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Everything posted by SNACR

  1. Entirely agree with this. If you can start a business with little investment and seemingly little risk and anyone can do it, soon the whole world and his wife will be doing the same thing. I did a talk at a bank dinner a few years ago and it was all BTLers and Ebayers or something else with zero risk (seemingly) attached and the level of the ignorance was astounding. Half the Ebayers didn't know the difference between margin and markup and a lot of their suppliers were simply other slightly larger online businesses or they were trawling round car boot sales. They made some reasonable money in the early days, but I think any battle-hardened entrepreneurs will always win out eventually. It really gets up my nose as well (luckily it's getting quite accommodating these days) how many people think running a shop/pub/restaurant is dead easy. The mentality goes I've bought things in shops/pubs/restaurants ergo I can run one. No-one ever gets their redundancy and thinks I know I'II open a smelting works I've seen one of those on a telly documentary. Before starting up in business you really need to work somewhere else similar first to let someone else's bottom line pay for your learning curve. Not to then pinch their business I really don't like it when people do that, leave and take the accounts they were given by their previous employer with them.
  2. No they were sole trader. I think there must be so many cases the official receiver's gone soft these days, even kept the car.
  3. This won't do Johnny Foreigner attacking our honest hard working Prime Minister, don't they know it all started in America. We'll send our boys over in Spitfires to give them a jolly good biff on the nose. He may be a fiscally incompetent socialist dreamer, but he's our fiscally incompetent socialist dreamer.
  4. Yeah, I think I posted on another thread the other day that Nintendo DS was pretty much out of stock everywhere now that isn't overpriced. Unfortunately, stoking up demand by throttling supply is a big feature, of particularly the toy trade, (see The Simpsons episode with Gary Coleman in when the toy co. want people to smash through the shop window to get the toy). In all honesty I'd say they've made a bit of mistake going out of stock this early and will lose some sales. It works pretty effectively on people who are only a maybe type purchasers as it provokes them into buying. On a product like this that's so specific Nintendo know they'll get the sale as it will just be bought for the child after xmas. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the retailers who've gone out of stock don't reduce the price on the shelf edge to improve their value image as they know no-one will actually be able to buy it.
  5. I'II keep you updated on the North Pole labour market as more service charge budgets come in.
  6. Essentially you're right, although the weakness of the pound will mitigate things a bit. To get a product made and blistercarded in China it costs pennies. The UK cost of blistercarding something is about 12p typically. That means a blistercard of air made in the UK would cost you about 50p to buy in most high st chains.
  7. In most towns the retailers contribute massively to the cost of the xmas lights, another overhead on an endless list. Covered shopping centres tend to be managed on-site by not terribly bright often ex-military types. The shops in the centre have to collectively fund the cost of running the shopping centre on a pro-rata basis by sqft. Every year they send to our head office annual service charge budgets justifying how they've spent the money with generally a lot of waffle about how frugal they're being. In a report this year one centre manager wrote 'We have made excellent progress in reducing expenditure and through a re-design of the xmas grotto have succeeded in dispensing with the services of two Elves'. Some councils even have the nerve to write asking for xmas decoration contributions even though you're in a covered scheme and already fund the grotto and decorations. One council actually wrote 'all the rich companies are in the shopping centre and we think they should not get away without contributing to the xmas decorations'.
  8. It's pulled from a survey done by the Federation of Small Business from its membership. I assume they must have taken a break from whingeing about late payment. If anything like this figure comes to pass this country will be on its back for decades Of course they'll be lots of weak bubble businesses in there Juice Bars, Nail Bars (although actually ,allegedly, holding up quite well) and assorted other here today gone tomorrow flim-flam. However, there will be quite a lot of perfectly viable businesses that have been going decades in such a high percentage as that. These will be good well run businesses that have been having to compete in a false market. You can't compete with other SMEs who are MEWing to keep afloat or it's a lifestyle business supported by husband's bonus. Similarly large businesses like Woolies who clock up hundreds of millions of pounds of debt before anyone makes the call it might not be viable.
  9. No stock forecasts had been adjusted to account for the worst xmas trading for a while by most of us. As someone else on this thread has mentioned and I mentioned earlier the shipping stats tell the story. Unfortunately no-one foresaw it being this bad or had factored in a Woolies fire sale to suck away cash from everyone else.
  10. I don't doubt the ONS figures will show that, or maybe not if the govt wants to keep int rates low.
  11. The fact that banks were so reluctant to lend to genuine businesses and so willing to lend to clowns like this really gets up my nose. What service did guys like this actually provide? The bank might as well have just bough the properties itself, given them to a letting agent and cut out the middleman. Someone mentioned the penury of bankruptcy will be hard for him, I'm not so sure. Someone I know had a internet mail order business and had leased an industrial unit the rent on which was killing the business. They went bankrupt and carried on as before without the lease on the unit with no discernible impact on their lifestyle.
  12. What Murdoch publications does Charles Moore write for?
  13. Peacocks have just had credit cover pulled by Euler Hermes. Looks like JJBs have managed to renegotiate on a bridging loan that had to be paid back next week. I reckon they're still pretty close to the edge though.
  14. It would be interesting to have a thread on the viability of online businesses as I suspect quite a few on this site run them. If you look at the video on the BBC website of Amazon's distribution warehouse it looks pretty labour intensive. We're online, but don't push it in a big way, I honestly struggle to see where the cost savings are over bricks and mortar.
  15. Certainly, Kesa their parent company is pan-european so their problems are much bigger than the UK, they've got big exposure to places like Italy, Turkey and Spain which is bad news.
  16. Still quite a bit of work about for lorry drivers I think, based on my own experiences.
  17. I find US News more independent (obviously Fox and others have got strong angles) than the BBC which constantly peddles a big government is good line. I'd prefer the state not to run a mind control program and still less want to pay for it.
  18. I can spend ages reading articles and comments on The Guardian website and they rarely convince me to change my mind. It depends how comfortable with your own views or open-minded you are. I will re-evaluate my opinions if someone puts up a good argument.
  19. Yes I think it'll be interesting to see how ebay and online shopping go when people can't do it on work's time.
  20. I agree most IT seems to rely on selling services to businesses who deal in real world physical product.
  21. A good point that I didn't make. We usually take on a load of xmas temps, this year the permanent staff are the temps and just like the temps quite a few might be disappearing in January.
  22. You'd be lucky if such a protest would even warrant a 10 second piece on BBC news. Think of Iraq war protests and hauliers, peaceful protests in my view are a waste of time and kind of actually concede you don't mean it.
  23. Any retailers in the discretionary sector that are moving product, as has been mentioned, are doing so at the expense of margin. As I've said before, queues at tills and full car parks are utterly meaningless everyone will always go to the shops at xmas. You don't know whether a load of people in the car park have gone to the bank to discuss rescheduling the mortgage. It's not customer numbers that matter, it's average spend, if people cut back just a little and spend £4 instead of £5 on average, that's 20% of you sales gone and most retailers cost structure can't withstand it. I visit towns and cities all across the country and I see very little evidence of serious spending going on and most shelves look to still be groaning with product. Quantities of product that was based on what were already seriously pared back forecasts. Ignore what various analysts and talking heads are saying to the press, nobody privately believes this is anything other than the worst retail trading environment they've experienced and that includes veterans of the 70s and 80s. If demand was really still there workers would still be busy in factories in China and container ships would be loaded to the gunwhales, they're not. Just because you've found a shop with a queue does not mean the recession is off and I don't think many are having a last hurrah on plastic as credit card spending is very weak currently.
  24. Are you sure? I thought you only needed a licence if you watched things as they're broadcast. I'm seriously considering not buying another one and think I'II enjoy the thrill of the mild subversion.
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