I Wonder What Is Happening In Retail

After being out of action for a while and not having my usual on demand access to the news channels I have just found out that both Maplin and Toys R Us have gone into administration or liquidation and are closing down.

To make the first point I am sad that Maplin are going from our high streets. They nearly always have had the parts I need in stock for an electronics or computer project or just some general stuff around the house like a new lead for the telly. The shops are great if I need something in a hurry. I will miss them.

As a father, I have to say I have slightly less sympathy for Toys R Us! Many is the time I have had my wallet well and truly dredged in their stores my daughter who is now 11 years old! I am sure there are any mothers and fathers who feel the same way about Toys R Us! The pile it high sell it cheap model of my nearest branch irks me in the way it puts too much choice and variety in the hands of a child.

So where is it all going wrong for retail?

Sat in a  hospital as I have been recently I have been bored and had plenty of time to ponder this one.

You see this is the way I see it. A lot of this this shopping can be done online. I am no fan of retail parks, never have been and never will be. A trip to one fills with dread! If I can shop online I will! I hardly ever go to a Tesco or Sainsbury’s these days I order online and they and my weekly shop come to me. This is much better.

The second thing to my mind is the experience factor. People want experiences these days as opposed to the mundane. they want something to brag about to their friends on Facebook and Instagram. This I think is where the likes of Value Retail have it nailed with their designer shopping villages. Visiting my nearest one, which is Bicester village in Oxfordshire is an experience and generally a good day out. My only criticism of Bicester Village is that every time I have visited it has been very, very busy!  I must try and time my next visit at a quieter time if one exists! Hardly a month goes by either without one of my friends posting about a visit to Bicester Village on social media.

This is where it is at. Shopping at Maplin, Toys R Us or Even Tesco’s is not an experience it is a chore and some times a horrid one at that. Do not get me started on Saturday or Sunday afternoons in IKEA! Writing this from a hospital bed I wired up to a monitor I can assure you I would rather be here than in many retail outlets! Shopping is that bad. I would much rather do my shopping from the comfort of my own home if I can. If more retailers made shopping an enjoyable experience in store I might visit more often for that experience. Pile it high, sell it cheap  isn’t going to work in store when I have a nice laptop, a lovely cup of tea, my favourite chair and a pile of chocolate biscuits to help me shop. I can even listen to my favourite music as well. I know I am not alone in this school of thought!

High street units cost a lot of money to rent and keep going for example, staff, stock, heat and light. Point is many people both hate and avoid going to the store and would rather shop online! Thus high street units could be seen as a waste of money to the retailer and an expensive one at that.

If retailers make more of an experience of visiting the store and also make their online presence a little more slick into the bargain some retailers might not face difficulties such as the ones faces by Toys R Us and Maplin and might even increase sales.

Weekly Deals Free Sheet Update 15/03/2018

I am delighted to issue this update regarding The Weekly Deals Free Sheet.

Following a recent enforced and unexpected leave of absence publication of The Weekly Deals Free Sheet was unexpectedly temporarily aborted in February 2018 as I have been unable to publish it. You can see the last published version here.

A new weekly production schedule and forward plan has been devised for The Weekly Deals Free Sheet and I look forward to publishing the next edition during the week commencing 9th April 2018.

The content and copy deadline which includes advertising for the next issue is Thursday 29th March 2018.

In view of the extended break in production of The Weekly Deals Free Sheet the free advertising deadline has been extended to the end of July 2018.

Can I thank you all for your understanding.




Court Guinness Update 13/03/2017


I am still on an unexpected, enforced, extended leave of absence following being extremely sick. Thank you all for all your kind messages both via here and on other mediums such as email, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.


I have decided with three exceptions to start to retire from ALL active business with immediate  effect. I am 100% outsourcing some activities. I will continue to run both my VirtualOffice and PersonalCloud product lines. I will also continue to publish the Weekly Deals Free Sheet.

I will be contacting all associates, clients and partners on an individual basis to discuss this and to minimise any impact very shortly. There are a lot of telephone calls to make and still a bit of work to be done!


I will continue to operate this website and keep it up to date.

Weekly Deals

I hope to be able to publish the next issue of Weekly Deals in April.

VirtualOffice and PersonalCloud

Can I ask all users of these products to please, please, please log any issues with these products via my ticketing system which is hereThe guys that are so admirably holding the fort for me with these products are unable to access my email account, Facebook account or any other medium belonging to me personally.Using these methods instead of a ticket both makes it harder for me to keep track of what is happening with VirtualOffice and PersonalCloud and harder to get your issues resolved.

Thank You All

With Warmest Regards

Court Guinness 13/03/2018.

Consultants Required – March 2018


I am currently expanding my network of trusted consultants. I am looking for consultants on a freelance basis that have at least 10 years business experience in the following areas:

Project Management
Project Planning
Start Up Advisory
Business Coaching
Operational Strategy
Mergers and Acquisitions
Business Health Check
Corporate Planning
Interim Management
Business Integration
Change Management
Business Planning
Sales Development
Social Marketing

All consultants must be freelancers with at least 5 years freelance consultancy experience coupled with a minimum of 10 years experience in their chosen discipline. A good degree is also essential. All applicants bust be EU nationals. References will be required.


Please use the form below to contact me for further information.

Urgently Required for April 2018: Assistant Dealmaker


As part of a planned expansion I am seeking an “Assistant Deal Maker” to join me in mid 2018. The successful candidate will be proficient in executing joint venture deals, business sales and projects to a value of up to £750k. A knowledge of project management is essential.

The role will involve negotiating projects and deals and will suit an experienced, articulate and well read professional with a checkable track record in a similar role.

Ideally the successful candidate will also have an excellent contacts book.

An excellent package is on offer.


Please use the form below to contact me for more information.

The Weekly Deals Free Sheet – Free Advertising Extended

The Weekly Deals Free Sheet – Free Advertising Extended

I am delighted to announce that I have extended the free advertising offer in The Weekly Deals Free Sheet until the end of April 2018.

No cost. Reach the growing readership for FREE!

Please see below for advertising deadline and publication dates between now and  April 2018. These dates are the deadlines for all advertising copy, artwork, and content.

The time deadline on each deadline day is 18:00

Content Deadline Publication Date
16/02/2018 20/02/2018
23/02/2018 27/02/2018
02/03/2018 06/03/2018
09/03/2018 13/03/2018
16/03/2018 20/03/2018
23/03/2018 27/03/2018
30/03/2018 03/04/2018

To download a copy The Weekly Deals Free Sheet or view an interactive version, please click on this link. LINK

Please use the form below to contact me with any advertising queries.

Readership Figures For The Weekly Deals Free Sheet

I am delighted to publish readership figures for the rejuvenated Weekly Deals Free Sheet.

I am even more delighted to announce an average readership of 1141 and a straight line growth rate of 6.25 %

These are truly impressive figures

Date Readership Growth
03/12/2017 1000 0.00%
22/12/2017 1376 37.60%
14/12/2017 900 -34.59%
08/01/2018 700 -22.22%
16/01/2018 1370 95.71%
22/01/2018 1250 -8.76%
29/01/2018 1426 14.08%
06/02/2018 1163 -18.44%
12/02/2018* 1080 -7.14%


*between publication and 13/02/2018

I would like to take this opportunity to thank subscribers and readers alike for their continued support.

To download a copy The Weekly Deals Free Sheet or view an interactive version, please click on this link. LINK

The Weekly Deals Free Sheet 12/02/2018


Firstly I would like to thank the 1426 recorded readers of the last issue of The  Weekly Deals Free Sheet for reading. This is a record in terms of unique readership of Weekly Deals and I am pleased  to be consistently getting a readership of over 1,000 so early in 2018. This represents a straight line average increase of 8.5 % increase in readership of every issue.

I am delighted to continue  publishing The Weekly Deals Free Sheet in 2018. This issue is even bigger and brighter than the last and includes an excerpt from a report I have written on the buyers of Lifestyle Businesses. This continues to set the tone for the plans I have for Weekly Deals for 2018. The number of business opportunities increases at around 10 % a week. This is another testament to the growing popularity of Weekly Deals.

There have been some changes to the format and layout and these changes will continue throughout 2018. One addition is new editorial content.

Below the interactive version is a content form you can use if you hav any feedback about weekly Deals or want more information on the business opportunities in Weekly Deals.

You can use this form to have weekly deals delivered to your inbox every week

You can download a PDF copy here (no sign up required)  The Weekly Deals Free Sheet - 12/02/2018

Or you can see below for an interactive version.

If you have any enquiries about Weekly Deal or any of the opportunities advertised please use the form below to contact me.

Business Opportunity Of The Week – 12/02/2018

I am delighted to publish my Business Opportunity Of The Week for 12/02/2018

Business Opportunity Of The Week

Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Consultancy For Sale

My client is a good forward thinking consultancy in the blockchain and cryptocurrency markets. They are profitable and have a client base to die for. They are seeking to expand their business via equity sale and I invite prospective partners to contact me for more information. Asking Price 100% £800k

Confidential Sale

Financials and prospectus are available now!

For more information, please use the form below to contact me.