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More Than 50% Of Shops Helped By Mary Portas Have Closed

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2625605/More-half-stores-helped-Mary-Queen-Shops-Portas-BBC-closed.html

More than half of stores helped by Mary 'Queen of Shops' Portas on her BBC show have closed
  • Investigation finds that nine of the 16 featured on the show have shut
  • Clealls of Corfe in Wareham, Dorset, opened in 1881 but shut this year
  • Owners Chris and Juliet Porter was the latest, it went bankrupt
  • Shop featured on a 2010 episode of BBC2's Mary Queen of Shops
  • Store was losing £6,000 a week before Mary Portas gave it a makeover

...

She encouraged the couple to sell high-quality local produce and put on a successful tasting event at the store, with Mr and Mrs Porter handing out meat snacks and wine to customers.

However, last month Mr Porter questioned whether Ms Portas understood their customers' likes and dislikes.

He said: 'We were in trouble when Mary got here and it never really picked up when she left.

'Mary didn't make herself popular in the village. She has some good ideas but she thinks everyone comes from Hampstead Heath.


..

'We might have a few really rich people, or DFLs - down from Londons - as she called them, but then we had rural workers on £9,000 a year.

'Many people can't afford that. It's nice getting locally produced meat but you go to a supermarket and get a chicken for two quid or come here and get a breast of chicken for nine quid."

He continued: 'When she left, we certainly didn't have enough choice and the locals would say that - "you used to sell this", "you used to sell that".'

The couple are living in temporary council accommodation, having sold their London home to buy the shop seven years ago.

Mr Porter said: 'In the end we lost everything, we were made homeless and lost our jobs.'

To be fair to Mary she may have been trying to save businesses that were beyond redemption and assisting those who really had no business skills. Running a business isn't easy and getting one to make money requires luck as well as a good idea.

However getting a business to price itself out of the local market appears to be one doomed for failure and perhaps they should have pulled the plug before they lost everything.


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The couple are living in temporary council accommodation, having sold their London home to buy the shop seven years ago.

How ironic, if they'd simply not sold their London home they would doubtless have "made" a greater fortune than even a wildly successful business would have.

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flamenco, Preston, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago

It's the same with restaurant makeovers, The celebrity comes in and gives advice. The production company fund a marketing campaign for showcase events at the premises. The public turn up in order to see the celebrity or to be on television themselves. The celebrity and the cameras depart and it's back to the previous situation of not enough paying customers. As well as knowing how to run a particular business, it has to be the right business in the right location. IT might have been the right location in 1881 but 2014 is a different kind of High Street.

ReplyNew


I agree with this reader comment.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2625605/More-half-stores-helped-Mary-Queen-Shops-Portas-BBC-closed.html

To be fair to Mary she may have been trying to save businesses that were beyond redemption and assisting those who really had no business skills. Running a business isn't easy and getting one to make money requires luck as well as a good idea.

However getting a business to price itself out of the local market appears to be one doomed for failure and perhaps they should have pulled the plug before they lost everything.

These people had a virtual license to print money given their location opposite a nationally-known tourist attraction in one of the wealthiest areas of the country. If they couldn't make money there, they're not going to make money anywhere. The show selected for failing businesses, so the fact that only 50% or so have failed doesn't mean that she didn't have a positive impact.

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Britain no longer famous as a nation of shopkeepers, now a nation of housekeepers.

Not on here they're not ...apparently

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Give is 2 years and see what happens to 80% of people osborne helped to buy.

Its not beyond the realms of possibility that a LIBLAB coalition could come up with some form of Housing Benefit to cover the cost of people mortgages pretty much endlessly should they lose their job.

Edited by Corruption

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Its not beyond the realms of possibility that a LIBLAB coalition could come up with some form of Housing Benefit to cover the cost of people mortgages pretty much endlessly should they lose their job.

Wouldn't put it past the Cons either, they've always had a penchant for socialism for the "deserving", luckily I doubt any of them could afford this level of intervention.

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Wouldn't put it past the Cons either, they've always had a penchant for socialism for the "deserving", luckily I doubt any of them could afford this level of intervention.

Im predicting that theyre history come 2015 due to their socialism for the "deserving".

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Im predicting that theyre history come 2015 due to their socialism for the "deserving".

Maybe. Wouldn't rule out a ConLab coalition so that the country can have "a strong government" in these difficult times. They're all much of a muchness in any case.

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Stop me before I vote again.

Maybe. Wouldn't rule out a ConLab coalition so that the country can have "a strong government" in these difficult times. They're all much of a muchness in any case.

Stop me before I vote again.

junta.jpg

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Its not beyond the realms of possibility that a LIBLAB coalition could come up with some form of Housing Benefit to cover the cost of people mortgages pretty much endlessly should they lose their job.

Some can already claim SMI for life?????????

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These people had a virtual license to print money given their location opposite a nationally-known tourist attraction in one of the wealthiest areas of the country. If they couldn't make money there, they're not going to make money anywhere. The show selected for failing businesses, so the fact that only 50% or so have failed doesn't mean that she didn't have a positive impact.

Like glass half full?

If they were all "failing" then I guess she managed to save half of them.. not bad

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This is so upsetting because I do dislike my tendency to take pleasure in seeing another rather annoying know all 'celebrity' proved to be useless.

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Its not beyond the realms of possibility that a LIBLAB coalition could come up with some form of Housing Benefit to cover the cost of people mortgages pretty much endlessly should they lose their job.

They already have, it's called "housing benefit"...what happens is, someone not paying their mortgage losses their house but keeps some of the debt then they are put in a B&B for a while, with 10 other families then when the council have sourced them a house they put them in there and start paying the landlord loads of money.

It's a good system...for the banks and the landlords.

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This is so upsetting because I do dislike my tendency to take pleasure in seeing another rather annoying know all 'celebrity' proved to be useless.

Every businessman is a genious in a boom. Look at the last PM ( whatever his name was)...engineered the end of boom and bust, designed and implemented Prudence that was variable at any time, and saved the World economically...

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Calling the store "Clealls of Corfe" is the first issue. The locals call it Corfe Castle and anyone who didn't know exactly where the shop is would think the store is somewhere else - Corfe Mullen or somesuch. It would get right up local people's noses. Here's a quote supporting my claim from the local paper 'The immediate result of the programme has been a mass of supportive phone calls, a huge influx of people who “didn’t realise what was there”'

The fact the business had been sold should always be a red flag. Like the local petrol station which someone bought near me - only to have the bypass open and to lose 75% of his trade (doh!) or the restaurant next to the hospital which shut down - same problem.

For Clealls was it easy to park? In Corfe Castle I doubt it. Rates were probably a killer too (they were losing 6k/week at one point!). Locals, apart from a few old dears who can't drive anymore, would probably prefer to go to Sainsbury's or Tesco's... and for the old dears Tesco were running a bus service. So for Corfe Castle what will work: well you've basically got tourists migrating from the train station to the Castle and back - they want snacks, they want to eat lunch and maybe buy souvenirs. It is summer, or fair weather trade, pretty much. Pubs, restaurants and perhaps a store selling cans, pasties etc.

From the Echo after the programme

The transformation, in which the shop was de-cluttered and focused on local produce, has already worked wonders.

Chris, who took over Clealls, said: “We’re struggling to keep up with demand.

“We sold a month’s worth of crab in one-and-a-half days recently!

“Bank Holiday weekend was the first time a lot of our regulars had seen the makeover and it was 100 per cent positive reaction.”

Chris said the production company had warned the shop to brace itself for a very busy summer and a spike in hits on their website.

“We were definitely struggling before,” he said.

“But we were lucky – our bank manager’s secretary knew about the show and told him to hang on!”

Edited by davidg

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Calling the store "Clealls of Corfe" is the first issue. The locals call it Corfe Castle and anyone who didn't know exactly where the shop is would think the store is somewhere else - Corfe Mullen or somesuch. It would get right up local people's noses. Here's a quote supporting my claim from the local paper 'The immediate result of the programme has been a mass of supportive phone calls, a huge influx of people who “didn’t realise what was there”'

The fact the business had been sold should always be a red flag. Like the local petrol station which someone bought near me - only to have the bypass open and to lose 75% of his trade (doh!) or the restaurant next to the hospital which shut down - same problem.

For Clealls was it easy to park? In Corfe Castle I doubt it. Rates were probably a killer too (they were losing 6k/week at one point!). Locals, apart from a few old dears who can't drive anymore, would probably prefer to go to Sainsbury's or Tesco's... and for the old dears Tesco were running a bus service. So for Corfe Castle what will work: well you've basically got tourists migrating from the train station to the Castle and back - they want snacks, they want to eat lunch and maybe buy souvenirs. It is summer, or fair weather trade, pretty much. Pubs, restaurants and perhaps a store selling cans, pasties etc.

From the Echo after the programme

thats interesting, articles from 2010 show the revamp in glowing terms.

yet today, the BBC website report quotes the following:

The couple also claimed that Portas's revamp of Clealls was cheaply done and not fit for purpose.

Mr Porter explained: 'The original refit they've done on the shop was disgraceful, they used metal shelving that bent when you put three bottles of wine on it.

'When they wanted to do the follow up a few weeks later to show how things are going, I told them if they didn't come and fix the shop I would go to ITV to see if they would do a makeover show on the mess up.

'You couldn't run a business the way they'd left it. They sent down some carpenters who put some new shelves up for us - they didn't mention that on the show.'

so which is it?...a botch the owners were delighted with, or a botch that they saw at the time and ignored because they were going to be Millyonairs Rodney?
Either way, someone has lost a packet.

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Meaningless stat unless you know how many would have closed without her 'help'.

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Well, if they hung onto a trade longer than they should and lost even more money, that is a bad outcome too.

Not necessarily. They might have been drawing an income they wouldn't otherwise have had, provided jobs etc and if the debt increased then that's the banks problem.

At the end of the day it's up to the business owners. It's their business and their responsibility. Nobody forced them to take advice from Portas or anyone else. They're not children.

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Typically with these small businesses, the loans are entirely secured. Against the premises or the owner's own home for instance.

You know as well as I that many people are star struck. Most people believe the filth they see on TV about magic gurus and how they can wave a wand and change your life for the better. We see that sort of stuff every night on the goggle box. Not everyone has your nous. Does anyone deserve any sort of protection from anything, or this all to be a free-for-all?

Sure, de facto they were in the sh1t before Portas came along else they wouldn't need her.

Bank on their case, home getting repo'd etc.

She's a straw. Most people in that situation can't lose by clutching at it.

From the progs I watched all the stuff she said was excellent, but retail, especially now, is incredibly tough so it's little surprise even with her rebranding etc many of them still failed. Some of the businesses were clearly in the wrong place, the wrong time or had the wrong people running them. It's no surprise some would blame their failure on someone else.

In aggregate though, for the retail sector to be successful overall then there must be an ongoing % of individual businesses that fail. These sorts of programs are heavily weighted towards the businesses that are going to fail. Same with the Hotel Inspector. What's astonishing is how many of these businesses get financed in the first place. You only have to walk through the door and see the owners to know they're basket cases, then they reveal that they owe the bank £300,000 or something (as you say, secured on the property usually). It's not really the businesses Portas/Polizzi should be looking at it's the bozos in the banks who are financing them.

Edited by R K

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Sure, de facto they were in the sh1t before Portas came along else they wouldn't need her.

Bank on their case, home getting repo'd etc.

She's a straw. Most people in that situation can't lose by clutching at it.

From the progs I watched all the stuff she said was excellent, but retail, especially now, is incredibly tough so it's little surprise even with her rebranding etc many of them still failed. Some of the businesses were clearly in the wrong place, the wrong time or had the wrong people running them. It's no surprise some would blame their failure on someone else.

In aggregate though, for the retail sector to be successful overall then there must be an ongoing % of individual businesses that fail. These sorts of programs are heavily weighted towards the businesses that are going to fail. Same with the Hotel Inspector. What's astonishing is how many of these businesses get financed in the first place. You only have to walk through the door and see the owners to know they're basket cases, then they reveal that they owe the bank £300,000 or something (as you say, secured on the property usually). It's not really the businesses Portas/Polizzi should be looking at it's the bozos in the banks who are financing them.

Of what I saw the things she said were naive and showed little understanding of retail, or for that matter any, business beyond aesthetics suited to a Central London department store.

The fact these hubris filled charlatans thrust upon the nation, via television, as experts are being shown up for what they are is no bad thing.

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