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John The Pessimist

Robert Peston Goes Shopping

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Interesting programme on BBC 3 tonight. It painted a picture of a retail sector that boomed in the 50's-80's while manufacturing declined.

A recurring theme was that the most innovative businesses were founded by immigrants, but it was the second generation that made them huge through innovative thinking. Examples include M&S, Sainsburys, Dixons etc.

Will the 2nd generation of the current immigrant influx deliver a similar level of innovation? If so, will another golden age dawn in 25 years or so?

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It's interesting that they keep going on about the influxers and their innovative thinking.

Are they actually more innovative in their thinking than UK people except that they tend to come from less bureaucratic countries where they have more scope to earn without the heavy weight of nanny rules and regulation at every turn. Possibly poorer countries but less ground down by bureaucracy and the rules.

Less of the sort of rules like put the bottles in that bag and the tins in that one, the veg over there, the plastic over here and the paper over there. And make sure that the black bag carrying stuff is separated out as well - but it doesn't really matter because in the end it's all just tipped in the same place and ends up all mixed up all together, and so on and so on................

A similar thing happened with a lot of UK people after WW2 when the forces came home and people saw the reality through being at the rough end. Many businesses were set up when there wasn't the same amount of bureaucratic attitudes being inflicted and far far less tolerance for them as well.

Edited by billybong

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So on the one hand we get minimum wage jobs in retail selling tat with zero hours contracts, on the other we get to be enriched with new, diverse and interesting forms of street crime. Hmmm, think ill pass and stay horribly white and dangerously English.

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No surprise really. Most the tat available in stores is sourced from the third world or else produced in UK sweatshops. It helps to have another language and contacts (family?) in the third world. Im not sure facilitating the offshoring of jobs is anything to celebrate, but if you're peston, on a six figure salary plus expenses, i guess the world looks very different to the rest of us.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7824774.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7824291.stm

As for the future, given how close govt and big business are, I expect those who control the market now will still control it in 25 years time. Even dire companies like the major housebuilders are effectively taxpayer guaranteed, preventing new entrants into the market. Government IS the barrier to entry in the 21st century.Imagine how much market share would have been up for grabs for new entrants had GM been allowed to go bust.

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The best at retail is the Spaniard behind Zara (Inditex) who makes Philip Green look like he's poor.

Phillip Green is the worst retailer in the world.

He's a good BSer.

Our local BHS is horrid - tatty, full of over priced crap clothes.

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But when shopping got better it got better because more bits and pieces were put into the shops to sell, more new original invented stuff to buy to make life easier and sweeter....Every year the clothing fashions changed in a dramatic way, people always went out to buy the latest and newest fashion items on the high street.... one year it was the mini,then the maxi, then the midi, men's trousers changed from turn-ups to skinny, shirts from kipper ties and collars to skinny ties and no collars.

Now we have seen it all and got all the things that we can do all we want with....how many different types of the same stuff do we need or want.....tat needs a place to store it, tat needs cleaning and polishing....how many slight upgrades on a theme to we want to continue buying, repurchsing, does the price paid collate to the extra benefit it gives.

With fashion....people no longer want to be clones of one another, they are more individual and dress in a way they want to not on what fashions dictate... the trend is to now make do and mend, buy quality second hand outfits at a fraction of the cost, being proud by saying how much you have saved buying something, not feeling stupid and lax in financial sense by saying how much you wasted buying something well overpriced for vanity purposes giving the impression that material possessions are the root to happiness and the more that is spent makes for greater happiness when it doesn't.

Things accumulated are out of fashion....diy experiences are the fashion. ;)

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Phillip Green is the worst retailer in the world.

He's a good BSer.

Our local BHS is horrid - tatty, full of over priced crap clothes.

That's what the public want though! Wife dragged me to a local upmarket garden centre at the weekend and several thing stunned me:

Car park was packed - looked like Alton Towers on a bank holiday.

Even though it was Saturday, it was mostly full of retired folk using the overpriced canteen (£12 for a lasagne). Old dear sat opposite me was flashing her support stockings a la Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct - nearly choked on my locally sourced Cottage Pie. Most of them seemed to know the waiting staff so it was hardly a rare treat for them...

On the shop floor, those looking to buy were generally in their 50's & 60's with the odd family thrown in (us). I suspect it was the types who aren't particularly savvy on the internet, and fall for the "Was £2000, Now £600" sale cards.

I also suspect I could find almost every item they sold on the web for at least 20% less - plastic planters for £90 anyone?

Tills were busy and people were spending. There are still plenty of mugs with money out there...

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snip. There are still plenty of mugs with money out there...

thats why we need 120bn in deficit spending...

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The blurb to this (I didn't watch it) was:

Robert Peston reveals how shopping in Britain was transformed over the 20th century. This episode charts how shopping was transformed from a chore to be endured in the 1950s into our favourite pastime by the 1980s. Robert also tells the story behind innovative retailers such as Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's, Asda, Chelsea Girl and Next which revolutionised the way retail was done - and encouraged us to fall in love with shopping.

Still a "chore to be endured" in my case.

One girl I know is continually buying things, particularly clothes, and frequently turning up with big bin bags for the charity shop. Another changes her internal decor's colour scheme every year, so new kettle, toaster, bedding etc. In both cases what they seem to like about it is the change. The male equivalents are two guys (who don't know each other) who both change their cars annually, sometimes more frequently, both have had over 40 cars so far.

All seem to like change, whereas I like to look at something and say I've had it for twenty years and it's still going strong. So I like lack of change.

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The blurb to this (I didn't watch it) was:

Still a "chore to be endured" in my case.

One girl I know is continually buying things, particularly clothes, and frequently turning up with big bin bags for the charity shop. Another changes her internal decor's colour scheme every year, so new kettle, toaster, bedding etc. In both cases what they seem to like about it is the change. The male equivalents are two guys (who don't know each other) who both change their cars annually, sometimes more frequently, both have had over 40 cars so far.

All seem to like change, whereas I like to look at something and say I've had it for twenty years and it's still going strong. So I like lack of change.

Don't you like a change of scenery, change of place, a new experience, new cultures, new buildings, do new and exciting things meeting new people? ;)

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Don't you like a change of scenery, change of place, a new experience, new cultures, new buildings, do new and exciting things meeting new people? ;)

Yes, do all those. I'm not the type to keep revisiting the same place on holiday (hence no interest in buying a holiday home!), longest I've stayed in a job is six years and have lived and worked in several different towns and cities. I will buy things to do new experiences (surfboard, kayak) when it makes more sense than hiring for one use but once I've bought them I'm not immediately looking to buy the next one up / different colour.

Ok, refining my previous statement.

The people I cite like change in their possessions, I don't.

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Yes, do all those. I'm not the type to keep revisiting the same place on holiday (hence no interest in buying a holiday home!), longest I've stayed in a job is six years and have lived and worked in several different towns and cities. I will buy things to do new experiences (surfboard, kayak) when it makes more sense than hiring for one use but once I've bought them I'm not immediately looking to buy the next one up / different colour.

Ok, refining my previous statement.

The people I cite like change in their possessions, I don't.

Me neither....prefer to benefit from those who continually like to change their little used possessions......they have their uses. :P

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Interesting programme on BBC 3 tonight. It painted a picture of a retail sector that boomed in the 50's-80's while manufacturing declined.

A recurring theme was that the most innovative businesses were founded by immigrants, but it was the second generation that made them huge through innovative thinking. Examples include M&S, Sainsburys, Dixons etc.

Will the 2nd generation of the current immigrant influx deliver a similar level of innovation? If so, will another golden age dawn in 25 years or so?

Will it be more and more shopping though?......shopping therapy came about because of growing disposable incomes, partly because more women went out to work, more jobs in retail, finance, sales and service new time saving products and innovations, lower prices due to new competition here and abroad......how can we grow when interest rates are at their lowest and debt at its highest are we not saturated enough already? and how much more stuff do we keep needing to buy when the basic needs in life like housing, heating and food keep rising.........is it not us going to other countries with more room for growing potential, the way we are going it is going around full circle? ;)

Edited by winkie

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I enjoyed the bit with the Boomer lady telling us how marvellous Hire Purchase was because you could have whatever you wanted without having to save up for it. Seems ever-so-slightly at odds with the usual comments you get after Daily Mail articles grumping about young people who want it all now unlike in my day when if we wanted something we had to blah blah blah.

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I enjoyed the bit with the Boomer lady telling us how marvellous Hire Purchase was because you could have whatever you wanted without having to save up for it. Seems ever-so-slightly at odds with the usual comments you get after Daily Mail articles grumping about young people who want it all now unlike in my day when if we wanted something we had to blah blah blah.

Yes I had to laugh at the 1950s couple who were thrilled because they got £150 of goods for £30 on HP! They're probably still paying it off now.

I really do think the retail bubble has burst though. Recently I took my mother to a well known London suburban shopping mall to look at vacuum cleaners. She found one she liked but it was out of stock so the assistant suggested we order it online at home! When we got home we found that it was available for 30% cheaper on Amazon than on the shop's website - where it was out of stock anyway! ;)

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Did that chap who sold jewellery ( Ratner ) make an appearance?

That speech really makes me laugh. I will have to see if its online.

Edited by Ash4781

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What got me was Pesto lecturing on building up too much debt pre-2008, it was obvious it was all going to go t*ts up etc etc. But what was Pesto himself saying pre-2008? Was he lecturing on too much debt then? No he was not, he was cheerleading the new economy ! And he's still in his job.

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Did that chap who sold jewellery ( Ratner ) make an appearance?

That speech really makes me laugh. I will have to see if its online.

“We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, "How can you sell this for such a low price?", I say, "because it's total crap".

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Did that chap who sold jewellery ( Ratner ) make an appearance?

That speech really makes me laugh. I will have to see if its online.

Goes straight into it. ;)

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It's interesting that they keep going on about the influxers and their innovative thinking.

Are they actually more innovative in their thinking than UK people except that they tend to come from less bureaucratic countries where they have more scope to earn without the heavy weight of nanny rules and regulation at every turn.

Most of that first wave were actually from infinitely more "nanny" states than the UK at the time - many escaping from Fascism/Communism etc.

That being said, it was a hell of a lot less rules and regs orientated everywhere back in the day.

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What got me was Pesto lecturing on building up too much debt pre-2008, it was obvious it was all going to go t*ts up etc etc. But what was Pesto himself saying pre-2008? Was he lecturing on too much debt then? No he was not, he was cheerleading the new economy ! And he's still in his job.

Should have interviewed Peter and Dan Snow! :lol:

Where Peter and Dan Snow wandered around the City all dewy eyed at admiration of the bankers, asking "What makes Britain rich" and no one knew the answer because Britains apparent 'richness' was all built on debt.

Edited by aSecureTenant

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Is it just me, or should this programme be renamed "Robert Peston Goes Shopping for Women's Clothing"? I don't know what fraction of UK retailing it accounts for, but it seems to occupy about half of his time.

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