More high street closures

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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 870
    edited June 8
    Chalky said:
    I'd love to see a return of small independent retailers like Germany/France. A proper butcher/Music Store/Camera shop/Model shop, etc but for that to happen rents and business rates have to come down.
    I really think there is room for specialist shops run by people who know what they are talking about, selling stuff that you really want to look at first and get good independent advise from the retailer at a good if a little more than Amazon. 
    Imagine Napkins going back to their original electrics business with workshops and knowledgeable people.
    In the US Mom and Pop shops are actually surviving as they have a value add that the big retailers can't match.
    I know you "really think there is room for specialist shops" but folks don't want to pay extra for them. They just use them then go buy online to make substantial saving.  Here in Oxfordshire is a very nice and affluent area. But as in my earlier comment, folks don't want to pay more than they have to for an item.

    Being careful with your money and finding the best price for the same item is not wrong. Is it?
    There are usually choices available.

    I could buy from a local retailer. They contribute to my local area by paying business rates to the council (which funds my services and an ever-increasing burden of social care). They pay tax on profits to central government which contributes to the wealth of the country.

    Instead, I could save a few quid in the short term by buying from Amazon, who don't have any property in my area (it's too wealthy for them to run a cheap warehouse or employ low-paid staff) and therefore they don't contribute anything to my council. They also (oddly) manage to make no profit in the UK from all their revenues - instead paying it as an internal charge to an Amazon business operating in another country that charges less in business tax - so they don't pay any corporate tax, either. 

    I then have worse services, or pay higher local council tax to cover the shortfall, or pay for it myself (if I'm wealthy enough). 

    How has that saved me anything? By chasing the cheapest price without looking past the immediate purchase cost I'm avoiding considering how that lower price is achieved, and what it means to us all in the long term.

    In the bigger picture, Amazon does not save the Amazon customer money in the current setup. Instead it leaches money from us and not paying their rightful share towards the running of our country. We pay extra in other ways, and watch our neighbours businesses - who don't have the same opportunity to cheat us - go to the wall.
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 11045
    ICBM said:

    When the reasoning for buying from Amazon is 'price before all other considerations', then I think it's a problem.
    I don't think it's just that. I do use Amazon, and for me it's actually more about convenience than price - I mostly use it for things which are barely worth the time or cost to go into town for (even on a bus), when I can spend two minutes online and the thing will turn up at the door usually the following day.

    Price is primary because Amazon make it primary. It is rare to find anything on Amazon cheaper elsewhere thanks to the way the software works. Convenience follows behind and thus makes Amazon dominant. Conventional wisdom says that the customer pays a bit extra for convenience (obvious example: a couple of quid for pizza delivery rather than picking it up yourself) but Amazon rather bucks that trend. 

    I'm certainly not advocating an Amazon boycott. But seeing some of my friends who get everything from cat food to DVDs from there ,and whom have Alexas and Echos coming out of their ears, one wonders when things will end. 



    I make Jeremy Paxman look like Fingermouse. 
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16282

    There are usually choices available.

    I could buy from a local retailer. They contribute to my local area by paying business rates to the council (which funds my services and an ever-increasing burden of social care). They pay tax on profits to central government which contributes to the wealth of the country.


    Are there really? An example of an online purchase backed with service.

    My washing machine packed up on a Sunday morning so I went with the wife to our local John Lewis store. They had exactly what we wanted. Was it in stock? No- six day order. Would they take the old machine away and plumb the new one in (happy to pay extra)? No. A quick trip to an out of town store - the same.

    Online Sunday afternoon and purchase a new machine via the online Euronics store. The washing machine was cheaper but we paid extra for installation and removal of the old washing machine so it was more expensive that John Lewis.

    Monday morning arrives and the wife gets a text message to say the machine is on the way and then gets a phone call from a guy in the delivery van confirming the time of delivery. Truck turns up all branded with company name. Two smart guys in company uniform. Remove old machine, unpack and plumb in new machine and check it works OK. Remove packaging.

    Job done. I'm sorry, but Euronics pissed all over the local stores in terms of price and service. Other online stores are catching on.


    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5347
    Fretwired said:

    There are usually choices available.

    I could buy from a local retailer. They contribute to my local area by paying business rates to the council (which funds my services and an ever-increasing burden of social care). They pay tax on profits to central government which contributes to the wealth of the country.


    Are there really? An example of an online purchase backed with service.

    My washing machine packed up on a Sunday morning so I went with the wife to our local John Lewis store. They had exactly what we wanted. Was it in stock? No- six day order. Would they take the old machine away and plumb the new one in (happy to pay extra)? No. A quick trip to an out of town store - the same.

    Online Sunday afternoon and purchase a new machine via the online Euronics store. The washing machine was cheaper but we paid extra for installation and removal of the old washing machine so it was more expensive that John Lewis.

    Monday morning arrives and the wife gets a text message to say the machine is on the way and then gets a phone call from a guy in the delivery van confirming the time of delivery. Truck turns up all branded with company name. Two smart guys in company uniform. Remove old machine, unpack and plumb in new machine and check it works OK. Remove packaging.

    Job done. I'm sorry, but Euronics pissed all over the local stores in terms of price and service. Other online stores are catching on.


    I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head there.

    If local shops offered a BENEFIT over the online experience then they will have a chance of surviving because paying extra gets a value-add. But when they don't, or when as in your case the online seller is the one delivering the value-add benefit then local shops are destined to fail.


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  • AdamHarkusBlogAdamHarkusBlog Frets: 109
    Maybe if the crazy Sunday Opening Hours laws changed things might have been different?

    A lot of people just don't get the chance to go shopping these days.

    I'm surprised House of Frasier has lasted this long, they must've been sitting on a stack of cash.


    The Blogging Musician ;https://adamharkus.com/
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  • BoromedicBoromedic Frets: 762
    edited June 8
    Fretwired said:

    There are usually choices available.

    I could buy from a local retailer. They contribute to my local area by paying business rates to the council (which funds my services and an ever-increasing burden of social care). They pay tax on profits to central government which contributes to the wealth of the country.


    Are there really? An example of an online purchase backed with service.

    My washing machine packed up on a Sunday morning so I went with the wife to our local John Lewis store. They had exactly what we wanted. Was it in stock? No- six day order. Would they take the old machine away and plumb the new one in (happy to pay extra)? No. A quick trip to an out of town store - the same.

    Online Sunday afternoon and purchase a new machine via the online Euronics store. The washing machine was cheaper but we paid extra for installation and removal of the old washing machine so it was more expensive that John Lewis.

    Monday morning arrives and the wife gets a text message to say the machine is on the way and then gets a phone call from a guy in the delivery van confirming the time of delivery. Truck turns up all branded with company name. Two smart guys in company uniform. Remove old machine, unpack and plumb in new machine and check it works OK. Remove packaging.

    Job done. I'm sorry, but Euronics pissed all over the local stores in terms of price and service. Other online stores are catching on.


    That's odd from John Lewis, my mum's packed up last year and although we paid extra for it, they plumbed the new one in and took the old one and packaging away as well. I usually find their service is better than most too. They used to offer a free extended warranty too at one point but not sure they still do. I've usually found Lewis to be my fave destination for appliances for that reason, although that may have changed in the interim. 

    It would be a shame to lose high street stores, but it seems inevitable, I'm afraid I'm old fashioned. This 24 hr service economy we have bred winds me up because it causes unfair expectations in other ways, like health care. Why can't I be cured right now being the main one, I'm afraid there's no magic bullet for your virus sir, what you mean I won't be better in an hour? I'd prefer to go back to Sunday closures and half day Wednesdays but like I say, I'm old fashioned like that.

    .....and what to my wondering eyes should appear.....      nothing.......


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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 4758
    What I hate about deprtament stores is the way the floorspace is segmented into brands.

    I went into one of the Oxford Street stores a few months back, a place where I used to buy a lot of shirts which was facilitated by going to the part of the shop that had shirts.

    Now? You have to go round the entire floor looking at this one's shirts, then that one's shirts. By the time you've had a look at most of them you need a new pair of shoes as you've worn out the pair that you had whgen you came in.

    Shopping is generally hell, and now it's been made worse.

    No shop has an automatic right to my custom or anyone else's, if they make it harder to buy things then don't be surprised if sales go down.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31625

    Maybe if the crazy Sunday Opening Hours laws changed things might have been different?
    Unlikely, since the Edinburgh Fraser's is on the closure list and Scotland does not have the restrictive laws.

    The laws are a nonsense in England (no thanks to the SNP...) but that isn't the reason some large chains have failed to keep up with changes in the retail market.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 870
    Fretwired said:

    There are usually choices available.

    I could buy from a local retailer. They contribute to my local area by paying business rates to the council (which funds my services and an ever-increasing burden of social care). They pay tax on profits to central government which contributes to the wealth of the country.


    Are there really? An example of an online purchase backed with service.

    My washing machine packed up on a Sunday morning so I went with the wife to our local John Lewis store. They had exactly what we wanted. Was it in stock? No- six day order. Would they take the old machine away and plumb the new one in (happy to pay extra)? No. A quick trip to an out of town store - the same.

    Online Sunday afternoon and purchase a new machine via the online Euronics store. The washing machine was cheaper but we paid extra for installation and removal of the old washing machine so it was more expensive that John Lewis.

    Monday morning arrives and the wife gets a text message to say the machine is on the way and then gets a phone call from a guy in the delivery van confirming the time of delivery. Truck turns up all branded with company name. Two smart guys in company uniform. Remove old machine, unpack and plumb in new machine and check it works OK. Remove packaging.

    Job done. I'm sorry, but Euronics pissed all over the local stores in terms of price and service. Other online stores are catching on.


    I think you've misunderstood my point in the desire to make your own. Fair enough, but to reprise... 

    I'm making a point about the difference between a local retailer with premises and Amazon (not Euronics). That we all pay more after the original purchase because Amazon aren't contributing to my local economy through local jobs and premises in the area I live in - unlike a local retailer. Nor do they pay the sort of tax that their revenues would suggest they should. Therefore, the lower prices that seem so important to some, and the reason for buying online for some, is counterbalanced by lower tax income to my council and to central government which means poorer services or higher tax bills. 

    That's got nothing to do with quality of service. 

    My own experience of John Lewis and the sale and installation of white goods isn't the same as yours. They delivered, installed and disposed of the old one without fuss, all within 3 days of ordering. I'd be disappointed, too,  if I'd had your experience. 

    If I'd used Euronics, the order would have been passed onto my local white goods specialist company, who would have turned up in their own branded van with their own installers. I believe there are Euronics franchisees, too, who brand their business as Euronics- but I don't think they're Euronics staff. I belivev they're self employed installers, and paid an amount per job by Euronics to fulfill the bit that needs local presence. Those people will be paying tax in the U.K., which is good. Euronics themselves probably pay tax in The Netherlands, where they're based. 

    Neither of these, though, are Amazon, selling goods directly from their warehouse in wherever location is cheapest, not employing people local to me, and not contributing to my local economy or central government. 

    Which is is the thing I'm against. 


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  • Change is continous. It’s not just about Amazon.  When I was a kid we had deliveries by a butcher, Baker, milkman, greengrocer, fishmonger - all gone - now a Tesco van turns up with the lot in one go. Pubs shut, coffee bars open, High Streets are become centres of entertainment (mainly restaurants)  not shopping.  Town and city centres might return to more residential rather than commercial space. The problem is not change but the structural issues that means the internet can bring over night immediate change whilst planning means it can take ages to get a building converted to something different on top of that the long term leases on buildings means retailers go bust and units stand empty. The physical world has somehow got to reflect the cyber world - flexibility, adapt to change quickly and innovate. 

    I dont mourn the passing of the high street or the demise of the out of town retail park - loads of faceless retailers selling homogenous stock - at least amazon means I get it delivered to my door. If we can replace shops with homes then that could be a good thing.

    I can’t say whether it’s better on the whole or worse but it’s change, it will continue and we will adapt 
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 11045

    The physical world has somehow got to reflect the cyber world - flexibility, adapt to change quickly and innovate. 
     

    When the cyber world has such a clear advantage with regard to business rates and creative tax arrangements, then part of the problem is how the cyber world doesn't mirror the physical world.  
    I make Jeremy Paxman look like Fingermouse. 
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  • guitars4youguitars4you Frets: 4202

    The physical world has somehow got to reflect the cyber world - flexibility, adapt to change quickly and innovate. 
     

    When the cyber world has such a clear advantage with regard to business rates and creative tax arrangements, then part of the problem is how the cyber world doesn't mirror the physical world.  
    sorry I can only allow you 1 wiz for that
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2062
    ICBM said:

    Maybe if the crazy Sunday Opening Hours laws changed things might have been different?
    Unlikely, since the Edinburgh Fraser's is on the closure list and Scotland does not have the restrictive laws.

    The laws are a nonsense in England (no thanks to the SNP...) but that isn't the reason some large chains have failed to keep up with changes in the retail market.

    A-bloody-men to that!

    Grown most uncommonly fat!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31625
    Nitefly said:
    ICBM said:

    (no thanks to the SNP...)
    A-bloody-men to that!
    It really pissed me off, and I had voted SNP at the election which gave them 56 MPs... I have not done since. Probably the most blatant piece of party hypocrisy I can remember in politics, and even though it didn't affect me I found it repugnant.

    The only excuse would have been if they'd opposed it because it didn't go far enough, and amended it to bring England into line with Scotland by removing all restrictions on Sunday trading. But it was pure opportunism to defeat the government over something they had specifically said they wouldn't do.

    I can't see a bill being re-introduced soon either, since the DUP oppose it as well.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16282
    edited June 12

    The physical world has somehow got to reflect the cyber world - flexibility, adapt to change quickly and innovate. 
     

    When the cyber world has such a clear advantage with regard to business rates and creative tax arrangements, then part of the problem is how the cyber world doesn't mirror the physical world.  
    It's called progress. I recall the same debate years before the internet when shops moved out of town to large retail parks. The likes of Homebase put the small DIY shop out of business. Tesco killed the local grocer and butcher.

    Along comes the internet and Amazon kills the small book store. Even my mum started buying from Amazon when they arrived. My town had four good bookshops. Now there are none. Music was next. We had four record stores - now there are none. The two grocers and the two butchers have long gone as well.

    Along comes Lidl and Aldi and Tesco's big out of town stores are in trouble. People no longer like big shops and prefer to shop more and buy things they need. Tesco promptly cancelled 20 large store openings.

    My town is now full of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and to my mind its much better. Good riddance to shops selling expensive tat with rude staff. W H Smith comes to mind and hopefully that sinks like the Titanic.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 11045
    Progress gives us the cyber world. They can take advantage of tax breaks that bricks and mortar shops can't because the taxation they are subject to has not progressed. 

    Tesco tried to expand and failed. I don't think it was so much that people didn't like big stores, more a case of Tesco filling those stores with a lot of different retail areas and never excelling in any of them. They also had notable failures overseas prior to their 'creative accounting' problems. You have to know your market: fuck that up and you end up like Bunnings Warehouse over here. 

    Your neck of the woods might be lovely and beautiful. Plenty of areas are not like that. 
    I make Jeremy Paxman look like Fingermouse. 
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  • Axe_meisterAxe_meister Frets: 2152
    Where I live (ok a very middle class area) small independent shops are doing very well. Our local butcher and fish monger have queues outside them. There are 3 small DIY shops on the high street and a few (albeit classical orientated) music stores, yet they coexist with a large Sainsbury's and a small M&S.
    What we have seen however is Landlords upping their rents forcing some specialist shops to fold, some who have been there for 50 years. These are now sitting empty.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8802
    Fretwired said:
    It's called progress.

    Except that it is only "progress" if you are a bigwig in or a shareholder of a big online company. It isn't if you want to nip down the next street for a few nails or a drill bit, because now you have to log on (yes, you need an expensive bit of kit called a computer) and order something that will come in little plastic packs of 10 (when you wanted 2, or 12 so you end up buying more than you want), then wait for non-delivery by some twit that delivers it to the wrong address or just nicks it, and you have to pay for it with a card number instead of good honest cash. Progress ny arse.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5347
    Fretwired said:
    It's called progress.

    Except that it is only "progress" if you are a bigwig in or a shareholder of a big online company. It isn't if you want to nip down the next street for a few nails or a drill bit, because now you have to log on (yes, you need an expensive bit of kit called a computer) and order something that will come in little plastic packs of 10 (when you wanted 2, or 12 so you end up buying more than you want), then wait for non-delivery by some twit that delivers it to the wrong address or just nicks it, and you have to pay for it with a card number instead of good honest cash. Progress ny arse.
    Someone needs a visit from the Happy Fairy!
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 11045
    Chalky said:
    Fretwired said:
    It's called progress.

    Except that it is only "progress" if you are a bigwig in or a shareholder of a big online company. It isn't if you want to nip down the next street for a few nails or a drill bit, because now you have to log on (yes, you need an expensive bit of kit called a computer) and order something that will come in little plastic packs of 10 (when you wanted 2, or 12 so you end up buying more than you want), then wait for non-delivery by some twit that delivers it to the wrong address or just nicks it, and you have to pay for it with a card number instead of good honest cash. Progress ny arse.
    Someone needs a visit from the Happy Fairy!
    And the Happy Fairy will leave a subscription card to Amazon Prime for a year under the pillow...
    I make Jeremy Paxman look like Fingermouse. 
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  • DominicDominic Frets: 3489
    Chalky said:
    Well a quick look at the historical photos from the town where I live suggests a lot of them will revert to being houses.  And the coffee shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs will still be there.
    Well,yes but not so many of the "pubs"
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 16282


    Your neck of the woods might be lovely and beautiful. Plenty of areas are not like that. 
    My neck of the woods was a national joke for 50 years. It officially won 'the most boring town in England' for about 20 years on the trot. People used to comment on how good the train service to London was ... the demise of the shitty little shops (all the retail spaces were too small) and the building of a small shopping centre revitalised it and now we have bars and restaurants.  Overall though its still not great. There's a market town near by and that's far better - proper shops, night life, live music and character.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 4758
    Poundworld clearly over-extended themselves by aiming for the world. Poundland went for a smaller geographical area and succeeded.

    Perhaps they should come back as Poundborough. From little acorns...
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5347
    edited June 13
    Dominic said:
    Chalky said:
    Well a quick look at the historical photos from the town where I live suggests a lot of them will revert to being houses.  And the coffee shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs will still be there.
    Well,yes but not so many of the "pubs"
    In the 60s, this place had 28 pubs, until recently it still had 28. Its down to 27 now IIRC.
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