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2013-01-17

"High Street Blues"


Link to The Guardian

"I could measure out my life in closed shops. When Robinson's the bakers in Sedgley's Bull Ring closed during my adolescence, it felt like a terrible betrayal.
"Where will I get my custards tarts from now?"
I wailed (using, fortunately, my silent inner voice).
"The supermarket, bird brain,"
replied my second silent inner voice, adding:
"In fact, you don't even eat custard tarts any more, or live in Sedgley, two possible reasons why Robinson's closed."

"... The second silent inner voice does have [another] point: one reason shops close is that they are rubbish. Think of Dixons.

"... It's thanks to ... [non-tax-paying] online retailers, recession and austerity policies, that we're experiencing one of the few booms in recent years; namely, a nostalgia boom. Well-known stores curl up and die, leaving us with memories of ostensibly happier times."



Link to The Guardian
"140 UK retailers in 'critical condition'"

"More than 100 retailers are in a critical condition and will probably follow HMV and Jessops into administration, one of the UK's top business recovery firms has warned. Julie Palmer, a partner at Begbies Traynor, said 140 retailers were on the firm's 'critical watchlist'.

"... Michael Ingram, a market analyst with City broker BGC, said:
"UK retail woes don't end there. Disposable income in the UK is still being squeezed mercilessly: wage growth is running at less than half the rate of inflation (1.3% versus 2.7% on the consumer price index and 3.0% on the retail price index), while inflation in non-discretionary items, such as fuel and water tariffs, is running at over 6%.

To top it all, consumer credit has, at best, flatlined over the last six months. One way or another, shoppers in the UK have less money to spend and they are increasingly circumspect of how they spend what remains. [For some retailers] the internet has brought unwelcome transparency to premium pricing."

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