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Author Topic: Sad news for Opti  (Read 1594 times)

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The Battery Boy

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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #45 on: 07 July 2019, 14:57:18 »

No, sorry TB, that is not the full story.  Out of town shopping centres, high parking charges, and, the big one, online business, has been the crippling factor behind the high street decline, and indeed in retail units generally. ;)
Online has had 3 parts of zero impact. That stats clearly show that online sales growth has nowhere near filled the drop in bricks&mortar sales. Its about 20% of the deficit in sales from 3 years ago.

By "high street" I was being lazy, and was referring to old high streets, big shopping centres and retail parks. Mainly because I hate the term bricks and mortar  :-[. Although explicitly leaving out "essentials" shops like grocers.

As MigV6 points out, business rates are unrealistic, but also rents are.  They were manageable even a small number of years back, but footfall has fallen off a cliff, and add to that that footfall to sales ratio has dropped dramatically.  Without sales, these (ridiculously high - but local governments and landlords are greedy) rates and rents will send companies under. No matter what size.  Its well known that after Debenhams go, John Lewis is next. Around 1000 shops a week are closing.

Essentially, sales have reduced because of 2 categories of people:

1) The majority - Those that simply have significantly less disposable income now than a few years ago, once bills are paid and food is put on the table.
2) Those that live far more comfortably, but in this period of uncertainty*, are putting it to one side for a rainy day.

Go to the once thriving retail park in Banburyshire where Maplins used to be (cant remember the name of it), and its dead easy to park, as the carpark is near empty, even on a Saturday. Banbury's indoor Shopping Centre (Castle Quays?) is also easy to park and walk around in, gone are the days it was that busy on a Saturday, just getting from one end to the other was a challenge. And its traditional high street is like most others now, just charity shops and coffee houses.




*not just Brexit, but a realisation that the decade or so of very cheap mortgages and loans are coming to an end
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #46 on: 07 July 2019, 15:49:05 »

Its a different story around here at out of town retail parks. They are always jammed with cars and people, and the local Sainsburys, which is huge, is the same story. Colchester town centre is definitely dying though, despite the fact that according to the press, Colchester is the fastest growing town in the country, which imo, is not a good thing.
Rush hour around the area isn't much better than London.
I try to avoid Colchester and the areas 3 to 4 miles around it if I can, but the problem is swmbo loves it, because theres lots of shops.  ::) ;D
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Lizzie Zoom

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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #47 on: 07 July 2019, 15:55:13 »

No, sorry TB, that is not the full story.  Out of town shopping centres, high parking charges, and, the big one, online business, has been the crippling factor behind the high street decline, and indeed in retail units generally. ;)
Online has had 3 parts of zero impact. That stats clearly show that online sales growth has nowhere near filled the drop in bricks&mortar sales. Its about 20% of the deficit in sales from 3 years ago.

By "high street" I was being lazy, and was referring to old high streets, big shopping centres and retail parks. Mainly because I hate the term bricks and mortar  :-[. Although explicitly leaving out "essentials" shops like grocers.

As MigV6 points out, business rates are unrealistic, but also rents are.  They were manageable even a small number of years back, but footfall has fallen off a cliff, and add to that that footfall to sales ratio has dropped dramatically.  Without sales, these (ridiculously high - but local governments and landlords are greedy) rates and rents will send companies under. No matter what size.  Its well known that after Debenhams go, John Lewis is next. Around 1000 shops a week are closing.

Essentially, sales have reduced because of 2 categories of people:

1) The majority - Those that simply have significantly less disposable income now than a few years ago, once bills are paid and food is put on the table.
2) Those that live far more comfortably, but in this period of uncertainty*, are putting it to one side for a rainy day.

Go to the once thriving retail park in Banburyshire where Maplins used to be (cant remember the name of it), and its dead easy to park, as the carpark is near empty, even on a Saturday. Banbury's indoor Shopping Centre (Castle Quays?) is also easy to park and walk around in, gone are the days it was that busy on a Saturday, just getting from one end to the other was a challenge. And its traditional high street is like most others now, just charity shops and coffee houses.

*not just Brexit, but a realisation that the decade or so of very cheap mortgages and loans are coming to an end

Unfortunately everything IS affecting sales TB, but when you do have a steady rise in online business then the growth percentages that a bricks and mortar shop requires to stay viable hurts, and hurts very badly. 

That is what has mainly hurt the big stores as they can longer justify, and keep that essential viability going, with huge square footage of space that requires staffing, stocking, heating and lighting, let alone the usual 5 year cycle of replenishment of fixtures and fittings. That is what has meant the stores are closing and will continue to close as the growth in business is not there for those retailers to even give any indication of hope to them that the market will change, regardless of how much disposable income is available.  Any retail growth will, I repeat, come in the form of online business.

Just take myself, a loyal retailer believing in shops.  I have spent over the last few days 100 online with ebay and Amazon, on goods I would have purchased even 3 years ago from the likes of Halfords or the like.  My grocery shopping is still with Sainsbury's as the online offer does not suit me, at present.  But crucially so much else, even with the bricks and mortar retailers, is more and more being ordered and purchased online byme, as it is with millions of others.  That is why the likes of M&S have suffered so much as their online presence was slow to take off.  But, even with the online business your range and prices, which has been a failing of M&S for some years, is still absolutely crucial, in store or online.  The online businesses in particular has been very good at quickly meeting competitors offers and winning extra custom, but it is still true in the retail business that if that offer fails you will decline.  With online 'stores' which can be multi-million pound businesses or independent traders, popping up so easily and customers finding it so straightforward to find them online, without even leaving the home (their trump card) then they are going to win.  They are the future.

Just to emphasis what I mean in terms of online business affecting the bricks and mortar stores, not then just the high street as you first stated, please see the following:
https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/timeseries/j4mc/drsi

It shows that the percentage of online business in the whole of the retail sector rose to a impressive 21.6%, and only recently dipped to 18.6%. although you can see, in spite of the "difficult trading conditions" for all, the TREND is constantly upwards.

Believe me, if you are a bricks and mortar retail business manager operating at the highest level as I was, these figures would give me nightmares because, as I stated before, they mean your very future life blood, growth, has gone.  Indeed, on those figures you may well not keep your retail units afloat.  Hence the big name store closures we have already seen.

Even if disposable income increases to the levels previously seen, it will be in the pockets of the younger generations. They are the very ones who will stoke the online retail business and increase brick and mortar store closures.  This is what Board of Directors of high street and elsewhere chains have come to recognise, with the only action open to them taking place. Closures and massive staff redundancies, if they are lucky! :'( :'(

« Last Edit: 07 July 2019, 16:02:50 by Lizzie Zoom »
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Lizzie Zoom

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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #48 on: 07 July 2019, 15:59:58 »

..........................and, as for landlords cutting rents; that is only a short term measure, a bandage over a massive hemorrhage.  It is not viable for landlords to only receive very small rents in for massive areas of square footage that they own.  You will see an increasing level of "change of use" or complete demolition of those buildings as they look towards other viable uses for the buildings or land; in other words the housing we so desperately require in this country. ;)
« Last Edit: 07 July 2019, 16:04:14 by Lizzie Zoom »
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Doctor Gollum

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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #49 on: 07 July 2019, 16:51:27 »

Most of the office space in Horsham is being turned into flats. Unfortunately, because this process is relatively expensive, so are the flats ::)
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #50 on: 07 July 2019, 16:53:39 »

Most of the office space in Horsham is being turned into flats. Unfortunately, because this process is relatively expensive, so are the flats ::)

Yes and the fact they will usually be located in the centre of towns, many very major ones, then the prices will be high.
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #51 on: 07 July 2019, 16:59:36 »

Horsham? Major? I don't think so...  ;D
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #52 on: 07 July 2019, 17:29:31 »

Horsham? Major? I don't think so...  ;D

No, not Horsham, never Horsham!! :o :o ;D ;D
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #53 on: 07 July 2019, 18:27:12 »

We don't desperately need lots more houses in this country. We desperately need less people.  ;)
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Field Marshal Dr. Opti

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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #54 on: 07 July 2019, 19:31:10 »

We don't desperately need lots more houses in this country. We desperately need less people;)

I believe TB has a plan. :)
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #55 on: 07 July 2019, 19:33:25 »

We don't desperately need lots more houses in this country. We desperately need less people;)

I believe TB has a plan. :)

If you watched Years and Years there is always one solution, but even for me that is far, far, too right wing! :o :o :o :o
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #56 on: 07 July 2019, 19:39:52 »

We don't desperately need lots more houses in this country. We desperately need less people;)

I believe TB has a plan. :)

I have a plan.  :)

It seems that all the lefty remainer types are convinced that that nice Mr Farage is a horrible fascist.  ::)

So if we all vote for the Brexit Party at the next election and he becomes our PM in the autumn, maybe they'll all leave in droves!  :y
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #57 on: 07 July 2019, 19:46:49 »

We don't desperately need lots more houses in this country. We desperately need less people;)

I believe TB has a plan. :)


I have a plan.  :)

It seems that all the lefty remainer types are convinced that that nice Mr Farage is a horrible fascist.  ::)

So if we all vote for the Brexit Party at the next election and he becomes our PM in the autumn, maybe they'll all leave in droves!  :y

Just give them all a Jaguar if they go to live in mainland Europe.

In fact that would be attractive to me, as it would resolve all current issues with the Omega :D :D ;)

There, I have put this thread back on track! :o :o ;D ;D ;)
« Last Edit: 07 July 2019, 19:48:36 by Lizzie Zoom »
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #58 on: 07 July 2019, 20:25:05 »

We don't desperately need lots more houses in this country. We desperately need less people;)

I believe TB has a plan. :)

I have a plan.  :)

It seems that all the lefty remainer types are convinced that that nice Mr Farage is a horrible fascist.  ::)

So if we all vote for the Brexit Party at the next election and he becomes our PM in the autumn, maybe they'll all leave in droves!  :y
Or he will prove them correct... Either way, they won't be here anymore ::)
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Re: Sad news for Opti
« Reply #59 on: 08 July 2019, 18:32:45 »

Even if disposable income increases to the levels previously seen, it will be in the pockets of the younger generations.
But its not looking like increasing for the foreseeable future.  And that's why small retailers can't get business loans from the bank to see them over, and large retailers are really struggling to get anyone to invest.

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