Category Archives: Gassbagging

Amber Rudd Has Resigned

I was most delighted to read a few short moments ago on the BBC News app on my iPad. I am thankful for the newsflash alarm that sounded a klaxon to announce this glorious news. However there is something wrong with this announcement. I will deal with this at the end.

I always said that I thought that Theresa May was high on drugs when she appointed Amber Rudd to Home Secretary.

Then there is her idiotic attempt to hamstring one of the finest website management tools and all those who use it. See here.

Her latest idiotic exploits have now forced her resignation and for that I am very happy indeed.

So what was wrong with this announcement?

Well it has come so close to bed time that I did not have enough timeto arrange a champagne supper to celebrate!

Trade And Shop Thefts? What Have I missed?

Since leaving hospital earlier this week I have heard of a number of thefts of trade fixtures and fittings from shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels than ever before. A number of these thefts that I have been informed about have happened to business owners who are also personal friends of mine I know that theft and burglary have been around as crimes since time immemorial and hardly a week goes by without an associate who is a builder, plumber, electrician or shop fitter mentioning to me that their Ford Transit has been broken into and that something has been stolen, usually it is thousands of pounds worth of tools. I do feel for these guys. It can take days to get their businesses back on track and cause hardship and can lose them customers. They have to get vehicles repaired, source new tools, sometimes travelling long distances to pick up new tools and then there is dealing with insurance companies. If I hate dealing with insurance companies then these tradesmen must really get annoyed with insurers!

What is alarming about these new thefts that I am hearing about as a former business broker and the publisher of The Weekly Deals Free Sheet is this. These criminals are stealing very bulky items such as tobacco gantries, multi deck refrigerator units, fryers, display fridges and much more. I do know that these pieces of kit cost an awful lot of money to purchase for the publican, restauranteur, caterer or shop keeper. Then there are the sorts of losses I mention above, which can be no fun for these trades and the possibility of having to close such an expensive and costly unit can only strike fear into business owner.

The rate is alarming too, you see I am in contact with a large number of publicans, restauranteurs, caterers, hoteliers and shop keepers. I have heard of eight such thefts in the past 10 days!  I started writing this blog at 10:45 am on Sunday I have been interrupted a few times and while writing have been told that a shop keeper friend of mine has had a multi deck unit stolen overnight. He needs a new window, repairs to some display units that were damaged and some other repairs to his shop as well as a new multi deck unit. A lot of stock was thrown around as well. The new unit will cost £3,000 excluding VAT. However with everything else the total cost is close to £10,000! This makes 9 thefts in 11 days. Some of these trade items can cost over £5,000 each!

A business that has to close because of these thefts causes more costs and loss of customers who may well not come back again, that is future trade lost too. Most owners of businesses such as these report that usually and previously any break in or burglary would result in the perpetrators going straight for the tills and trying to raid them for cash even though most of these businesses do not keep cash on the premises at all let alone overnight and that cash use is diminishing in view of chip and pin use. Some report that the odd peckish or thirsty thief has helped themselves to a can of pop or a bar of chocolate!

The associated costs such as new glass for a custom front where the glass has been smashed can add more cost to the already rising cost of a theft and at some point this is going to push prices up for the man in the street. The shop keeper would have no option but to pass the cost by adding 10 pence to the price of a bottle of pop for example. The takeaway owner might have to add fifty or sixty pence to the price of a portion of fish and chips. This is where it starts to affect everyone. This is not a good thing. Prices for everything are always rising and wages do not rise enough to keep track and thus everyone is worse off.

Any owner of any business will tell you that currently things are very tough, this sort of crime adds to business problems and can cause other issues for the business owner such as health issues.

One wish is that the police get a grip on crime such as these thefts and tool theft and play their part in improving the business climate and make life easier and less stressful for the small business owner.

Life the small business owner is hard enough as it is and my other wish is that the rate and frequency of these thefts eases and allows more small business owners to go to sleep at night with one less thing to worry about!

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.

All The Way From Honiton In Devon

Yes folks, it looks like my little stalker issue is back. You see all the way from Honiton in Devon using an internet provider that is also famed for their movies and sports television channels is my current stalker who has taken delight in visiting a large part of my network in the past 60 hours. Visiting all 90 static pages and working their way through indexes and another 163 pieces out of nearly 1800 pieces of additional content. I do love lots of traffic but some people are so sad and creepy it is only fair to call them out here. 🙂

Happy 5th Birthday To This Website

Yes this website has been in existence now for five years. It has had five major redesigns in that time and has expanded from a three page website which was very basic into the significant beast that it is today with just under 2000 individual items of content. Continue reading