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Everything posted by SNACR

  1. Shows the money is still out there for the right product or service. LPG car conversions are allegedly going great guns as well. Certainly plenty of combustible material around we've got mountains of pallets and over 300 500kg card bales that can't be got rid of. Perhaps traction engines will make a comeback for road transport.
  2. That's interesting, someone who supplies solid fuel to petrol station forecourts told me he was 30% up yoy. I thought it was usual BS type front, looks like I was wrong.
  3. Breaking News - Looks like Woolies is finished! - must be perilously close to illegal trading. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle5234055.ece
  4. I wish there was some electrical gadget available so you could text message it to turn your heating on. Would make sure house is warm for when you get home without paying for heating an empty home if you get stuck at work or are late home for some other reason.
  5. If Woolies can't make rent on Dec qtr day the LLs can send bailiffs to distrain on the stock and all those lovely Worthit! toys will be theirs.......Oh, and a vast empty shop with commensurately vast business rates to go with the likely vast bank loan they've already got with no rental income to cover the vast interest repayments. Who invested in Woolies freeholds? Alan, you're fired! http://www.amsprop.com/gravesend/index.html Edit: To add link
  6. Surprised by that would have thought serious retention of title issue there.
  7. Update: A Woolworths spokeswoman retracted an earlier statement that the retailer would stop multichannel retailing and that the decision to stop selling toys was part of a plan to take down the site. She added: "We said in the interim results announcement that we were going to reduce the number of products sold by our online operation, and that's what we're doing, as planned." It appears they've reduced the number of products sold online by the smooth segue of shutting the website down completely. Best informed at the moment seem to think a fire sale with the proceeds to go to the lenders. I can't see them listening to the delusional Iranian property investor who's lost his shirt. No mileage in taking the brand upmarket, to fill what niche? That's assuming he can get premiums from other retailers for the best leases, which is completely delusional in the current market. They would most likely want reverse premium.
  8. I love mini-wakes for shops. Everyone so fond of it they never spent any serious money there, same story with independent retailers. Rumour doing the rounds is branches with good strategic fit with Wilkinsons will be flipped to them (<200) remainder to be disappeared. Hilco did something similar with a chain called Stationery Box, cut off the dead wood and sold what was left to Ryman. This useful service avoided Mr Paphitis getting his hands dirty. Jobbing all the stock off will cause acute pain in the short term for some of Woolworth's competitors. The condemned stores could trade in limbo for ages selling off the entire warehouse contents (they have alone secured against the actual stock on the shelves). Doing this for long enough might possibly see the bank getting a large chunk back particularly as they will, most likely, stop paying rent as soon as they're in adminstration. Administator's priorities are always their own fees though.
  9. Straight from tomorrow's Times: 'Revenue & Customs is to be told to give small companies extra time to pay their national insurance, VAT and corporation tax bills if they have cash-flow difficulties.' For what it's worth my advice would be to negotiate with your LL to pay rent monthly or even weekly. Trust me, they really, really won't want the premises back. I would definitely pay wages as number one priority if their pay starts coming through a few days late they might start 'borrowing' from you. Even with above would still pay vat on time to avoid surcharge and fines. PAYE/Nat Ins, self assess/corp tax definitely the ones to take the p*ss on. If it's any comfort many, many large and small are in the same boat, hence the vat cut.
  10. I take the point. I broadly agree unviable businesses shouldn't be kept alive and new ones allowed to replace them. The problem is at the moment if big things fall they'll be a lot of collateral damage. Woolworths go. Great news if you're one of the timy amount of independent toy shops still scraping by. But will they be able to survive long enough to reap the harvest, things would get worse before they get better as Woolies entire toy inventory is knocked out at giveaway prices and parents stock up on xmas presents for next year. It may not be the case that there's always a fitter, leaner competitor to step into the void left behind. I suspect many perfectly viable businesses will fail. The situation at the moment isn't some sticky patch that a bit of ingenuity and elbow grease can see you through like a new competitor opening in town or the road you're on being closed for a few months to have new water mains put in. Things are clearly truly exceptional. Do you think the govt would be lopping 2.5% of vat if they weren't?
  11. What worries me is that the fact deflation should be feared has been openly discussed by the govt and BBC. Their usual modus operandi is frighten you with something to give them the mandate to do something that would normally be disagreed with. Frighten everyone with deflation then get away with lots of very inflationary measures to 'save' us. If the govt really thought we're heading for deflation doubt they'd tell us.
  12. Or an awful lot of what's now become very expensive borrowing paid down quicker. If this doesn't get the tills ringing staff will still go.
  13. In fairness to SMEs one advantage they've got over bigger players is their ability to hustle. A restaurant owner-manager can't become a tax exile in Monaco and would be difficult to benefit from many of the more sophisticated tax avoidvance schemes the big players use (was a very widespread one with credit card processing transaction fees recently that would only be possible for the very large). Personally don't have too much of a problem with it. HMRC won't be able to collect masses of tax in the coming years and will have to be written off, some of the hardest working might as well get some added on to the pile. HMRC's models for margins in industry sectors are certainly very out of date. Best to try and conform as closely to average as possible even if you're making more margin. Paying above average tax would probably also flag you up for investigation. ___________ Comments about a having a warchest to fight the downturn are silly and ill-informed I suspect by people confusing how they run their personal finances with what is a tenable and efficient way to run business finances. A lot of businesses do genuinely reinvest any spare cash available not just for tax efficiency, but because they have pride in their business. Just how big should a warchest have been to fight the current downturn? You could live like a monk and stuff loads away only to find you're still p**sing in the wind and provided yourself with an extra six months of zero income slavery.
  14. If this comes to fruition very unlikely that it would be passed on. Cost of reticketing would be enormous. As others have said 2% discount at checkout would just confuse customers. I can envisage supermarket staff banging their heads against a brick wall all day trying to explain to awkward customers how there's no vat on plain digestives, but there is on chocolate digestives (unless things have changed, certainly used to be just one daft example). 2.5% is neither here nor there. Less ethical retailers would demand more than this as a retrospective discount from suppliers and just deduct it from invoices if they really needed the extra 2.5%. Might be some benefit from 2% from prices at the pumps smacks of desperation. Taking an axe to vat shows the sense of urgency probably the most direct method govt could use, quicker than tax rebates.
  15. I suspect the bankruptcy courts are overrun and it would be impracticable. I personally think some serious investigation should be done into whether or not the debtor lied on the original *signed* application regarding their financial status and this should be an important feature of how easily they are let off the hook. Frankly, any lender who was daft enough to advance that kind of money for cars to this woman, if they were in possession of the full facts, should not really be very surprised when the money isn't repaid. I suppose it's a bit like lending a tenner to a mate in the pub who you know doesn't work and has a bad record for paying money back. To a large degree it's your own stupid fault when you don't get repaid. What's getting everyone's backs up, mine included, is that the government has decided we're all going to pick up the tab for these debts. Even those of us who borrowed or lent very little, if anything at all.
  16. I think Blu-ray makes Hollywood movies look like home camcorder videos.
  17. When I started in business years ago and had cars on HP I always paid at least a third deposit so if you got into any trouble, as long as enough monthly payments had gone through to take the equity over half, you could just give the keys back to the finance company. Never had to luckily. I would always have preferred to invest the money in the business and driven a van or cheap car. Unfortunately there is an issue with people taking you seriously if you drive a cheap car rightly or wrongly. Wrongly in my view. Cases like this do an injustice to the people who are forced to bankruptcy through terminal illness or business failure beyond their control. Some of the comments on here seem a bit off colour though.
  18. Why not put your money where your mouth is and rent one of these available units starting from only £86,000.00pa? Maidstone 27 Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre Land Securities PLC 3747sqft £147,500 Maidstone 36 Fremlin Walk, Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre Shopping Centre Land Securities PLC 2298sqft £86,085 Maidstone 43 Fremlin Walk, Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre Shopping Centre Land Securities PLC 2210sqft £100,000
  19. It's not been unknown, in the past, for retailers with generous returns policies to do negative sales. ie refunds in a day exceed sales.
  20. I'd take all tales of High St sales migrating to online with a big pinch of salt. I'm not myself at all sure that online models are at all profitable. In the scase of one of the few genuine online startup retailers who are a serious size Amazon, their model is quite pricey their warehouse is all ground level picking which undoes a lot of the cost savings over bricks and mortar. I always think care needs to be taken when asking staff how busy they are unles they're owners/senior managers. Shopfloor staff can tell you they're busy, but it might not in activities generating profits. They could have been digging holes and filling them up all day, they'd say they were busy.
  21. I strongly anticipate Tesco going panhandling to the governmnet at some point. If so will probably be refused and broken up. Post Mortem will be clear overexpansion and trying to be all thing to all people, too many fingers in to many pies. Tesco Value range of equestrian products, clearly height of the bubble madness. It certainly does appear that way to some degree. US is not always a reliable lead indicator. We've hedged our bets between out of town and high st. If government levied parking charges on supermarket car parks and removed them from town centres, as a local level economic stimulant things could turn around very quickly. Retail property would still not be worth what LLs think though even then.
  22. Ah, the lovely, lovely Merrywalks Centre in Stroud. A strong contender for the most botched shopping centre extension in Britain. I think the lease must have expired on their Stroud shop and they've not decided to renew. The marketing details came from agents recently so will be unrelated to todays news. Will almost definitely close, although LL might decide to let them stay in rent-free as Merrywalks is dire. We looked at going in there 18 months ago lucky escape. Textbook LL half-wittedness. Build an extension put Wilkinsons in it then Woolworths move out at lease expiry, genius. Homebargains are in the old Somerfield (Scummerfield in the trade). They featured in a Money Programme special of recession proof businesses on their opening day in Stroud. Hilariously, it looks like they're coming out as well after only six months as the details for their unit are available. Genuinely, if you offered me the whole shopping centre for a pound it'd be overpriced. Don't want to be rude, but when I visited Stroud it looked like it had more than its fair share of the genetically ill-favoured. I wouldn't have thought it traded that well either as a lot of the big chain's shopfits didn't look like they'd been updated in a long while.
  23. Boots probably more at risk as they've had the private equity spivs in to load them up with a nice load of debt. WH Smith would have been on my hit list, but have had a bit of resurgence recently. Massive volumes on some things (much bigger than grocers), mind you Woolies had huge market share on toys that'll probably go to Argos. Stuff WH Smith sell is sat at home rainy day activity and there's going to be a lot more people sat at home. Also (seriously) sell stuff for producing CVs/resume and will be big demand for that. I bet the only time most people print something off their computer at home is when they need a new job. WH Smith also have very robust 70% min gross margin. Can of coke 79p, Wilkinson 38p, but WH Smith have got the locations. They've also got an extra margin on news & mags as they're the wholesaler (unless that division's been spun off without me realising).
  24. Would not be at all keen on sending my kids to private school for them to turn out unstreetwise. However, as I've gone through my adult life I've realised more and more how woeful my state education was and what a left-liberal mind-f**k it had been. I dare say it's got a lot worse since then.
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