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Dancing Bear

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About Dancing Bear

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    Sale, South Manchester
  1. It's a 3 or 5 year locked in speculative punt this year. With interest or bonus on the savings then yes it's it's quite risk-free but with that not happening this year then it's down to the performance of the shares. Previously the share option was a bonus (and a tax free one at that), this year it overtly forms part of the protection of the savings from inflation. For those who've never participated in one of these in the past it WAS a good (and risk free) way of getting a bump in income; this year it's not risk free.
  2. Yes, you are correct they are locked into a lot of stupid high rent, long-term property deals. We're back to the idiot financials again. Being 'bricks and mortar' is not a problem in itself. The problem is the same as the reason we're all here debating; that the leeches have broken the system by just demanding too much rent. Doesn't help that people decide to keep paying it. I could also make an argument that the war on the car by TPTB (who are just behaving like NIMBYs) is killing traditional town centres while they refuse to accept what the population wants to do and tries to foist more and more 'green' alternatives onto a population who just don't want to participate. The irony that they are using cars to pay for their 'initiatives' is lost on them; this is a discussion for another thread. The 'remote shopping' concept is not new and pre-dates the internet. People like the activity of shopping and this will never change as it's a form of entertainment. It's just been made prohibitively expensive.....for the moment. If Halfords started all over again they would struggle to reach the same level as now and would only end up competing with all the internet parts sites that are out there now. It might be more efficient but it would also wipe out their USP. People went to the net because it was cheaper in the beginning. Then the convenience factor kicked in as internet retailer and parcel companies realised there were bucks to be made. Cheap, quick deliveries were a myth even as late as 3 years ago. People chasing the cheapest price now spend all their time comparing as there are so many players. Even comparison websites can't keep up. The internet phenomenon is going to mature soon and will not be the ultimate goal but will be a complimentary piece of the whole puzzle.....i don't know how long this will take. The internet is not the answer to business just like bricks and mortar only now aren't. People like browsing 'stuff'. It's why all the out of town, free parking mega-centres are constantly packed. It's city centre bricks and mortar retailing that's dying. They could go to a more slimmed-down, core-market model by getting rid of stuff like paints, mats, wheel trims etc (tat basically) and become targeted on quality or they could do a strategic tie-up with other retailers who have floor-space and footfall.....a section in Tesco or Morissons as an example. They are also hideously anonymous in the big shopping centres with all those parked cars with opportunity for fitting sales and huge footfall of browsers. The high-street is dying because of a combination of old business models, greedy councils and greedy landlords. They are making it difficult for people to shop (in lots of different ways) so people have changed their habits. It was always going to happen. It only took this long as there wasn't another option before. Halfords will be fine (even with bricks and mortar) as long as they adapt as they have a robust market to play in. They also have to get retailers to run the place instead of idiots with their shiny MBA straight out of LSE.
  3. This isn't correct except for your last sentence.....which they have now missed the boat on unless they go super-agressively after that market as others have filled it. It may look like there are loads of car models but there are now more common parts than there have ever been. In the old days, parts were just common to manufacturers, now they are common across manufacturers as we have same models effectively re-badged for a couple (or a few) manufacturers at a time. Over the last 10-15 years Halfords have walked away from their core markets (which have kept them going all these years) and chased the new tech money. A succession of financial idiots ran the place and didn't understand the market they were in and instead took their eye off the core mega-profitable stuff (000's % markup). This is what the financial people do to places, follow their own rules which don't apply to anything except finance (even then the rules are made up as they go along) and then they 'never saw it coming' when the place crashes down. They didn't see the EU directive opening the market up for them as a primary supplier of parts making use of their volume buying and actually ran-down their floor space allocated to parts. They were too busy focusing on alloys wheels, Sat-Nav, ICE, Camping (WTF?), Touring, RC Cars (i kid you not), selling off their garages (only to buy back at a loss!) and diluting their reputation in bikes. On bikes, they made a short term gain with some of their contracts with suppliers that busted their long-term reputation of selling solid bikes. Their repetitive, constant, boring high-margin distress-sale products were replaced with sexy, shiny, new, one-off, reward sales which had singularly high margin per unit in pounds but could not match the low value, high margin high volume profits generated. Reward sales will end up in a saturated market until something new comes along, distress sales will just grind out the profits. Something new did come along; sat-nav on smartphones....it slayed the Halfords golden goose. No-one noticed the goose was actually a one-trick pony until it was too late. Alloys come as standard on most cars now and built-in stereos are often better than reasonably priced aftermarket ones are.....we'll not mention what CANBUS can do to the remainder of the car with ICE that's not 100% compatible. Surprise, surprise that when discretionary spend dries up so too do the reward sales and as that is their business model they are now in the toilet. Garages are still buying parts for people's cars though and more folk are now trying their hand at home services, brake pads etc as they need doing (distress) but the funds aren't there to 'get a man in'. What doesn't help is that they also stopped taking on people with independent knowledge of the motor or cycle industry who (except for the people have been there for years) just follow the rules they've been given and they can't add value to the customer who normally need guidance. It's no surprise the guy who had to jump used to run Tesco and he tried all the same sort of staffing tricks. This also drove customers away. They were slow to embrace the net but it has helped them now they have a presence. Their USP of being open outside office hours is their major saving grace. Otherwise places like ECP and GSF could totally crush them. The advertising they do helps them keep above the other internet based retailers as being the first place those not too clued up will always think of. Believe it or not, people like 'browsing' car parts. Once they have browsed they will buy. I found that counter-intuitive too. The Argos-style counter (which they actually now do have as you can reserve online and collect instore) would drive a lot of customers away. Halfords don't have enough parts coverage to go fully 'Argos' and they don't have enough out on the floor to cover most customers either.....they really have put themselves in no-man's-land. They really are a perfect metaphor (or case study?) for all the idiocy that's gone on over the last decade+.
  4. Ed is just Liebour's version of what Willie Hague was last time around.....the guy who always wanted the leadership but too stupid to realise now was not the best time. He deserves it if he couldn't see that he was greedily drinking out of the poison chalice handed to him by his own party. The fact he was at the heart of creating the mess we're in means his karma has kicked in rather quickly.
  5. Right, and this is the bit i get and agree with. Inflation and deflation (in my uneducated view) are being used all over the shop and in places they have no right to be used as a definition. The fact is it used in all the wrong places goes right back to my point at the beginning......it is useful for distracting the regular folks as to just what IS happening.
  6. Not sure i get that one. If an employer puts my wages down but keeps their prices high then there has been no deflation or inflation but less pounds in my pocket and more in theirs. That's deflation for me and inflation for them but toal is still the same.
  7. Wouldn't it only be deflationary if prices went down to reflect the fact that folk have effectively got less money? The amount of total money will be the same it's just that some of what is in the employees pockets today (percentage-wise) will be in the BT director and shareholders pockets instead. BT are not known for putting their prices down. Is the deflation/inflation argument a nice sideshow to distract us from noticing the real problem and that's who the same amount of money is now flowing from/to?
  8. While the measure of inflation mis-represents what's actually going on they can target whatever they like....we'll end up in another mess with another stupid tweak to fix it. As always, garbage in = garbage out. They won't see the next one coming either.
  9. I think we'll see a re-run of '92 - tories getting in 5 years later. The sheeple can't see ahead of themselves, only backwards. They'll vote crash gordon out once we have come out the other side. The electorate vote on memories.
  10. Another log-termer who appreciates your persistence - keep it up!

  11. And Huawei have been ripping off Cisco for years - kinda proves the point.
  12. Depends exactly where it is. Right next to Wythenshawe park i wouldn't live there if you paid me. Getting closer to Sale is getting much better but still gets criminal tourists coming in for the rich pickings they don't have closer to home. Got a postcode?
  13. Rachman, if you knew anything about Sale then it's be plain to you that the town centre and places like Tasty's are there to service the cretins who descend on Sale from the outlying hovels that don't have a shopping centre or more than 1 pub. I'm struggling to think of anyone who actually shops in Sale town centre that lives around me. I'd also say that giving the busy main road through Sale (Washway Rd=A56 - main trunk road from Manchester to M6 south) as an example of life living in Sale is a bit of a stupid comment to make. Bowden is almost as silly as Didsbury these days. Houses blatently not in Bowden being marketed as Bowden just to bump the price up to those who don't know any better. Sale, Altricham, Timperly, Bowden.....all much of a muchness these days and i'm sure if you looked properly you'd see you can buy similarly priced proprties in all of them. @I'M WITH STUPID, just up the road from you mate. Unlucky for you having to travel on Brooklands Road every day - it's hellish.
  14. yep, 2-3 TIMES their budgets. i was shocked and stunned and so were my friends. they are all seasoned managers and say they haven't seen this before - one last splurge maybe? eg stores usually taking 6k per day were taking 15-18k.......that's a weekly sales figure in some stores. this was not only on the odd day here or there either, it was solid for the last 2 weeks. first q i asked was about how much was on any type of credit - cc, tic, anything. the answer i got was that there was the usual rough 50-50 split cash/credit so credit cards not being hammered more than usual. whether this was mew manifesting itself as cash at the tills i guess we'll never know.
  15. WTF???? are you such an idiot that you can't see ACTUAL unabridged news with no spin?? just cos YOU or any of us don't see things happening doesn't mean it isn't happening. 2-3 times a store's budget IS A BIG BLOODY INCREASE OVER LAST YEAR. none of the managers (who are all close personal friends) know where this money has come from, never expected it in a million years........and can't understand it - just like me. i posted as a bit of FACTUAL information not opinion based on how many people i had seen (or hadn't seen) milling about in the usual shopping areas. if it is happening in one store, it can be happening up and down the country and you'll never know about it.......then when the figures come out in feb you'll be proclaiming that they are rigged.
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