Author Topic: British High Street Death List 2020  (Read 30725 times)

icehaven

  • Marmalade's reared it's head in every course
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #570 on: July 31, 2020, 08:33:55 PM »
Yeah, they closed the Sutton Coldfield one and moved it to Sainsburys Mere Green - I got a terrible shock when I turned the corner one morning and there it was, gone. I'd been going in there the best part of forty years. I mean, what even is this country any more?

Is that partly because they've done Mere Green up so much in recent years? I worked in the (then new) library there from 2003 til 2011, during which time the entire old shopping precinct was decimated as they were supposed to be revamping it, but then the company doing it went bust and the whole project was delayed by years. When I left in 2011 it was still a big cock up of closed shops and no immediate plans so I was pleasantly surprised to see it had actually been done when I've been back in recent years (other half's mum lives nearby). Although it's about half the size I remember it being intended to be, way back we had the model of the original design in the community centre under the library for a while and it was much bigger.

Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #571 on: August 02, 2020, 10:34:38 AM »
Argos's USP has always been if you want random shit NOW... If you have to click and wait that destroys the point. They're experimenting with evening delivery but so is Amazon.

The Argos concessions in Sainsbos also do ebay click and collect, so still keeping the spirit of random tat. And there's never a queue...

Tony Tony Tony

  • CaB Worm Charming Runner Up 2018-2020
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #572 on: August 03, 2020, 11:54:16 AM »
Looks like DW Sports is tottering.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/breaking-dw-sports-administration-collapse-22460809

Gonna be some empty units on retail parks.

Blue Jam

  • TAKE IT FROM ME, I LOVE YOU!
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #573 on: August 03, 2020, 10:29:50 PM »
Lots of gyms are going to be in serious trouble after this. There's talk of them not reopening in Scotland until September.

Hays Travel in a spot of bother:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-53642130

I feel sorry for anyone who had a job at Thomas Cook and got a reprieve when Hays took them over, only for this to happen.

I'm amazed non-specialist travel agents still exist tbh. How have Flight Centre survived for so long?

pigamus

  • Member
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  • Sex, death, mayonnaise.
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #574 on: August 03, 2020, 10:33:13 PM »
Is that partly because they've done Mere Green up so much in recent years? I worked in the (then new) library there from 2003 til 2011, during which time the entire old shopping precinct was decimated as they were supposed to be revamping it, but then the company doing it went bust and the whole project was delayed by years. When I left in 2011 it was still a big cock up of closed shops and no immediate plans so I was pleasantly surprised to see it had actually been done when I've been back in recent years (other half's mum lives nearby). Although it's about half the size I remember it being intended to be, way back we had the model of the original design in the community centre under the library for a while and it was much bigger.

It's nothing to do with Mere Green specifically - it's because Sainsburys now own Argos.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #575 on: August 04, 2020, 08:31:10 AM »
Lots of gyms are going to be in serious trouble after this. There's talk of them not reopening in Scotland until September.


*shrugs* fuck gyms, plenty of other ways to exercise. Get on that green baize

Blue Jam

  • TAKE IT FROM ME, I LOVE YOU!
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #576 on: August 04, 2020, 10:19:57 AM »
*shrugs* fuck gyms, plenty of other ways to exercise. Get on that green baize

I'm part of the problem, just cancelled my own gym membership. Got no intention of cancelling the snooker club membership though, I'll be working out on the baize and looking as buff as Mark Allen in no time.

Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #577 on: August 04, 2020, 10:26:22 AM »
I assume loads of people have discovered in the past 3 months it's possible to exercise both at home with free online videos, and outside by running. Although do people go to the gym because they want to exercise, or to ogle sweaty lycra and drink overpriced smoothies?

Cuellar

  • Taxes, they'll be lower...son
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #578 on: August 04, 2020, 10:31:50 AM »
I think I'm (reluctantly) going to have to go back to the gym, at some point - if I wanted to get the equipment I use regularly I'd be looking at an outlay of around £500-600, and it would take up pretty much the whole back garden. Not really feasible.

Trying to work out what time of day would be best to go. Thinking something like 10am might be good - after the 'before work' nutters and before the lunchtime folks.

Blue Jam

  • TAKE IT FROM ME, I LOVE YOU!
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #579 on: August 04, 2020, 10:50:25 AM »
I assume loads of people have discovered in the past 3 months it's possible to exercise both at home with free online videos, and outside by running.

Also a lot of people have been like me, going back to werk but being advised not to use public transport, and then realising that paying for bus fares and a gym membership is a bit daft when you have a perfectly decent bike you never use.

Bikes have been a popular a panic-buy item, along with exercise bikes. When I caught up with some friends a few weeks back it emerged that we'd all either taken up cycling or bought an exercise bike.

Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #580 on: August 04, 2020, 02:04:35 PM »
Pizza Express looking wobly:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53635238

Funny that little potted history omits the jazz aspect, I thought that was a large part of their early success?

Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #581 on: August 04, 2020, 02:30:01 PM »
Pizza Express' founder Peter Boizot started the Soho Jazz Festival too as well as being a big donor to the Liberal Party and early LibDems. At one time I think it was only Pizza Express and the British School of Motoring that kept the party going.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #582 on: August 05, 2020, 11:19:29 AM »
William Hill are shutting more high street stores.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53661763

Although I worry that they've merely pushed business online, a lot of the shops were only there for people to piss money away on the machines, and the government put an end to that by making the stakes low to the point that they're pointless.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #583 on: August 05, 2020, 11:22:42 AM »
https://news.sky.com/story/up-to-1500-jobs-threatened-at-wh-smith-after-drop-in-customers-12042804

WH Smiths continues to circle the drain. I thought that they, like Boots, are only being held up by some invisible behind the scenes wholesale operation which subsidises the retail outlets.

Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #584 on: August 05, 2020, 11:24:42 AM »
Smiths suffering from the absence of commuters willing to pay £2 for a small bottle of water. Their continued survival might seem mysterious until you see that people are willing to pay almost twice what Tesco's charges for generic products.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #585 on: August 05, 2020, 11:29:15 AM »
Smiths suffering from the absence of commuters willing to pay £2 for a small bottle of water. Their continued survival might seem mysterious until you see that people are willing to pay almost twice what Tesco's charges for generic products.

It's because the people in train stations don't have time to go to tescos before catching their train. Cheers.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #586 on: August 05, 2020, 11:34:38 AM »
It's because the people in train stations don't have time to go to tescos before catching their train. Cheers.

If they planned ahead they would

Tony Tony Tony

  • CaB Worm Charming Runner Up 2018-2020
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #587 on: August 05, 2020, 12:29:53 PM »
Can’t say WH Smith’s woes come as a complete surprise. It’s difficult to see what differentiates their stores from ones like The Works apart from the array of magazines and the better book selection. My local WH Smith’s is distinctive for its air of neglect with worn carpets and fusty odour. The chain recently came last in a survey of high street shopping experiences two years on the trot.

If it wasn’t for being propped up by the near total monopoly as newsagents at train stations (Some historical reason I believe from some dimly recalled piece on one of Portillo’s train thingys) with their eye watering prices they would have gone west long ago.

And no I don’t want a huge bar of chocolate for a quid with that.

NoSleep

  • This is your Uncle Jim speaking
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Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #588 on: August 05, 2020, 12:34:29 PM »
I think WH Smith has lasted as long as they have because they outright own most of their premises which reduces their overheads a bit. They've also given several Post Offices a home within their premises, which probably brings in a bit of rent or subsidy as well.

Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #589 on: August 05, 2020, 12:39:39 PM »
The only thing I can see going for them is a really, really deep selection of magazines, otherwise everything else is available elsewhere for cheaper. If you're after a magazine for some niche hobby like chicken keeping, or fishing specifically for halibut, or keeping a Ford Anglia 100E, they are absolutely the place to go because the supermarkets won't have them and your corner shops have to order them in especially.

Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #590 on: August 05, 2020, 12:52:00 PM »
The only thing I can see going for them is a really, really deep selection of magazines, otherwise everything else is available elsewhere for cheaper. If you're after a magazine for some niche hobby like chicken keeping, or fishing specifically for halibut, or keeping a Ford Anglia 100E, they are absolutely the place to go because the supermarkets won't have them and your corner shops have to order them in especially.
for old men to stand about reading and not buy

Gurke and Hare

  • Fold water. Roll into small cubes.
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #591 on: August 05, 2020, 01:41:03 PM »
As well as the post office and stations, Smiths are also propped up by their worldwide airport shops.

Blue Jam

  • TAKE IT FROM ME, I LOVE YOU!
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #592 on: August 05, 2020, 01:49:23 PM »
There is also one in the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. It mainly sells drinks and snacks, but also things like pyjamas, multipacks of pants, nappies, earphones, spare iPhone cables- the kind of things people might want to buy if they've had an unexpected stay in hospital and didn't have time to grab all these things at home before they were admitted. Also Get Well Soon cards, pink and blue balloons and teddy bears, and other things people might want to buy before visiting patients. It's an odd one alright.

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #593 on: August 05, 2020, 02:50:49 PM »
your corner shops have to order them in especially.

All of the corner shops (as distinct from proper newsagents) round my neck of the woods have been getting shot of mags completely over the last couple of years - most of them literally only sell newspapers now, whilst one or two are also still selling the glossy TV guides and the more popular Take A Break type mags.  Typically the vacated space has been taken up by more confectionery and crisps.

Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #594 on: August 05, 2020, 07:04:29 PM »
Some of the bigger supermarkets carry a decent range of mags, although there are stories about them hiding Private Eye and anything more challenging than "Take A Break And Read How My Husband Knocked Up My Mother!". Nothing like a big Smiths with 10 different angling mags, but I subscribe to far more magazines these days than I did 20 years ago for exactly that reason (the days of making a special trip to the one newsagent in town that had a copy of Sight and Sound are long gone). Another viable option was to buy film mags from the arthouse cinema, music mags from the record shop, literary mags from the bookshop, etc, but you know what's happened to that.

BlodwynPig

  • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #595 on: August 05, 2020, 07:49:58 PM »
All of the corner shops (as distinct from proper newsagents) round my neck of the woods have been getting shot of mags completely over the last couple of years - most of them literally only sell newspapers now, whilst one or two are also still selling the glossy TV guides and the more popular Take A Break type mags.  Typically the vacated space has been taken up by more confectionery and crisps.

Now that Boris has announced war on obesity, the corner shop will look like one of those futuristic dystopian 50s programmes, all grey and sterile where you can buy a tin labelled "sustenance" or receive a pill of "nutrition" and a slip marked "entertainment".

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #596 on: August 05, 2020, 08:01:40 PM »
I think... I *think* - that your corner shop is often as not supplied in magazines and papers via a wholesale arm of WH Smith, which is what I was alluding to before. This might not be true anymore, but it used to be the case. This explains how the shops can seem to be in perpetual decline, without ever actually crashing: they're effectively supported by another branch of the company having a near monopoly.

I think Boots have (or had) a similar standing with pharmaceutical goods.

This might not be true - I've never been sufficiently bothered to check, but it's the story as I was told.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #597 on: August 05, 2020, 08:06:14 PM »
All of the corner shops (as distinct from proper newsagents) round my neck of the woods have been getting shot of mags completely over the last couple of years - most of them literally only sell newspapers now, whilst one or two are also still selling the glossy TV guides and the more popular Take A Break type mags.  Typically the vacated space has been taken up by more confectionery and crisps.

I'd love to know the reason why *some* cornershops/local newsagents stock  such a copious, wide and various selection of Bongo Periodicals and Special Interest Journals. Especially in this day and age.

Blue Jam

  • TAKE IT FROM ME, I LOVE YOU!
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #598 on: August 05, 2020, 08:14:25 PM »
Need something to cover the floor with when you're doing a home haircut innit? Been buying The Guardian here lately. Been disappointed to note the shrinkage of the supplements but the pages certainly have been keeping my floors free of hair.

kalowski

  • the Zone of Zero Funkativity
Re: British High Street Death List 2020
« Reply #599 on: August 05, 2020, 08:23:39 PM »
All of the corner shops (as distinct from proper newsagents) round my neck of the woods have been getting shot of mags completely over the last couple of years - most of them literally only sell newspapers now, whilst one or two are also still selling the glossy TV guides and the more popular Take A Break type mags.  Typically the vacated space has been taken up by more confectionery and crisps.
Not my local newsagents. Got the classic wall of magazines topped off by a top shelf of great British smut. Pretty sure I saw a Fiesta there the other day.

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