signed up to Prime twice when I had no intention of doing so.

*Twice. I assumed the first time was an aberration. Obviously not.

Possibly/probably the Prime sign-up was related to asking for next day delivery. One can't usually get the latter without agreeing to the former.

Nope, I was charged for next day delivery; Prime gives you free next day.  Prime is designed to suck the unwary in and I’m well versed in avoiding it. Which is why finding an email saying Welcome to Prime is so insidious.

are you sure you weren't charged for delivery because you live so bloody far away from civilization? ;D
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 02, 2018, 08:41:46 am
Shopping centres are not the only way of organising shops, and shops are not the only way of shopping. We've had physical shops as long as there's been trade but shopping centres are a relatively recent thing. Unless we go back to self-sufficient peasantry, we'll always need some sort of shopping. We might be a bit better off without wandering around shopping centres as a prime leisure activity, but perhaps not if it's replaced by wandering around Amazon.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 08:47:28 am
Shopping centres have been around for many hundreds of years. Originally traders gathered together on intersecting tracks/paths. They’ve got bigger and more sophisticated over time, but then most things have.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 02, 2018, 08:51:46 am
True, but then any place with a few shops together is a shopping centre. I was thinking of their post-WWII enclosed-street physical form.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 08:53:13 am
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burlington_Arcade

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 02, 2018, 09:04:43 am
And one which survives as part of Broadmead in "Bristol's Shopping Quarter". And Arab souks and in Chinese cities too. Not ugly though.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Hot Flatus on November 02, 2018, 09:08:47 am
There doesn't seem to be much opportunity for independent businesses to exist in shopping malls. Unlike the 'shopping centres'  of smaller towns, where increasingly they are the norm.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 09:15:38 am
By comparison, this is how big London was when the Burlington arcade was built.

http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/crace/l/007zzz000000006u00213000.html

As for ugly, there are an awful lot of developments that are ugly. I find South Bank very ugly.

The destruction of many town and city centres in WW2 led to a lot of redevelopment (mainly of open centres such as Broadmead, or Coventry, Plymouth etc.) Then came the collecting together of parcels of land by developers to build larger, enclosed centres. Bull Ring being one of the first of those in the late 1960s.

Collections of traders and then shops have been with us a very long time. They provide a visual centre for a community, employment, a social hub, and so on. The future will be interesting (if there is going to be one for humans)

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 09:23:43 am
There doesn't seem to be much opportunity for independent businesses to exist in shopping malls. Unlike the 'shopping centres'  of smaller towns, where increasingly they are the norm.

It’s a factor of the increasing size and complexity of the newer, bigger buildings. Cost more to run, so higher occupancy costs. Some larger centres can afford to have parts with lower rents, providing smaller, cheaper spaces for independents. They aren’t a panacea though, things like standardised opening hours are a burden on independents. (And in my view, independents can lose their sparkle and difference when located in a standardised run of shops)

 In many ways the homogenisation of High Streets and Centres (it’s not just a purpose built centre issue - it’s about prime retail space) is now happening with the internet. The difference being there is no employment, no returns to the local economy, no social hub, no visual centre, just lots of white vans and gig economy estate cars full of parcels.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 02, 2018, 09:24:07 am
Perhaps the future of retail might be that all the big stores will exist as warehouses, websites and liveried vans, because there isn't really much physically to either cause us to visit their shops or distinguish one from the other; while "shopping centres" (high streets) become much smaller and consist of independent traders and small makers? And cafes of course. That's until Donald presses the great button of course. (But probably it will be something different.)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 09:30:52 am
For that to happen there has to be a rebalancing of the cost base. Currently land and rateable value out of town is cheap, in town is horribly expensive. Councils have used Business Rates as a way of keeping Council Tax down. Land prices and occupancy costs in the U.K. skew running a retail business horribly. (One reason why cross-border price comparisons are dangerous - we like having expensive houses but hate the other consequences of expensive land). For the independent retailer high rent and rates mean less money for staff, refits, experimental stock etc.

It is very difficult to run an independent retail business in the current market, but these businesses contribute hugely to the UKs economy, unlike the Internet giants, which satisfy the cheap and now mentality but give precious little back.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on November 02, 2018, 09:39:18 am
Well, they're supposed to be turning Croydon into another gleaming Westfields. I'm not sure if they're going to tell the residents before the bombs fall. I have wandered through the Stratford one a couple of times on my way from the station to the aqua-place. I'm evidently not retail-inclined, they always feel dystopian to me. I expect there's a plain door somewhere, tucked between gleaming store fronts that you really shouldn't open. I warned you.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 09:45:23 am
I imagine the the Burlington Arcade felt dystopian when it first opened.  ;D
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on November 02, 2018, 10:01:35 am
Is that the place they dress beagles as people?

My mum took me on a coach trip to the Bullring in Brum when I was little. It took hours and we saw spaghetti junction (seriously, it was part of the trip). Is it still there? Probably called Intu Birmingham or something.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 10:06:12 am
It was knocked down. And Bullring rose from the ashes.

So the original centre, (which was one of the first, if not the first indoor centre) stood about 35 years, the last ten of which in terminal decline. It really was ghastly.

History going back (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_Ring,_Birmingham) 900 years.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 02, 2018, 10:57:18 am
I imagine the the Burlington Arcade felt dystopian when it first opened.  ;D
I bet it didn't. I bet it felt luxurious and "reassuringly expensive" if you could afford to shop there, and fairy-tale-ish or a good place to knick stuff if you couldn't. An arcade with only two ends to get in and out and not being a public highway offers an element of control as to who gets in or out. The roof adds to the feeling of protection within as well as protecting from the elements. But in one aspect at least it wasn't like a modern shopping centre when it opened, as each shop must have offered unique goods. Well, there would have been nothing else anywhere back then.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on November 02, 2018, 11:05:45 am
I bet it didn't have a Nandos.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 12:52:04 pm
I imagine the the Burlington Arcade felt dystopian when it first opened.  ;D
I bet it didn't. I bet it felt luxurious and "reassuringly expensive" if you could afford to shop there, and fairy-tale-ish or a good place to knick stuff if you couldn't. An arcade with only two ends to get in and out and not being a public highway offers an element of control as to who gets in or out. The roof adds to the feeling of protection within as well as protecting from the elements.

So, the forerunner of Westfield then.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 02, 2018, 12:57:21 pm
Didn't The Wrong Hammond just announce a scheme to cut business rates for independent shops? I'm not sure how "independent" was defined, or maybe it was "small", or how big the cuts were. Will that enable physical shops to compete?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Beardy on November 02, 2018, 01:13:13 pm
 Meadowhall had The Lanes part of the place that initially had independent traders in it. Increasingly though, it’s been taken over by the chains with small ‘boutique’ outlets because it’s suposedly twee.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on November 02, 2018, 01:14:31 pm
Quote from: Ben
People don't want bricks and mortar shops any more...
Speak for yourself. I bloody well do.
Why would you want to spend time travelling into town and travelling all the way back again to/from a shop that might not even have what you want?  :-\ ???
And why would I want to spend time sitting in front of a computer fighting with a shit web site, not able to examine the thing I want to buy, then have to hang around waiting for a courier who may or may not deliver what I've ordered or even if something is delivered it's the wrong thing because the fulfillment centre doesn't pay proper wages so gets the sort of workers that shit wages attract.  Of course that's assuming the web retailer really has what you want in stock and doesn't say "Oops sorry, we *thought* we had it, but we don't really. Try again in a day or two.  Sorreee" when you get to the bit where you pay.  Oh and just how many web sites do you know that accept cash or have real live people that you can quiz about the thing you want to buy?

And there's this marvellous invention called, "The Telephone" that let's me talk to people a long, long way away and if I really want to avoid a possibly fruitless round trip I can make a "Telephone Call" to find out whether or not the shop has what I want in stock.

*snork*

As if anyone would willingly endure a telephone call when there's a perfectly good website or physical shop they can use...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 01:28:44 pm
Didn't The Wrong Hammond just announce a scheme to cut business rates for independent shops? I'm not sure how "independent" was defined, or maybe it was "small", or how big the cuts were. Will that enable physical shops to compete?

Most quite small businesses are exempt (currently) from business rates. So it won't have a great effect on them. It is a start and a recognition that the playing field is currently at about a 45˚ slope.

It will help medium sized ones (rateable value c£12k plus?)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: mattc on November 02, 2018, 02:56:01 pm
I imagine the the Burlington Arcade felt dystopian when it first opened.  ;D
I bet it didn't. I bet it felt luxurious and "reassuringly expensive" if you could afford to shop there, and fairy-tale-ish or a good place to knick stuff if you couldn't. An arcade with only two ends to get in and out and not being a public highway offers an element of control as to who gets in or out. The roof adds to the feeling of protection within as well as protecting from the elements.

So, the forerunner of Westfield then.
Society will always need somewhere to hide from the zombies (given that the churches don't have Nandos. Yet.)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on November 02, 2018, 05:00:51 pm
You can evade zombies by the mere expedient of walking quickly. They're only dangerous if, say, you plan to take a long bath or get engrossed in a good book.

So, truly, if the dead rise, it will be awful.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on November 02, 2018, 05:13:55 pm
IME the zombies tend to come from the shopping centres.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on November 02, 2018, 05:46:32 pm
Surely they'd stay in the shopping centre. There's nothing outside for them.

In my great unpublished novel, the apocalypse is averted by the forces of good – ok, they're not strictly good, but sometimes you have to work with what you have – in Croydon's Whitgift Centre. There were no zombies though, just a dead librarian, angelic assassins, a pair of lovestruck demons, a serial killer, and the teeming dead. That might be why it's unpublished and you're be relieved to know Croydon survives. It's really good though. Really quite disturbing – ian's wife. #blatantyetpointlessselfpromotion.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: TheLurker on November 02, 2018, 08:11:17 pm
Quote from: ian
Really quite disturbing – ian's wife.
Is your wife describing you or your unpublished book?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 08:16:23 pm
I don't want to know about the unpublished book.

I want to know about the published ones!
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 02, 2018, 08:22:43 pm
Meadowhall had The Lanes part of the place that initially had independent traders in it. Increasingly though, it’s been taken over by the chains with small ‘boutique’ outlets because it’s suposedly twee.

Yes, that was one such area. Nowadays you tend to get the opposite - areas set aside for more upscale retailers. Westfield White City has this, I'm not sure about Stratford.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on November 02, 2018, 09:03:13 pm
Quote from: ian
Really quite disturbing – ian's wife.
Is your wife describing you or your unpublished book?

She was, with hindsight, non-specific. But I think she meant the book. It's just your everyday tale of a dead librarian saving an ungrateful world. There are a lot of dead babies, I suppose, but really you're not going to find Girl Scouts in Hell. I have to save something for the sequel, after all. Yeah, I should be working to sell it. No more toiling in the thought leadership mines. Genre fiction. I'll be so rich.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Beardy on November 03, 2018, 12:37:19 am
I'll be so rich.
I believe that one of the precursors to this state is to actually publish. I’m sorry, I didn’t want to piss on your bonfire* but I didn’t want you to spend money you’ve not actually got yet.

*seasonal reference
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on November 14, 2018, 08:41:46 pm
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/14/debenhams-shares-fall-by-21 (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/14/debenhams-shares-fall-by-21)

Debenhams as a chain now worth just £65m
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 14, 2018, 08:43:21 pm
Their buildings must be worth more than that! If they actually own them.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on November 15, 2018, 01:15:06 am
Fundamentally the Government of the UK has to decide whether value from retail transactions goes to off-shore companies, or stays here.

I'm sure they know the risks involved, in terms of rents, rates, employment, infrastructure, associated industry, and will consider all.

Alternatively, because Brexit,
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Torslanda on November 23, 2018, 03:06:46 pm
Breaking: Vauxhall announces 240 jobs to be cut at Ellesmere Port.

I recall saying when PSA took over GM in Europe that the British plants would be the first to suffer if there was a contraction. As anyone from Coventry knows, they've got form.

And so it begins...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Canardly on November 23, 2018, 04:57:00 pm
This ^^^ is the second reduction this year. The last one was announced in Jan.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: chrisbainbridge on November 24, 2018, 02:33:32 pm
Breaking: Vauxhall announces 240 jobs to be cut at Ellesmere Port.

I recall saying when PSA took over GM in Europe that the British plants would be the first to suffer if there was a contraction. As anyone from Coventry knows, they've got form.

And so it begins...

And Brexit.  Why would you choose to build in britain now?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 22, 2018, 06:55:50 pm
Interesting on the economics of supermarket deliveries in the Grauniad:
Quote
“We’re still in the early stages of online food, and it’s all about market share,” said Richard Lim of analyst Retail Economics. “Retailers are really investing in the long-term potential of online. But their margins are wafer- thin: a typical £80 food order costs £5 to pick and £5 to deliver. Retailers are working on about 4% to 5% margins so they’re not making any discernible profit from this.”
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hellymedic on December 22, 2018, 09:50:34 pm
Interesting on the economics of supermarket deliveries in the Grauniad:
Quote
“We’re still in the early stages of online food, and it’s all about market share,” said Richard Lim of analyst Retail Economics. “Retailers are really investing in the long-term potential of online. But their margins are wafer- thin: a typical £80 food order costs £5 to pick and £5 to deliver. Retailers are working on about 4% to 5% margins so they’re not making any discernible profit from this.”

Can't say I'm surprised!

I have a Delivery Pass so a weekly shop's delivery hardly costs more than £1.

I surf between Special offers, mostly fo non-perishables and make few impulse purchases.

I can't see Mr Sainsbury retained much of the £62 I spent today. I suppose I stopped him wasting some seasonal veg...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on December 23, 2018, 11:27:32 am
https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/clas-ohlson-closing-liverpool-city-15511342



https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-05/clas-ohlson-throws-in-towel-in-u-k-germany-by-closing-stores


Clas Ohlson closing all their UK & German shops.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 23, 2018, 12:00:24 pm
I've never seen a Clas Ohlson shop. In fact, I didn't realize they had any.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on December 23, 2018, 04:54:10 pm
I've never seen a Clas Ohlson shop. In fact, I didn't realize they had any.

There's one in Croydon. I bought a multiplug in here once, on the grounds that Maplin didn't have a suitable one and pointed me there. It's probably telling these days that rather than traipse around town in hope of finding one with the requisite number of sockets and cable length, I'd just buy one online.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 23, 2018, 05:01:07 pm
Well yes, I thought Clas Ohlson were strictly an online outfit. Not that I've ever bought anything from them online either – perhaps because they're not in my consciousness, never having seen a shop, but probably because I've never bought a whatever it is they sell. And if I did want a multiplug until a year or two ago I would have gone to the Maplins down the road. Now I daresay I'd go to Wilko's, which is equally near and probably cheaper.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jurek on December 23, 2018, 05:16:04 pm
I've shopped at the Croydon one.
It's a shame that they're checking out as they seemed to sell the sort of stuff that nobody else did - particularly now that Maplin have gone.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hubner on December 23, 2018, 05:20:15 pm
The Clas Ohlson in Croydon closed down several months ago. The other London stores are in Ealing and Kingston.

Funnily enough a couple of days ago I was thinking whether to spend several hours travelling by bus from one side of London to the other side to save £8, and to make it a day out. They sell a Swedish wood carving knife for £12 but has to bought in-store (no delivery on bladed products I presume) but the knife is £20 elsewhere.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on December 23, 2018, 05:40:18 pm
I'm just not up on the Croydon retail zeitgeist, I guess. I cycle through mostly, occasionally stopping off for beer supplies or maybe a crafty pint. I assume retailers are gradually closing things down anyway before the CP orders kick in as they make room to drop a giant Westfield on the place to create another 'retail destination.'

Actually, my wife used to go there to get random items for our annual street party. I remember being told off for calling it was Chas rather than Clas. We have the most exciting conversations in my house.

I will be having a 'retail experience' of my own later this week, as I have to an Apple Store.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on December 28, 2018, 09:02:19 am
HMV on the brink again.  https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak/status/1078570731460591617?s=21 (https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak/status/1078570731460591617?s=21)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on December 31, 2018, 07:14:29 pm
I'd assumed HMV had gone bust years ago.

There may be hope for my Our Price gift token yet.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hellymedic on December 31, 2018, 08:18:30 pm
They were 'baled out' by some vultures...

David wanted shoe horns, didn't tell me, tried in a supermarket and failed to find.

I told him I'd got the last lot from Timpson's and found they had some outlets nearby but he wasn't going out again.

I ordered some from Amazon. (Or was it ebay - I can't remember!). The merchant is less than three miles away and trading from a suburban semi.
My Council won't get the Business Rates and the business probably generates more motor traffic than the street's design.

I 'win'.
Brent Council loses.
Ebrington Road HA3 gets choked.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 06:24:09 pm
I've found someone actually forecasting a generational end of, or at least decline in, retail itself, as opposed to physical shopping. And not just retail but consumerism as a whole. Which would mean the end of Western civilization as we know it.
Quote
Consumerism is arguably in terminal decline, with millennials leading the change, not only in the UK but in many other leading economies around the world.

The omens
Consumer studies academics have been picking up on changing habits for a number of years. This includes an increased ambivalence towards consumption itself: people are buying less often and less overall. This is particularly true in the clothing industry, where research shows that millenials are especially unforthcoming – even after you factor in the shift to online retail. A lack of bricks and mortar did not, for instance, prevent online fashion retailer Asos from shocking the City with a profit warning shortly before Christmas.
Quote
Whether such initiatives can sustain economic growth is another question, however. Consumerism has been the beating heart of Western economies for generations; if it can’t be resuscitated, it raises profound questions about how society will function in future.
https://theconversation.com/consumerism-in-crisis-as-millennials-stay-away-from-shops-109827

(of course it could be just another excuse to bleat about millennials)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2019, 06:27:22 pm
A decline in retail seems like a logical effect of wealth inequality.

Perhaps those pesky millennials are shopping less because they've got less money...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 06:31:01 pm
Could be they've spent all their money on freezers for their snowflakes. (Aren't those a sort of coconut sweet?)

Anyways, I'm a bit unsure about the often quoted shift from selling things to selling experiences. I mean, if someone's selling it, it's another form of retail, surely?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: sg37409 on January 18, 2019, 11:03:11 am
Bids for Scottish shopping centre to start at £1 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46917619)

"A shopping centre in Kirkcaldy, Fife, is to be auctioned off with a reserve price of just £1 after it failed to attract enough tenants."
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: pumpkin on January 18, 2019, 11:28:32 am
Didn't Preston Guild hall arcade get sold for a £1 a couple of years ago?

Google is my friend so I suppose a similar deal.

https://www.blogpreston.co.uk/2014/11/preston-guild-hall-deal-revealed-why-it-went-for-1-the-preston-city-council-clawback-option-and-no-sex-shops-allowed/
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Exit Stage Left on January 18, 2019, 11:32:05 am
Didn't Preston Guild hall arcade get sold for a £1 a couple of years ago?

I went ten-pin bowling in what used to be the branch of Morrisons in the Guild Hall arcade a while ago. I won convincingly, and celebrated with a drink at the Black Horse.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hatler on January 18, 2019, 11:44:04 pm
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/14/debenhams-shares-fall-by-21 (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/nov/14/debenhams-shares-fall-by-21)
Debenhams as a chain now worth just £65m

Their buildings must be worth more than that! If they actually own them.

They don't own their buildings. Former CEO Rob Templeman pulled the standard trick of sucking cash out of the business by flogging the stores they owned (which was most of them) and then leased them back.

Asset stripping of the first order. It buoyed the share price for long enough for him to earn himself a mint and flog the whole thing for a lot more than it was worth.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: spesh on January 23, 2019, 07:01:45 pm
Buggrit, Knight & Lee in Southsea is closing in July.  >:(

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46970877

Looks like it's going to be a toss-up between Southsea and the Commercial Rd retail zone in Portsmouth for which one gets the heart ripped out of it, given the position that Debenhams is in - they have a branch opposite Knight & Lee in Southsea, and what used to be Allders at the bottom of the Commercial road pedestrianised zone.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 23, 2019, 08:44:04 pm
Buggrit, Knight & Lee – are they estate agents or solicitors?  ;)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on January 23, 2019, 08:53:28 pm
Buggrit, Knight & Lee – are they estate agents or solicitors?  ;)

That's nearly as good as the "Womble, Bond & Dickenson" barakta has been receiving nasty lawyers' letters from.  I reckoned they were so BRITISH-sounding they might be a fake company invented by a USAnian.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 23, 2019, 09:02:06 pm
I have to pity anyone sending nasty lawyers' letters to Barakta! Well, almost.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on January 23, 2019, 09:18:25 pm
I have to pity anyone sending nasty lawyers' letters to Barakta! Well, almost.

In this instance it appears the nasty[1] lawyers were victorious  >:(


[1] Well, competent in their defence of a fuckwit organisation.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on January 23, 2019, 09:39:01 pm
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/01/21/william-hill-close-hundreds-betting-shops/      Bad luck for the employees. 


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46972632   Santander closing 140 branches. 
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on January 23, 2019, 09:45:03 pm
While I sympathise with the employees, I find it hard to be sorry at the loss of betting shops. Obviously it's just going online, where it's easier for them to profit.

I'm still surprised there are any high street banks, I've not been in one, erm, I can't remember.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 23, 2019, 10:05:49 pm
I have to pity anyone sending nasty lawyers' letters to Barakta! Well, almost.

In this instance it appears the nasty[1] lawyers were victorious  >:(


[1] Well, competent in their defence of a fuckwit organisation.
Not good. I can probably guess what this is about (but won't). Still, I hope she got to use lots of ink.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 23, 2019, 10:07:28 pm
While I sympathise with the employees, I find it hard to be sorry at the loss of betting shops. Obviously it's just going online, where it's easier for them to profit.
Agree.

Quote
I'm still surprised there are any high street banks, I've not been in one, erm, I can't remember.
Not so agree. I don't go in one often, maybe once every couple of months, but every time I do, it's full of people queuing to pay in cash, mostly from nearby small businesses.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hellymedic on January 24, 2019, 12:34:10 am
My Mum is nearly 83.
She won't use an ATM outdoors after a non-violent theft last year.
She NEEDS the security of a staffed bank when she withdraws cash.
My parent's refuse to bank online.

I think folk like them are going to have increasing problems.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on January 24, 2019, 12:38:22 am
Cashless payments have rocketed.

The closure of banks leaves small businesses, the elderly and transport free, and the technically inadequate in deep doodoo.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on January 24, 2019, 07:46:06 am
True enough, but I can understand why banks aren't keen to keep their expensive high street branches open. Ultimately it's change (though not small change), I suppose. The only thing I routinely use cash for is local taxis and even they're gradually shifting.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 24, 2019, 08:30:29 am
There used to be a NatWest, Barclays and HSBC on my local "high street". Only the NatWest is left now. I've seen people from local shops in there wanting to change cash (both big to small and small to big) and be refused cos they don't have accounts there (just after the almost next door Barclays closed) – fair enough – I wonder if NatWest have gained customers small business customers by being the last branch standing?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on January 24, 2019, 09:43:03 am
Cashless payments have rocketed.

The closure of banks leaves small businesses, the elderly and transport free, and the technically inadequate in deep doodoo.

But for some things cash remains the only way, such as market traders, taxis (about 50:50 taking cards in my experience)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 24, 2019, 09:47:46 am
I doubt if cash is the only way even for market traders, but it's probably still the best and most common way. And there is a small counter-trend of places giving up taking card payments, presumably because for their combination of business, customers and bank account, the charges for that were higher than for paying in cash.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on January 24, 2019, 10:05:21 am
True enough, but I can understand why banks aren't keen to keep their expensive high street branches open. Ultimately it's change (though not small change), I suppose. The only thing I routinely use cash for is local taxis and even they're gradually shifting.

It seems to me that they look at branches as individual cost centres, rather than as loss-leading service providers.

And a general comment - when all the bank logos have disappeared from the High Street, I suppose banking just becomes a commodity like electricity.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on January 24, 2019, 10:37:49 am
I think generally that expecting commercial business to serve a societal function, particularly when that is loss-leading, is likely to end in disappointment for those on the sharp end.

It's a case of managed change really. I've no doubt when I'm 83 I'll be doddering in the queue trying to pay with a superannuated phone while everyone behind me tuts in exasperation because I'm holding up their brainWEB transactions.

I'm seeing more and more places take card-only now, even my wife's orchestra have a little POS terminal for tickets on the door.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 24, 2019, 11:11:06 am
It's a case of managed change really. I've no doubt when I'm 83 I'll be doddering in the queue trying to pay with a superannuated phone while everyone behind me tuts in exasperation because I'm holding up their brainWEB transactions.
And someone will still be complaining that an audax event didn't take payment by cheque.  ;)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rafletcher on January 24, 2019, 12:06:26 pm
There used to be a NatWest, Barclays and HSBC on my local "high street". Only the NatWest is left now.

We've lost all three of those in the last 2 years. 

As for cash payments, even the local Big Issue sellers are gearing up for cashless. And our local "Gift Shoppe" selling birthday cards etc. actively prefers cashless. Of course cash transactions aren't auditable, so may possibly be a reason why certain traders like them.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on January 24, 2019, 12:24:46 pm
Cashless payments have rocketed.

The closure of banks leaves small businesses, the elderly and transport free, and the technically inadequate in deep doodoo.

But for some things cash remains the only way, such as market traders, taxis (about 50:50 taking cards in my experience)

This is one of the many things Uber got right:  When you use their app the payment is electronic and you know the cost up front, so no hurriedly fiddling with cash at the end.  You also get a receipt automagically.

Barakta has decided that the combination of this and being able to summon cabs to arbitrary unfamiliar locations without having to communicate by telephone is such an overwhelming accessibility advantage that she's sucked it up and taken to supporting the Evil Empire.  If the local cab companies felt like implementing an app that wasn't shit[1], then she'd happily reconsider.


[1] The one in Leicester gets your location by GPS, looks up the nearest feature on the map, and then summons the cab to that feature, rather than just passing coordinates straight through.  This means she inevitably gets voice calls on a phone she can't hear from confused taxi drivers who've gone to the non-pedestrianised bit of $location_name Road, a substantial distance from the entrance to $location_name House, where she's waiting.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on January 24, 2019, 12:39:43 pm
Indeed, Uber works*, local cab apps don't. Attempting to use the one for our local firm just means Diane from the office calls.

Grab, the alt-Uber that's ubiquitous in SE Asia, has a cool feature where it translates the messages from the drivers into your language (sometimes, it's a bit variable), but it evidently uses Google Translate, so a lot of them up get happy frog!

I text back English?

No, Vietnamese! comes the response.

*unless your driver falls asleep.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 24, 2019, 12:49:29 pm
[1] The one in Leicester gets your location by GPS, looks up the nearest feature on the map, and then summons the cab to that feature, rather than just passing coordinates straight through.  This means she inevitably gets voice calls on a phone she can't hear from confused taxi drivers who've gone to the non-pedestrianised bit of $location_name Road, a substantial distance from the entrance to $location_name House, where she's waiting.
Easier for drivers, who know where they're going, and not too bad for local passengers w/o hearing or speech disabilities who can easily direct the driver from that landmark. Presumably caters to the main market, or at least perceived main market, at less app-development cost and plays to the perceived strengths of local cabbies having local knowledge.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on January 24, 2019, 01:01:00 pm
[1] The one in Leicester gets your location by GPS, looks up the nearest feature on the map, and then summons the cab to that feature, rather than just passing coordinates straight through.  This means she inevitably gets voice calls on a phone she can't hear from confused taxi drivers who've gone to the non-pedestrianised bit of $location_name Road, a substantial distance from the entrance to $location_name House, where she's waiting.
Easier for drivers, who know where they're going, and not too bad for local passengers w/o hearing or speech disabilities who can easily direct the driver from that landmark. Presumably caters to the main market, or at least perceived main market, at less app-development cost and plays to the perceived strengths of local cabbies having local knowledge.

It seems unlikely that doing a map lookup is less development work than just sending some coordinates to the taxi driver's app.  I suspect the advantage is that it's an easy bolt-on to an existing system where Diane From The Office puts an address into a database, which is presented to the driver as text and they then use local knowledge (and/or the satnav app on the third device suction-cupped to their windscreen) to find the customer's location.

Which isn't to say that's actually better, just that it allows them to have an app while avoiding a forklift upgrade of their systems.  The side effect being that the app has none of the advantages that it should, and you're better off using the telephone[1].

Lack of local knowledge by taxi drivers outside That London is a perennial bugbear, of course.  "No, I don't know how to get there, that's why I'm using a taxi!"


[1] Unless TextRelay is involved.  Diane From The Office is hopeless with TextRelay calls.  When she's not hanging up before the operator arrives, she's sending taxis to the *other* deaf customer's house.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on January 25, 2019, 05:57:45 am
I admit, I'm way behind the taxi curve, preferring to fall out of the door of airport, rai!way station etc and do that old fashioned queueueueing. Apart from home to/from airports, where I have a man who does.

I've used one local taxi app in Twickenham, it was very accurate in telling me taxi was not there yet.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Butterfly on January 25, 2019, 08:24:32 am
The app for the taxi company in Kidderminster is exactly what I need as the house is hard to find in an area with no mobile signal at all unless you are on EE. Unfortunately, the app only lets you book within a certain radius of central Kiddy, probably 3 miles, which ends about a mile closer than our house, rendering the app useless to us.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 25, 2019, 08:38:49 am
And a general comment - when all the bank logos have disappeared from the High Street, I suppose banking just becomes a commodity like electricity.
Perhaps it does. But there have been attempts to disrupt banking since at least the 1990s and yet we still seem to end up with the same four or five dominant companies.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on January 25, 2019, 09:37:31 am

It's a case of managed change really. I've no doubt when I'm 83 I'll be doddering in the queue trying to pay with a superannuated phone while everyone behind me tuts in exasperation because I'm holding up their brainWEB transactions.


Which if they were that clever they wouldn't need to queue in the first place  ;)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on January 25, 2019, 09:42:04 am
Yes, but we're British.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on January 25, 2019, 09:52:30 am
Buggrit, Knight & Lee – are they estate agents or solicitors?  ;)

That's nearly as good as the "Womble, Bond & Dickenson" barakta has been receiving nasty lawyers' letters from.  I reckoned they were so BRITISH-sounding they might be a fake company invented by a USAnian.

It's worth noting, they appear to be real (https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/uk/people/william-f-womble-jr). Had he been UKnian rather than USAnian, that name would have been rather character forming I suspect.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on February 01, 2019, 12:37:05 pm
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47085479

Oddbins in administration.    They closed their two central Liverpool branches ages ago, but there is still one in Allerton .  When every Tesco Metro is flogging cheap plonk a specialist shop is going to struggle.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rafletcher on February 01, 2019, 12:43:51 pm
They could have followed the Majestic model, but going bust in 2011 left then too small to make an impact that way. One of my first proper wine buying experiences was in an Oddbins in Glasgow, and at that time the racks were raw timber, and that staff real enthusiasts.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: trekker12 on February 01, 2019, 12:46:10 pm
We have an excellent specialist shop. They are local, independent, affordable, but not cheap to the point of selling the crap usually found in Tesco Metro. They know their wines. You walk in, tell them what you are having for dinner and they provide a recommendation they have actually drunk. Most importantly they are not snobs, they will welcome a Lambrini drinker (although they won't sell the stuff but would know where to start with them) as much as a real wine collector.

I don't think I've seen an Oddbins for 15 years here down south but if they were worried their competition was Tesco to the point they sold the same stuff then what's the point going to a 'specialist'. The owners of my local shop know what's good for them, they have one branch a good customer base, no further great plans for expanding into every high street (in fact they aren't even on our high street but down a side road some distance away) but have online presence and nation wide deliveries if you want.

Stand out, be different, or fail.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on February 01, 2019, 12:58:07 pm
^ wot 'e said.

We have a similar one. They will sell you a 6.95 bottle of wine or a 50.00 one, without airs or graces.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on February 01, 2019, 01:02:27 pm
We have this chap (who is ex Oddbins).  Runs a very friendly shop & supplies several local independent restaurants as well.   https://randhfinewines.co.uk/

I must pop in on my way home,  it's too easy to just pick something up in the supermarket.  I've been getting a bit of stuff from Aldi lately & would say they are better than Tesco. 
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: trekker12 on February 01, 2019, 02:08:41 pm
Although my father and I turned up at my sisters with identical bottles at Christmas, mine came from the shop I mention above, his had an Aldi label!!

I've never tried it but he swears by the 'special selection' wines in Aldi or Lidl and says you can get some real bargains. l I guess they go around the world buying bin ends from the exporters and my bottle ended up in such a bin.

He's not the only person who has told me to shop in Lidl or Aldi for wine
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on February 01, 2019, 08:24:17 pm
Our local independent has just closed down. Was never busy, but was very knowledgeable and had so e unusual selections
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on April 27, 2019, 04:14:24 pm
https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2019/04/26/cotswold-outdoor-parent-company-seeks-costs-cut-with-voluntary-arrangement


Cotswold, Snow & Rock, Cycle Surgery, Runners Need.  All owned by the same firm, which is ultimately owned by a private equity mob.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on April 27, 2019, 04:23:14 pm
Cotswold are useful because of their 15% CTC discount. It makes them the cheapest place to buy Kendal Mint Cake!
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rafletcher on April 27, 2019, 05:24:38 pm
Our local independent has just closed down. Was never busy, but was very knowledgeable and had so e unusual selections

We remarked on the window display when we stayed in Ely for a long weekend a year it two ago - along with the eclectic bookshop a few doors down.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 24, 2019, 03:39:32 pm
I've learnt from a big USA real estate investment fund* that while large malls are suffering from competition with e-commerce, smaller developments and "power centers" (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/power-center.asp) are not. Their explanation is sensible (that smaller stores sell things which are necessities not comparison purchases, that they are benefiting from e-commerce by functioning as pick-up points, and that some sell things - services - which simply cannot be delivered online) but that is the USA and what an investment fund wants its investors to hear.

*They clearly don't trust a real Usanian to get the spellings correct, so use a Ukanian editor.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 24, 2019, 04:00:56 pm
A demonstration of differences between Leftpond and Rightpond property markets might be that they put a premium on being in coastal markets.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 24, 2019, 04:58:51 pm
They're also predicting in the medium-term a slowdown in e-commerce as at some point consumers will be forced to pay the true costs of delivery; this has to happen at some point because most retailers are not making much money from e-commerce, including - they say - Amazon.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on July 24, 2019, 05:08:10 pm
The question is whether this happens before or after bricks & mortar retailing is seriously damaged.

It may become a case of pop the prices up because we aren't making any money - you haven't got anywhere else to go now!
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 24, 2019, 06:17:20 pm
They're talking about a move from Walmart and Gap to walmart.com and gap.com, so it probably doesn't make any difference to choice.

But if online sales are currently supported (in deliver costs) by physical shop sales, presumably the reverse could also happen. It's going to depend on a balance between property costs and delivery costs, and how much demand there is for each channel, which is quite likely to be different in the US to here.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ben T on July 24, 2019, 07:53:11 pm
A demonstration of differences between Leftpond and Rightpond property markets might be that they put a premium on being in coastal markets.

amazon seems to have a much more physical, i.e. not just online, presence in the US than in the UK... e.g. they have got mealboxes in whole foods, and they  have also got physical shops (to be fair I didn't look closely enough to see whether they had actual staff or were just a glorified pick up point, but it did have a storefront that looked like a physical shop)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 24, 2019, 08:04:55 pm
Just to be clear, it was the real estate investment people who like coastal USA, and not just for retail but for offices, housing and industrial too. "Coastal" is a far broader term than "seaside" but still there seems to be a huge contrast between booming Florida and failing Blackpool.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on July 24, 2019, 08:06:45 pm
Blackpool (and all the other coastal towns) only have half a catchment area, so are struggling from the outset.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hatler on July 24, 2019, 09:08:49 pm
And 75% of Ramsgate's hinterland is sea.

Think Penzance too.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on July 24, 2019, 09:15:09 pm
Just to be clear, it was the real estate investment people who like coastal USA, and not just for retail but for offices, housing and industrial too. "Coastal" is a far broader term than "seaside" but still there seems to be a huge contrast between booming Florida and failing Blackpool.

Hmm, Florida. A flat swamp, mostly around sea-level. I'll go out on a limb that coastal property might not be the best long term investment. I suppose you could invest away from the coast. Somewhere like Phoenix (it'll be edging up to 45 degrees over the next few days).

I'm musing on the fact that here we'll soon have three supermarkets within stumbling distance. I don't recall the current two being exactly packed. It says something of the economics of British high streets that we can support this, they're selling effectively the same things within a few pence of each other. Of course, the cost is embedded in the price and that fabulous job creation is underpinned by the taxpayer in tax credits and other corporate perks.

Anyway, it's bit pointless competing directly with the big online retailers, it's not a winnable game under the current rules.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on July 24, 2019, 10:01:44 pm
Don’t forget the benefit of out-of-town business rates.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 24, 2019, 10:39:24 pm
I think they were using "coastal" in a broad enough sense to include the whole of Florida. They also talked about how the state is attracting people from the northeast due to the sunshine and the tax advantages (they didn't specify what the tax advantages are).
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on July 25, 2019, 09:30:22 am
Florida doesn't have state income tax and sales tax is around 6%. It's only part of the continental US that's subtropical so mostly warm (>20 degrees). The Everglades are quite nice (they have bears, for real, and alligators obvs) but the rest of the state seems to comprise mostly of low rise apartment blocks for retirees and snowbirds and skeevy bits they might have imported from the outskirts of Las Vegas connected by eight-lane highways. Miami is possibly the dullest place in the US (OK, it has competition) – there's a faux beach and the 'art deco' district is a couple of cheaply built falling-down houses that they've slapped some pastel paint on.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 25, 2019, 11:04:12 am
We've got a faux beach at the mall in Cribbs Causeway, which is a... mall... on the northern fringe of Bristol. We've also got bears and wolves in a safari park type thing. And last year, or maybe it was two years ago, a bus driver claimed that as he was driving his bus over Bedminster Bridge, he's seen a crocodile in the New Cut of the River Avon. Plus it's well over 20 degrees and sticky today and we don't have sales tax or local income tax (though we do have our own currency, the Bristol pound), so... Oh, hang on, am I making Bristol sound the Florida of Britain?  :hand: ;D
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on July 25, 2019, 12:39:54 pm
Using the place-that-nobody-will-be-too-upset-about-if-an-errant-rocket-blows-up logic, the BRITISH equivalent (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Down_Rocket_Test_Site) is surely the Isle of Wight...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on August 05, 2019, 03:21:41 pm
https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak/status/1158371180325343232?s=21 (https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak/status/1158371180325343232?s=21)


Tesco cutting 4,500 jobs.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Woofage on August 05, 2019, 05:01:05 pm
They're also predicting in the medium-term a slowdown in e-commerce as at some point consumers will be forced to pay the true costs of delivery; this has to happen at some point because most retailers are not making much money from e-commerce, including - they say - Amazon.

Most (bigger) retailers make a big chunk of margin back on supplier rebates. If the retailer hits a target sales value (from the supplier) they get an end-of-period discount or rebate. Therefore they can afford to sell at very low margins provided they shift enough boxes. A bonus to this strategy is the pushing out of their smaller competitors at the same time.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on August 10, 2019, 08:36:55 pm
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/10/house-of-fraser-year-of-mike-ashley


We don't have one of these in Liverpool.  There are 2 branches of Sports Direct, & Ashley owns a large building in the city centre that used to be a department store (Owen Owens), there was talk of that becoming a HOF, but I can't see it happening.   
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on August 12, 2019, 11:00:03 am
https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak/status/1158371180325343232?s=21 (https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak/status/1158371180325343232?s=21)


Tesco cutting 4,500 jobs.

The current model of supermarkets (large and small) – where they can pack umpteen different ones within walking/driving distance of each other really depends on them overcharging customers, cutting costs (internal and suppliers), brand loyalty, and taxpayer subsidy. It doesn't seem very sustainable.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on August 16, 2019, 10:52:58 pm
A knight in shining armour!

OK, sorry, I exaggerated, it's a policy (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49373799). According to this story, Council officials will be running shops... (after they have sorted out having to close public toilets, youth clubs, blah blah.)

OK - instead of this, what needs to be done?

1) Cut rates in town centres
2) Raise rates to sensible levels out of town
3) Ensure that companies that are doing business in this country are paying appropriately levels of tax.

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 17, 2019, 11:43:13 am
Councils running shops sounds pretty daft. Councils enabling community enterprises and small startups to use empty shops presumably free of rent or at very much lower rents sounds sensible, as long as the projects do sensible things and the startups move on to commercial premises as they become established. No, it doesn't help shops but perhaps we have too much shopping.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 17, 2019, 12:19:32 pm
1) Cut rates in town centres
2) Raise rates to sensible levels out of town
3) Ensure that companies that are doing business in this country are paying appropriately levels of tax.
Perhaps it's not just a retail thing?
Quote
Visitors now prefer to stay in holiday parks out of town rather than the historic, sometimes outdated, guesthouses in the centre, making the resort these days more of a day trip than a summer holiday destination. Which made it even more important, said Plant, that sites built principally as tourist draws were now valued above all by the community.
Once the online holiday becomes a reality – downloading the experience directly into your brain, maybe – this will be The End of Tourism!
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: bludger on August 17, 2019, 12:41:21 pm
For me what would make the high street more attractive to shoppers would be to ban cars and lorries from them, beautify them with hedges and whatnot, make them actually pleasant places to be. My nearest high street is basically a ghastly through road full of constant maintenance work being done on the road surfaces or utilities. It's just not a nice place to be around.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on August 19, 2019, 12:48:52 pm
Clas Ohlson Now definitely closing their retail sites. Liverpool store has a closing down sale with staggered discounts up to 30%.  Worth a look if you need household/ kitchen stuff or cheapish tools & bike kit.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on August 19, 2019, 01:08:48 pm
For me what would make the high street more attractive to shoppers would be to ban cars and lorries from them, beautify them with hedges and whatnot, make them actually pleasant places to be. My nearest high street is basically a ghastly through road full of constant maintenance work being done on the road surfaces or utilities. It's just not a nice place to be around.

This, really. Our local high street is in the doldrums (even the Coop and Subway have closed). Parking seems to get a lot of the blame, though I'm unclear who drives to their local high street – surely the point is that it's local. If people get in their cars, they're likely to drive somewhere else. There's no point competing with that, there's never going to be acres of parking and a warehouse full of stock (and even those venues lose out to the internet). Really, you need places that people want to go, that don't replicate what is cheaper and more convenient elsewhere. So, cafes, boutiques, restaurants etc. There's endless studies to back this up, but to be honest, they could just go look at a successful high street and it won't be a main road. That just takes people elsewhere and, if they stop, it'll be lottery tickets and fried chicken, and that's the high street you'll get, punctuated by charity stores. At which point, why go? The ambience of the occasional drunk and the thrill of watching shoplifting teens do a runner? Or an evening out watching underaged kids drink the booze they're bought from the convenience store followed by a kebab?

But nothing in the local development plan challenges that (though they at least acknowledge the principle that building a high street around traffic won't work, while being unwilling to do anything to change that). They won't stop through traffic (there's a bypass anyway) or pedestrianise, and they're adding yet another supermarket, so basically it's a slip road to the weekly shop, and even less reason to hang around.

At least we can just get the train into London, which is shame, we'd like to do more stuff locally.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 24, 2019, 07:53:28 pm
I've just heard the big boss of a megaglobal online and offline retail and wholesale marketplace say there is no difference between online and offline, as long as the bricks and mortar data – products, customers, purchases, payments, even how people move around the building – is all captured and subjected to big data processing. They call this an omnichannel which gives "real time insights into customer needs so that we can help our merchants to quickly respond to changing demand and also help them to improve their retail operations."
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Formerly Known As on September 29, 2019, 08:30:28 pm
For me what would make the high street more attractive to shoppers would be to ban cars and lorries from them, beautify them with hedges and whatnot, make them actually pleasant places to be. My nearest high street is basically a ghastly through road full of constant maintenance work being done on the road surfaces or utilities. It's just not a nice place to be around.

I recommend taking that one step further.  Ban people from them. 

Roger.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on September 30, 2019, 08:03:53 am

https://amp.theguardian.com/business/2019/sep/30/forever-21-global-fast-fashion-retailer-files-for-bankruptcy


https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/shopping/city-centre-store-forever-21-16998150
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rafletcher on September 30, 2019, 11:32:23 am
I'd never heard of them before today.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on October 07, 2019, 11:21:31 am
Pizza Express in trouble.  Not a destination restaurant but I’ve always found them a reliable option if I’m looking for a decent quick meal.


https://twitter.com/iandunt/status/1181149894620389376?s=21 (https://twitter.com/iandunt/status/1181149894620389376?s=21)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Canardly on October 07, 2019, 03:14:41 pm
Uk retailers had worst September ever - Beeb.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2019, 05:42:31 pm
But Tesco have found a way to make supermarket home deliveries profitable. Using route planning they've reduced the distance walked by staff per order picked by 8%, which together with a delivery charging regime has put it in the black. Automated picking is something they're trialling now in addition to that. Are they the first big supermarket to make home deliveries profitable? One of the first at least, but where they lead, others follow.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on October 07, 2019, 08:09:18 pm
The problem with a lot of these companies is that they're laden with a huge debt burden, so even though they can be run profitably in the current retail climate, they can't meet their interest payments (because it's even not cheap debt). Pizza Express has over £1bn in debt and £100 million in annual interest payments (like I say,  not cheap debt). The majority of the debt is not intrinsic to the business (and generally only is when they're rapidly expanding), but large tranches of it come via the usual merry-go-round of corporate acquisitions, where companies merely become means of profitably shuttling debt around capital businesses, which as the name suggests, are only interested in making money from money, so their main concern isn't the businesses they own, only that they remain viable enough to support the debt they've loaded them with. Of course, that's then used to buy up more businesses on the same model.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: madcow on October 07, 2019, 09:46:42 pm
We have just seen what can go wrong with that business model at Thomas Cook, where the acquisitions were not good businesses and TC didn't integrate them well.
Most of the debt is due to asset stripping shored up by assigning a value to "the brand" or "goodwill".
Borrowing money and leveraging the business is still in vogue because credit is still available.
Central banks are shit scared about restricting borrowing because they know that there are a lot more Thomas Cooks out there.
 
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on October 08, 2019, 09:43:16 am
Basically, any business owned by a fund (nearly all of them it seems these days) is getting loaded with debt. As a bonus, a lot of that debt is at expensive, so the funds that own those businesses are effectively extracting more cash from those businesses, who they have asset stripped. So, without significant assets, much of that debt is ultimately pegged, as madcow says, to intangibles like brand and goodwill. Thomas Cook at least had a few aircraft to sell-off.

Of course, all it takes is for people to make a repayment call on a significant amount of that debt and the entire thing falls over (again).
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on October 18, 2019, 06:33:28 pm
https://twitter.com/SkyNewsBreak/status/1185245287188697090?s=20


  "High street retailer Bonmarche has collapsed into administration putting almost 2,900 jobs at risk"   I've never heard of them, though we do appear to have several branches in Liverpool.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50066623   


Jessops going down again.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-50098477


Watt Brothers in Scotland.


Nevermind, post Brexit I'm sure they'll spring back to life, fertilised by the unicorn dung......

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: robgul on October 19, 2019, 08:50:36 am
The LBS that I manage is closing at the end of November  :(   - the parent company's core business is the design and (outsourced) manufacture of a couple of bike brands and UK distribution of some other brands and that's where they're going to focus (with another couple of shops that are staying open).   

Footfall is the simple issue - not enough of it.   The workshop/servicing has held up reasonably well but bike and parts/accessories sales are challenging.

If you're in the Warwickshire area* we have a closing down sale with bikes from Bianchi, Land Rover, Roux, Bickerton, Ridgeback and Scott at great prices + parts and accessories.   Everything must go!

Rob   (who was going to retire - again - in February 2020)

* sales in the shop only.

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: hatler on October 19, 2019, 09:11:25 am
Bummer. Very sorry to hear this.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on October 19, 2019, 12:15:50 pm
I think we have to admit that the days of popping to the shops are over, the internet has made it too easy to order up what we want and need. I was surprised that Jessop's still exists in the era of modern phones and their umpteen megapixel cameras. Many retailers have been bought up for cheap and debt-loaded, which is effectively a slow poison. You can order clothes from the internet, try them on at home, and send them back hassle-free etc. There's not an awful lot of reasons to go to the shops. I used to do my once-a-year wardrobe refresh in person because I like the occasional serendipity, but as a skinny, short person clothes shop never have my size these days (short-legged trousers in a 28-30 inch waist are near impossibolium anyway). Shops have less incentive to hold lots of stock when they point to the internet and have you order from a big warehouse.

Survival really is through doing something other than selling the same stuff as is available online. So, shopping as a leisure activity (I know, it seems abhorrent), which relies on making for suitable environment (not a car-stuffed high street), with cafes and restaurants. Offering services that can't be got with a mouse-click.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: robgul on October 19, 2019, 02:21:12 pm
I think we have to admit that the days of popping to the shops are over, the internet has made it too easy to order up what we want and need. I was surprised that Jessop's still exists in the era of modern phones and their umpteen megapixel cameras. Many retailers have been bought up for cheap and debt-loaded, which is effectively a slow poison. You can order clothes from the internet, try them on at home, and send them back hassle-free etc. There's not an awful lot of reasons to go to the shops. I used to do my once-a-year wardrobe refresh in person because I like the occasional serendipity, but as a skinny, short person clothes shop never have my size these days (short-legged trousers in a 28-30 inch waist are near impossibolium anyway). Shops have less incentive to hold lots of stock when they point to the internet and have you order from a big warehouse.

Survival really is through doing something other than selling the same stuff as is available online. So, shopping as a leisure activity (I know, it seems abhorrent), which relies on making for suitable environment (not a car-stuffed high street), with cafes and restaurants. Offering services that can't be got with a mouse-click.

Limited opportunities - bike servicing and haircuts spring to mind.

Rob
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jurek on October 19, 2019, 02:29:50 pm
I think we have to admit that the days of popping to the shops are over, the internet has made it too easy to order up what we want and need. I was surprised that Jessop's still exists in the era of modern phones and their umpteen megapixel cameras. Many retailers have been bought up for cheap and debt-loaded, which is effectively a slow poison. You can order clothes from the internet, try them on at home, and send them back hassle-free etc. There's not an awful lot of reasons to go to the shops. I used to do my once-a-year wardrobe refresh in person because I like the occasional serendipity, but as a skinny, short person clothes shop never have my size these days (short-legged trousers in a 28-30 inch waist are near impossibolium anyway). Shops have less incentive to hold lots of stock when they point to the internet and have you order from a big warehouse.

Survival really is through doing something other than selling the same stuff as is available online. So, shopping as a leisure activity (I know, it seems abhorrent), which relies on making for suitable environment (not a car-stuffed high street), with cafes and restaurants. Offering services that can't be got with a mouse-click.

Limited opportunities - bike servicing and haircuts spring to mind.

Rob

Nail bars.
Forest Hill has three of them in sight of one another.
Two of them adjacent to each other.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on October 19, 2019, 04:25:38 pm
Coffee
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 19, 2019, 04:49:10 pm
It seems to be falafel round here!

Sorry to hear this Rob. On the bright side you'll have lots of riding time!
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: FifeingEejit on October 19, 2019, 06:34:22 pm
Nail bars.
Forest Hill has three of them in sight of one another.
Two of them adjacent to each other.

That works for as long as enough of their target demographic have the disposable income to pay for it.
When continued austerity has everyone scraping the slightest saving...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: robgul on October 19, 2019, 09:06:28 pm
It seems to be falafel round here!

Sorry to hear this Rob. On the bright side you'll have lots of riding time!

True - I have a new bike I bought in August that has yet to be ridden!

Rob
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: TheLurker on October 20, 2019, 08:42:42 am
Quote from: Jurek
Quote from: robgul
Quote from: ian
...Offering services that can't be got with a mouse-click.
Limited opportunities - bike servicing and haircuts spring to mind.
Rob
Nail bars.

Undertakers.

It struck me the other day that now is probably not a great time to be a young(ish) car mechanic.  The dash (aye, right) to electric vehicles is going to remove a great deal of the need for spanner work.  Still think H2 fuel cells are a much better idea than the awful Li-ion batteries, but that's a completely different discussion .
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: road-runner on October 20, 2019, 12:51:52 pm
Sort of related to retail: what with email having reduced the amount of ordinary mail I send, I notice that I now buy most things on the internet and that in turn has provided courier companies (sometimes Royal Mail) with additional work, so in a way it is swings and roundabouts.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on October 20, 2019, 11:39:20 pm
It struck me the other day that now is probably not a great time to be a young(ish) car mechanic.  The dash (aye, right) to electric vehicles is going to remove a great deal of the need for spanner work.  Still think H2 fuel cells are a much better idea than the awful Li-ion batteries, but that's a completely different discussion .

I reckon there's going to be a surprisingly decent market in retrofitting cars with electrickery, for the medium term.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on October 20, 2019, 11:49:26 pm
Sort of related to retail: what with email having reduced the amount of ordinary mail I send, I notice that I now buy most things on the internet and that in turn has provided courier companies (sometimes Royal Mail) with additional work, so in a way it is swings and roundabouts.

It is most definitely swings and roundabouts.
The question for society is what the effects on the fairground are, which companies or corporation do the changes benefit, what effects there on community and society.

I fear that the retail changes we see (and many embrace - I can get cheaper, easier, blah blah - it’s all about ME!) are visible effects of pure capitalism. Reduce costs, excise people, extract your business from the horrors of tax paying.

When retail has died, who pays for the things that local retailer tax paid for. Who pays for the employment that used to be there when we paid a reasonable price for goods. Who deals with the effects of loneliness that the lack of human contact creates.

Amazon don’t give a shit. They make money.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 21, 2019, 09:17:39 am
Sort of related to retail: what with email having reduced the amount of ordinary mail I send, I notice that I now buy most things on the internet and that in turn has provided courier companies (sometimes Royal Mail) with additional work, so in a way it is swings and roundabouts.
I don't know what Slovenská pošta are like but I find Royal Mail, for all people like to complain about them, more reliable than courier companies. Also far easier to retrieve a parcel from if it wasn't delivered because you were out.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: FifeingEejit on October 21, 2019, 10:27:26 am
Quote from: Jurek
Quote from: robgul
Quote from: ian
...Offering services that can't be got with a mouse-click.
Limited opportunities - bike servicing and haircuts spring to mind.
Rob
Nail bars.

Undertakers.

It struck me the other day that now is probably not a great time to be a young(ish) car mechanic.  The dash (aye, right) to electric vehicles is going to remove a great deal of the need for spanner work.  Still think H2 fuel cells are a much better idea than the awful Li-ion batteries, but that's a completely different discussion .

A significant portion of the mechanicals of a car will remain though, and new mechanicals will be introduced.
You still need steering, hubs, CV joints, brakes etc.
New stuff might be in wheel motors (= more complex hubs)

The training's a bit more in depth too, you can't just dive into a vehicle with HVDC and HVAC circuits in the same way you could with 6v and 12v electrics.
You can't just jump pack a Toyota Hybrid, the 12V system only does the lights; one of my mates is for ever at Toyotas training centre in southern englandshire.

Now's not a great time to be a mechanic at a small garage that can't afford that sort of training...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 21, 2019, 10:40:46 am
Regardless of whether it's the same mechanic as last year, vehicle servicing is not quite retail. It's one of those services which needs to be done where the customers are. Although in the very early days of motoring, motorists had to send wheels back to the factory to have new tyres fitted – just as the very early Kodak users sent their entire cameras back to have the film removed and developed (I think it was Kodak anyway). So perhaps, as vehicles become more complex, we'll reach a stage where you have your car collected and sent back to a hyper-service centre covering the whole country.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: FifeingEejit on October 21, 2019, 12:46:24 pm
Regardless of whether it's the same mechanic as last year, vehicle servicing is not quite retail. It's one of those services which needs to be done where the customers are. Although in the very early days of motoring, motorists had to send wheels back to the factory to have new tyres fitted – just as the very early Kodak users sent their entire cameras back to have the film removed and developed (I think it was Kodak anyway). So perhaps, as vehicles become more complex, we'll reach a stage where you have your car collected and sent back to a hyper-service centre covering the whole country.

Yes it's not retail at all, it's very definitely a service that needs to be provided close to the customer.

Early pneumatic tyres were nailed on IIRC, the ride on mechanic you needed was more interested in keeping fuel going into the cylinders.
Though chances were at that time, the factory was near you as well.

It was the early Kodak Box Brownies that needed to be sent back for processing.
That wasn't a limitation of cameras of the time in general; just a business decision by Kodak to make things easy for the consumer.
It was (to become) standard paper backed roll film in the box.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: MikeFromLFE on October 21, 2019, 05:58:34 pm
Change the lease / rental model so that you take the car into the garage, drive away another one. They refurb your car, and pass it on to the next customer who brings their car in for a service / repair.
So you never own a car, just rent a mobility machine, and can up or downgrade as the need arises.
(I think that Geely (?) the Chinese car giant might already have proposed this)

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: road-runner on October 23, 2019, 01:02:02 pm
BBC article, published today: High Street: How many UK shops have closed? (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49349703)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 23, 2019, 01:37:22 pm
That graph of online sales as % of total sales shows an interesting annual spike just about Christmas. This could suggest people are especially likely to shop online when their purchases are not everyday items but are also not entirely out of choice.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on October 29, 2019, 09:11:37 am
That's a standard retail spike, which is frighteningly seasonal in many areas.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 29, 2019, 09:14:50 am
It's not volume, it's online as percentage of total retail. This one:
(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/2EEE/production/_108341021_retail_sales-nc.png-2019-aug-16-nc.png)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on October 29, 2019, 09:38:30 am
True, but doesn't that just mean online are eating high street's breakfast?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 29, 2019, 10:02:59 am
It's not what they're eating, it's the way they're eating it! Clearly there is some seasonal situation that makes online particularly attractive. What and why? Looking at the graph again, it might be something as simple as "cyber Friday" (or is it Monday? Whatever day it is), which would probably be both bad for physical shops – pretty hard to combat – and good, in that it's artificial. Not that online shops aren't also physical shops for the most part anyway...
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on October 29, 2019, 11:45:56 am
Any analysis on the changes in retail should also look at catalogue sales*. Yes, online is growing, but bricks and mortar never had a monopoly.

*Littlewoods, Grattan, Next etc.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on October 29, 2019, 11:46:44 am
It's not what they're eating, it's the way they're eating it! Clearly there is some seasonal situation that makes online particularly attractive. What and why? Looking at the graph again, it might be something as simple as "cyber Friday" (or is it Monday? Whatever day it is), which would probably be both bad for physical shops – pretty hard to combat – and good, in that it's artificial. Not that online shops aren't also physical shops for the most part anyway...

Meh. It's a shit graph, you can't really tell when stuff is happening. Best you can make out is that the peaks are December (count months in 2019 - you arrive at 8 and you are well to the left of the number).
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 29, 2019, 12:25:35 pm
It could do with some more detail on the x axis for sure.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: road-runner on October 30, 2019, 11:18:58 am
Mrs. road-runner has a three day half-term and so today we went shopping together:
- cream wall tiles: out of stock
- matching decorative wall tiles: out of stock
- a sink: out of stock
- taps
- mirror
- triple light: out of stock
- single bed sheets (which were out of stock the last time we went): out of stock

On our way home with just taps and a mirror I did say we might be more successful if we ordered online.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ElyDave on October 30, 2019, 08:44:48 pm
Meanwhile, when I go to the tracking section of porcelfarce, with the tracking number of something dispatched on Monday on a 48 hour delivery, their website does the equivalent of a Gallic shrug.

But monsoor, we know nothing of zis item!
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jaded on October 31, 2019, 12:03:14 am
Mrs. road-runner has a three day half-term and so today we went shopping together:
- cream wall tiles: out of stock
- matching decorative wall tiles: out of stock
- a sink: out of stock
- taps
- mirror
- triple light: out of stock
- single bed sheets (which were out of stock the last time we went): out of stock

On our way home with just taps and a mirror I did say we might be more successful if we ordered online.

And yet, apparently there are 28k different varieties of taps*

No entity anywhere, bricks and mortar or otherwise, is likely to have the tap you desire in stock.

It’s not about what’s available, it’s about creating a dream in which you think that what you want is available. The internet does this.

In reality, you choose, then you wait. Bricks and mortar and the internet are no different in this regard.

*some advert I saw on the back page of a printed magazine
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rafletcher on November 04, 2019, 08:55:12 am
Another high street stalwart bites the dust.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50287153

Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: andrewc on November 04, 2019, 09:03:57 am
https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak/status/1191269134279024642?s=21 (https://twitter.com/skynewsbreak/status/1191269134279024642?s=21)  Mothercare are going into administration.


A lot of comments screaming it’s nothing to do with Brexit, before anyone’s mentioned it. Defensive much?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 05, 2019, 12:47:07 pm
Mothercare's international arm is doing just fine, though.  It's certainly a metaphor for Brexit, but then so is everything these days.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rogerzilla on November 05, 2019, 10:07:06 pm
ELC also went a while back.  Given that people are still squeezing out rugrats, where are they buying stuff for them?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Mrs Pingu on November 05, 2019, 10:09:25 pm
Can't you buy almost everything for offspring at a giant supermarket these days?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on November 05, 2019, 10:10:04 pm
Some combination of Poundland, Tescos and the Mega-Global Sounds-Like-A-River Corporation of Washington, USAnia?

ETA: Crosspost with Mrs Pingu
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Jakob W on November 05, 2019, 10:50:12 pm
Home delivery was a godsend when my girls were small (though with twins, the amount of nappies we were getting through triggered some kind of alert with sounds-like-a-river-corp and they refused to sell us any more that month; they must have thought we were reselling them or something...)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: telstarbox on November 06, 2019, 07:08:56 am
The local Facebook group does a thriving trade in parents selling their stuff on when it's no longer required.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on November 06, 2019, 09:17:08 am
Can't you buy almost everything for offspring at a giant supermarket these days?

It seems fairly common for parents to just chuck their baby/child-stuff out on the pavement (or throw into a bush) once their offspring no longer needs it. Which always struck me as a bit bizarre, surely it has some resale value? Or do child seats and pushchairs become unfashionable?
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 06, 2019, 10:04:35 am
I think with child seats there's an element of safety panic: "But how do we know it isn't damaged and unsafe for poor little Tesla?" as well as objection from parents to other sprogs' wee and vomit. But they are or used to be a commonly stolen item from cars. Though that doesn't indicate they got sold on, just that they were objects in parked cars. It might even be the thieves who are dumping them in the bushes.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Wowbagger on November 06, 2019, 10:07:56 am
The seat that my grandchildren sat in as very smalls was secondhand when we bought it for then, and was exceedingly threadbare when it was no longer needed.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: chrisbainbridge on November 06, 2019, 12:21:07 pm
Selling on children's things is very much a middle class thing apparently.When we had children, we obtained clothes, etc secondhand on a frequent basis.  However if you were on benefits or low wage you bought new.  A pride thing and for those on benefits I think there was a grant as well
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Kim on November 06, 2019, 12:51:06 pm
But they are or used to be a commonly stolen item from cars. Though that doesn't indicate they got sold on, just that they were objects in parked cars. It might even be the thieves who are dumping them in the bushes.

A friend's mum once had her car window broken.  All that was stolen was a roll of dog poo bags.  People will steal anything.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: ian on November 06, 2019, 12:58:32 pm
It's rarely just a car seat, there's often a pile of toys etc. like their parents have declared an end to childhood right there and then. That's it, you're six now, go get a job in a call centre.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rogerzilla on November 06, 2019, 01:06:22 pm
But they are or used to be a commonly stolen item from cars. Though that doesn't indicate they got sold on, just that they were objects in parked cars. It might even be the thieves who are dumping them in the bushes.

A friend's mum once had her car window broken.  All that was stolen was a roll of dog poo bags.  People will steal anything.
If they'd been full bags, that would have been niche.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 06, 2019, 01:16:28 pm
It's rarely just a car seat, there's often a pile of toys etc. like their parents have declared an end to childhood right there and then. That's it, you're six now, go get a job in a call centre.
Eee, when I were a lad we had to call our own centre.

(I'll get my flat cap.)
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 06, 2019, 06:16:49 pm
But they are or used to be a commonly stolen item from cars. Though that doesn't indicate they got sold on, just that they were objects in parked cars. It might even be the thieves who are dumping them in the bushes.

A friend's mum once had her car window broken.  All that was stolen was a roll of dog poo bags.  People will steal anything.
If they'd been full bags, that would have been niche.

Scaryduck, fotp, told the story of being held up at knifepoint (or more likely twigpoint) and being relieved of a small plastic bag from a jewellers shop.  Containing not, as he told the villains, Mrs Scaryduck's Christmas present, but rather a freshly-laid dog egg ;D
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: rafletcher on November 06, 2019, 07:15:01 pm
ELC also went a while back.  Given that people are still squeezing out rugrats, where are they buying stuff for them?

Still available as a brand front The Entertainer stores, plus online.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Johnny Faro on November 08, 2019, 12:14:31 pm
Chris is spot on. We can afford to buy new kids stuff but rarely do. Except the cloth nappies but some of these lasted two kids and got passed on. A family we know on universal credit want everything new.
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Ham on November 08, 2019, 12:26:56 pm

....Scaryduck, fotp

Didn't realise that
Title: Re: Is This The End Of Retail?
Post by: Mrs Pingu on November 08, 2019, 07:07:18 pm
Mamas & papas too it seems