The next store to close is....

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  • I can't remember if I provided a link to the article or not, but something I read about Mothercare that was interesting. Basically, that is such a specialist store that if the store experience was like you say it should be Rob, then that store would probably survive. Putting spotty teenagers in there as staff who don't know or care what the best pushchair is, is totally useless. If an environment was created to give help, support and inspiration to new parents, Mothercare could survive.

    Ever been a Poundworld Heero?

    My sister used to work at Mothercare a long time ago, it used to be like that but was struggling even then.

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    It's still a discount store but not at £1 an item. There's also a poundland in Penzance. Like I say I've not been to the town centre precinct for ages. That's where M&S, Boots, Superdrug etc are.


    One thing I really hate is those stores where they have the cosmetic and perfume etc. product "islands" for each brand. I just want to browse a shelf, look at the sizes, prices and decide what to buy. I don't need a painted (B word) to "help" me. I suspect it's like that for a lot of people and probably explains why that model is failing.


    As such internet shopping is a boon.

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    My sister used to work at Mothercare a long time ago, it used to be like that but was struggling even then.


    In a way, its something the department stores could excel at, providing specialist sales advice for groups like new parents, but no, they waste their floor space on other things instead:

    One thing I really hate is those stores where they have the cosmetic and perfume etc. product "islands" for each brand. I just want to browse a shelf, look at the sizes, prices and decide what to buy. I don't need a painted (B word) to "help" me. I suspcet it's like that for a lot of people and probably explains why that model is failing.


    They'd rather have young ladies in heavy make-up all over their ground floors selling expensive perfume which no one ever buys, rather than using the space productively.


    I'm not female, so don't buy perfume for myself, but when I have bought it for others, I head straight to superdrug or more recently, the internet for the best price.


    Does anyone buy perfume/after shave from these department store islands, as Heero calls them?

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    I'm not female, so don't buy perfume for myself

    Me neither but I was asked by my sister once to get a particular type. I think I took one look at the "islands" and scooted off to Superdrug where no doubt it was cheaper.

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    I suspect it's the perfume companies trying to make their product special, not on the same shelf as their competitors, when it really isn't.


    food islands, especially chocolate

    So you want a personal chocolate adviser? :D

  • Part of the problem is the high rent and rates for high street shops. They have to do a massive turnover to cover those costs alone and the trade has reduced due to lack of parking and the costs involved. Rates, property prices and the difficulties of parking killed the high streets. You can't blame people for buying cheaper, and easier, online.

    Mark Twain — 'Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.'

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    ...and going to the supermarkets and shopping centres where parking is free.


    Dixons Carphone has admitted a huge data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards and 1.2 million personal data records.

    It is investigating the hacking attempt, which happened last year.

    Dixons Carphone said it had no evidence that any of the cards had been used fraudulently following the breach.

    There was "an attempt to compromise" 5.8 million credit and debit cards but only 105,000 cards without chip-and-pin protection had been leaked, it said.

    Carphone Warehouse has already been mentioned in this thread as being on the ropes, but I'd suggest that this story will the thing that kills it. Especially as the hacking happened last year and the company has only just disclosed it now.


    They certainly don't give a damn about their customers, otherwise they would have notified everyone sooner, so that people can can cancel their cards.

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    Well, there's been quite a few stories relevant for this thread over the past few months and I'll try and pick up on some of them, but how about today's story to start with:


    Sports Direct Mike Ashley buys House of Fraser

    Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has agreed to buy the House of Fraser department store chain for £90m.

    The deal was announced just hours after the 169-year-old chain went into administration when talks with its creditors failed to reach an agreement.

    Mr Ashley said his plan was to turn the 59-store chain in to the "Harrods of the High Street".

    I think with Ashley's record of treating his employees, those HoF staff who do keep their jobs, won't be celebrating with today's news. Remember when he bugged the select committee MPs who came to investigate his warehouse a few years ago...X/


    Ashley tried to buy HoF in 2014 and its known he wanted access to the brands like Tommy Hilfiger that HoF has. He also owns stakes in various other retailers, notably a large stake in Debenhams. Will he merge HoF with Debenhams to create a "super" department store?


    What will change with this purchase, apart from the deterioration in employment conditions of HoF's staff?


    As discussed earlier in this thread, the high street is in decline with expensive or zero parking. Why does Ashley think this is a good purchase? It could end up being a massive chain around his neck, which would be good!

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    Marks & Spencer is implementing the latest round of its store closure programme this weekend as it battles to improve its fortunes.

    Seven more of the retailer's clothing shops will be shutting their doors for the last time on Saturday.

    The latest closures are in Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall.

    In all, M&S plans to close 100 shops by 2022, as announced in May. It says the turnaround is "vital" for its future.

    This story is from today too. Blimey, a bad day for the high street.

  • This proposed "Amazon tax "on online retailers concerns me greatly , why not close the loopholes and simplify the tax system Mr Remainer Hammond? , this tax will not make me trudge around the high street like a zombie!

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    I don't remember the last time I specifically went into the town to do any shopping. The high street offering just doesn't do it. Just walk into Debenhams or a similar store and you're faced with themed brand islands with hugely overpriced "product" being pushed by over made-up young women*. A huge turn-off if you're a guy like me trying to find something for a female relative.


    If I want something I usually go straight on-line.


    I don't really know what Mike Ashley can do to HOF to make it attractive to shoppers. It has been said that "service" is the way to go but the last thing I would want is staff trying to be helpful when I shop. For me that's a big minus and one of the main reasons for buying on-line.


    *I'm trying to resist the term "Painted b***s"

  • I don't think there is much pleasure or stimulation to be gained from shopping, so one may as well take the soft option convenience of buying online. I think few decades ago a handful of department stores managed to create a form of larger-than-life retail theatre, with products that reached the parts ordinary retailers couldn't touch. But that desirable product-image has fallen off its pedestal as the average high street effortlessly matches and even overtakes the dreary offerings in Debenhams and HoF. One is then left with just a handful of survivors:


    Harrods: which even the Arabs haven't yet entirely managed to convert from class to glitz to complete vulgarity


    Selfridges: a British Macy's


    Harvey Nichols: a British Bloomingdales


    Fenwicks: always focusing on ladies fashion, revitalised a decade ago in being more up-to-date with women's fashion


    Liberty's: eclecticism


    Fortnum & Mason: the quintessence of English high society,concentrating on wants, not needs


    John Lewis: unequivocal tasteful unflashy, well-mannered, catering to middle/upper-middle-class traditional values.


    I think these surviving department stores are icons that can't be imitated. I think the new retailing opportunity now has to be to provide what on-line purchasing cannot match, which is entertainment, stimulation and even distraction, in a larger-than-life ambience. The Westfield Centre in Shepherd's Bush is a prime example of that. If that thought is accepted, it follows that Britain's high streets need to be re-modelled as a total entity rather than just a monotonous unrelated mass of chain store retailers, cafes, estate agents, building societies, eateries, curry or kebab take-aways, etc.


    This total entity mustbe a Gestalt, by which I mean that the whole must be greater than the some of its individual parts. Of course one of those parts would be easily accessible exorbitant parking facilities - otherwise don't even bother. The need for a shopping street to be designed or encouraged to form into a successful Gestalt can be evidenced up and down the country but sadly they are a small minority. The landlord owner of Marylebone High Street is an example which comes to mind; who has helped create a shopping street experience that is original, interesting, pleasurable and useful. The landlord is Howard de Walden Estates. They charge high but ungrasping rents but are fussy about the quality of the retail tenant to whom they grant a lease.

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    The end of HMV?

    Music retailer HMV has confirmed it is calling in KPMG as administrators.

    The move, the second in six years, involves 2,200 staff at 125 stores.

    Owners Hilco, which took the company out of its first administration in 2013, blamed a "tsunami" of retail challenges, including business rate levels and the move to digital.

    It said the stores would continue to trade while negotiations were held with major suppliers and it looked for buyers.

    The last time I went into a HMV store was when DVDs first came out. I wanted to buy a film, but the price was something like £24 for one dvd. I walked out of the shop, never to return.


    With the likes of online stores selling cds and dvds for years and now with streaming, it's a miracle they have survived for so long.


    Anyone been in a HMV recently?


    (I note from American reports that department store giant Sears which also owns the Kmart chain, is in its last death throws if a buyer doesn't come along within the next day. The death of the high street is not something that's just happening in Britain, but a phenomenon that's affecting many countries around the world.)

  • I wish somebody would let me know why I should give a shit? , daily , news of high street woe is released like the death of a national treasure on the media . Retail is a shit industry , what Christmas have the low paid staff had? , what public holidays do they enjoy ? , if the high street closes , I will not miss it.

    I shop online except for food as the prospect of running the speed cameras to Norwich , joining the ever congested roads as rat runs are turned into cycle lanes , getting shafted by parking and then joining the herd of the living dead in the city appalls me!

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    joining the ever congested roads as rat runs are turned into cycle lanes , getting shafted by parking and then joining the herd of the living dead in the city appalls me!

    QFT.


    Likewise apart from food shopping which we mostly do locally in walking distance, the town centre is quite alien. Local councils have as much of the blame to shoulder as any other sector. It costs £1.60 an hour to park in our town. Stupid! If I want something specific I usually go on-line as my first port of call. Can't remember the last CD or DVD that I bought in a shop. Don't even know if we have an HMV store in the town.


    Then there's having to run the gauntlet of chuggers as well.

  • The end of HMV just reflects the end of the format that people watch and listen to recorded TV, films and music, the rise of online streaming and downloading has put an end to Blue Ray/DVDs and CDs being bought, online shopping for all things is now the growing market whereas physical shopping in the high street is seen as old fashioned and inconvenient.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

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    Yes, that's right Ron. Which makes you think, Netflix has been around a while now, as have other services for both music and video, so why didn't HMV see that the writing was on the wall and adapt accordingly?

    Can't remember the last CD or DVD that I bought in a shop

    Woolworths for me. And that's a major reason why they collapsed too, as they started to rely too much on dvds, cds etc which all became downloadable in the end.


    I wish somebody would let me know why I should give a shit? , daily , news of high street woe is released like the death of a national treasure on the media . Retail is a shit industry , what Christmas have the low paid staff had? , what public holidays do they enjoy ? , if the high street closes , I will not miss it.

    I shop online except for food as the prospect of running the speed cameras to Norwich , joining the ever congested roads as rat runs are turned into cycle lanes , getting shafted by parking and then joining the herd of the living dead in the city appalls me!

    I will miss the high street shops, but as Rob Alka said earlier in the thread, the high street was turned into the same boring collection of chain shops as most independent retailers were driven out of business. Now, they're the ones being driven out of business.


    As I don't drive, I would still like some decent physical shops to go in, but as for most of the chain shops, no, I couldn't care less about them either.

  • went into HMV on a shopping trip just before Christmas. really like it as they sell loads of great anime and gaming merch. shame to see them go

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    Debenhams in profit alert as sales continue to slide

    Struggling department store chain Debenhams has issued another profit warning as its sales continue to fall.

    In a trading update, the retailer said the forecast it made on 10 January, when it said full-year profits were set to hit analysts' expectations of about £8.2m, was "no longer valid".

    Looks like Debenhams is nearing its end, but considering how Mike Ashley runs his existing operations, would we really want him to "save" Debenhams if he decides to take them over?

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