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Everything posted by SNACR

  1. Yes, it all boils down to intent 'mens rea' is the lah-dee-dah latin term used in legal circles. Taking out a loan with the deliberate intention of not paying it back is not to be approved of. I think things should be toughened up for people who lie on loan application forms where insolvency procedures are concerned. If you take out a loan with the intent of repaying it, but lose your job and are unable to repay it you shouldn't feel any guilt and it's not immoral. This sort of debate has been going since the dawn of time. In the 18th century when capital expansion was required for the industrial revolution entrepreneurs, then referred to pejoratively as innovators, got tarred with the same brush as feckless bad debtors. Philosophical luminary Jeremy Bentham was so frustrated by his failed attempts to secure funding for an idea he had for a new type of prison he'd dreamed up called the Panopticon that he penned a treatise 'Defence of Usury'. Sorry I'II stop this is turning into a boring lecture.
  2. I hear Job Centre Plus's are heaving also. Footfall is not as strong indicator as people think.
  3. Same as fruit machine manufacturers deliberately making the payout mechanism really loud. In retail the possibility of adjusting speeds the till runs at to keep the queue at an optimum 3 people has been looked at. Enough to arouse the herd instinct/concern they're missing out on something, but not too long to prevent them wanting to join it.
  4. Bet Euler Hermes or Coface have pulled cover now, expect shelves to start looking bare soon.
  5. Credit card spending fell off a cliff a while ago. Now a much smaller percentage of much smaller overall gross sales.
  6. Pretty sure bouncing it off the walls is not illegal, doubt many auctioneers would even concede it's unethical. They'd say their remit is to act in the seller's interest and secure the best price available for them.
  7. I don't view the CBI as a credible organisation they toe the govt line far too much.
  8. I don't think Shropshire has ever been a goldmine for retailers.
  9. I think people are wrongly equating footfall with sales, spending is currently about the weakest I've ever known. People still have to eat there's no reason they won't still visit shops/supermarkets with their usual frequency. The key is average spend if they spend £4/visit instead of £5/visit your sales are down -20% yoy, if your net profit is about 5% of gross sales you've got problems.
  10. Good post, I agree. If you signed a loan agreement the lender assumes you'll be able to pay it back and you assume you'll have a salary to pay it back with. If you lose your job it's beyond your control. There is always a risk of default if you lose your job the whole agreement is predicated on assumptions about future income. If you had the money to start with you wouldn't want to borrow it. The debate on usury goes back to biblical times and the same problems still persist. I think lenders have too much legal recourse to collect debts. If they had less powers of collection they wouldn't lend it out so easily. ________ Regarding handing vehicles back on HP agreements the finance companies definitely don't like it we were going to do it with some lorries once. They then came back with an offer to settle the agreement substantially less than the market value of the vehicles and the remaining payments. I guess this sort of thing is big hassle for them except for Alliance & Leicester who I think run their own commercial vehicle forecourt. I have also heard rumours that CC and other unsecured lenders will settle for fractions of the debt if you make noises about going into an IVA/bankruptcy.
  11. Swindon would be one of my picks for a town to experience a particular ravaging in the recession.
  12. Different kettle of fish to Woolies. Waitrose will probably suffer, but dept stores will be anchor tenant in shopping centres and will be much easier to negotiate rent free, if that's not the case already as dept stores are often on rent free from day one.
  13. -Commercial LLs in particular are f**cked, it's hilarious, most have no concept of how much so. The old assumption was that property was a safe long term investment. I'm pretty sure now most commercial property is worthless, who needs an office block with homeworking technology now available? Lots of companies are in industrial warehouse properties that are a legacy of when they used to manufacture. There's no need for them, everything goes on standard sized Chep pallets for distribution, they might as well put the stock in a third party logistics warehouse. -I can't see where the job creation is going to come from to dig us out. Unless we develop something like helicars and become the world leading manufacturer of them we've got no chance. -Moonlit flit for small independents when the sh1t hits the fan is probably a good idea. If you're locked into a commercial lease at bubble rentals you'd have to get out. Things will get so bad that hopefully quite a few small independents will slip under the wire, during the melee, to fight another day.
  14. There are 800+ stores Not convinced Theo's interest will come to anything. He looked at The Works bookshops and it never went anywhere. I would have thought his Ryman chain was struggling as it has always been a complete rip off.
  15. I seem to recal reading somewhere that the court service itself is virtually insolvent. I can imagine they'll get busier with claimants chasing bad debts that were destined to go bad from the day they were written.
  16. That shop should slash staff, if sales slowdown they'll just fill the time gossipng to each other and consequently sales decline even further.
  17. Funny you should say that, one of the best sales guys we ever had was a resting actor, the whole shopfloor was his stage - rather an exotic fellow who the regular staff found rather disconcerting. Not too tricky really, in a nutshell staff need to acknowledge the customers presence in a polite non-threatening way indicating they are receptive to queries.
  18. This also neatly sums up the problem with the minimum wage. Govt increase min wage and then an HGV driver has to be paid more relatively because he has a skill and so on up the hierarchy. This is false and inflationary as no additional value or productivity has been added to the market. Definitely possible to be too good at your job and miss promotion. Particularly if you're a lynchpin at some level or writing spectacular sales. Taking you out of that position would be seen as too disruptive. When middle managers rather than business owners or battle-hardened chief execs promote they tend to go for the person who gives them the least hassle. The problem is the competent employee will ask a lot of questions to ensure they're performing right. The incompetent employee has a subconscious idea they're incompetent and thinks, wrongly, that if they ask questions it'll be though they don't know what they're doing. This of course depends on the competence of their line manager. The mediocre middle manager promotes the staff member that gives them the least hassle. Unfortunately, this hassle free life is not realistic and occurs at the expense of the subordinate hiding mistakes and covering tracks as a timebomb that'll eventually go off. In my experience this period they can cover their tracks is two years and what will happen is when they realise their patina of competence is about to be blown they jump ship to another company. This type of employee is so common we call them the 24 monthers. They can usually be spotted from a CV showing they've never managed to hold a job at one place for much more than two years and this rings big alarm bells. It's often possibly a good idea to leave some jobs off your CV as I don't think many employers view an extensive backcatalogue of different jobs as experience, more a future re-recruitment problem.
  19. Sales staff not well trained enough. Can I help you? or Do you need any help? almost always results in prickly just browsing responses, particularly from socially awkward men. The key is an air of nonchalent friendliness and an interjection that requires no response. Just breeze past and pretend to be preoccupied doing something else like shelf filling. On your way past, in a way that suggests you're too busy to give them your full attention but are feeling guilty that you might be neglecting them, just say 'if you need any help at all just give me a yell' they customer will usually blurt out a hurried 'no thanks'. Carry on walking or with whatever you're doing, wait approx 10 seconds then like clockwork you'll get the 'well actually' after you've negotiated the tricky icebreaker. Not a guaranteed sale then, but pretty much an open goal for a decent sales guy and a customer halfway to a buying decision. The beauty of this method is it's then much easier to sell because you manipulated them into asking you which then gives you as the sales guy the upperhand and you look in no way desperate. Which you will with the awkward beeline approach, trying to make eye contact and the 'Can I help you?' enquiry. The key thing is to make sure your interjection demands no response from the customer and manipulates them into thinking they initiated the discourse themselves.
  20. Been waiting for a link to confirm it, fools and their money, kids inheritance will soon be gone: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle5258257.ece
  21. The vendor offers credit because it secures bigger orders as soon as a customer starts paying up front they quickly realise how much they're getting tied up in slow moving lines and take a red pen to orders in a big way. The vendor wants the biggest invoice value shipped possible to allow economies on shipping. If their customer has a sound credit rating they can go straight to an invoice factoring service and pay a percentage to get the money upfront (a big version of those wage cheque cashing places on the High St - but in this case a lot of very big firms use it commonly). This means the vendor gets an immediate big cash injection into their own business to pay rent and salaries etc. The whole thing is a big silly merry go round laced with hypocrisy and is in desperate need of radical reform. Because of the bad press big retailers get they're very much seen as the bullies not necessarily the case though, vendors get up to all sorts of stupid tricks themselves. One example is sending field sales staff into every branch of a major retailer trialling their products to clear the shelves and thus artificially inflate the retailer's forecasts so the vendor gets massive orders and therefore injection of cash. Understandably when it gets to 30/60/90 days eom later the retailer then doesn't want to settle the bill for a mountain of unsold stock. Another example is when things started to go wrong a lot of vendors were submitting invoices with 'accidental' extra zeroes on quantities or lines without discounts applied. This would mean the vendor gets big immediate cashflow in the short term, but then has to credit back later and find the extra money they've effectively defrauded the factoring service out of. Always trying it on with invoices without agreed discounts applied prolongs payment as the retailer will just throw the whole invoice on query if one line is overcharged. There's usually a huge pile of these and the retailer will process these at their leisure as it is the vendor's error. Daft tricks/incompetence like that can often greatly prolong payment days.
  22. The German discounters have always charged for bags. I think they introduced it after Stuart Rose got a lot of earache from HRH. Has anyone been to his Highgrove shop in Tetbury does HRH giveaway plastic bags/charge for them?
  23. Very little mainstream acknowledgement that demand has not so much tailed off as virtually stalled.
  24. Democracy in this country, and many other western countres, is effectively a choice between two brands of sh1t. The difference being the blue brand usually has slightly superior managerial competence and real world commercial experience. I sometimes wonder if phrases like 'if you don't bother to vote you can't complain how the country's run' aren't just cunning memes to keep the whole ridiculous charade alive.
  25. Many of the Simply Food stores were converted from former Icelands (I think some are operated by franchisees, poor sods). Trading up Iceland shoppers from prawn rings and choc ices to ready cooked lobster and crème brulee was always going to be an interesting one.
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