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|>>|| No. 18914
Department store Debenhams has officially gone into administration after the shop rejected plans by Sports Direct's Mike Asheley to save it.
FTI Consulting has now been appointed as administrators for the chain, whose shops will continue trading for now. Debenhams is expected to close 50 of its 165 stores in the future, but no timescale has been announced yet.
How come it seems like almost every high street shop is either in administration or on the brink of it?
|>>|| No. 18915
>How come it seems like almost every high street shop is either in administration or on the brink of it?
How much did you spend on Amazon and Ebay last month?
|>>|| No. 18916
The square root of fuck all. I did order a pair of trainers from ASOS, but that's only because my local Sports Direct don't stock K Swiss and when I went in JD Sports the lights were too bright, the music was too loud and the staff only seemed interested in talking to one another so I promptly left.
|>>|| No. 18917
Department stores are just a completely dead model and a lot of the high street simply isn't responding to the rise of commerce effectively.
I recently went in the local Debenhams (as the local Sports Direct was hiding inside it) - I mean that classic thing of the ground floor being full of beauty products and suchlike - it was completely empty (on a Saturday). People don't want to shop like this anymore.
|>>|| No. 18918
>I mean that classic thing of the ground floor being full of beauty products and suchlike
Where else will people go to get make-up tips from women caked in orange?
|>>|| No. 18920
I have. Is it popular with bright orange department store beauty assistants?
|>>|| No. 18921
>How come it seems like almost every high street shop is either in administration or on the brink of it?
Why would anyone go to a physical shop for the goods they sell when things arrive at their door for cheeper?
How could anyone afford the rent and staff on a space that big without charging more then online shops?
The answer to the question is very simple really. The high street market for their products is dead.
(A good day to you Sir!)
|>>|| No. 18922
Is there such a thing as social internet shopping?
A veneer website that lets a group of friends (and possibly a bot / fleshbag assistant) roam websites, with voice chat, interaction, pushing coupons / bargains / influencer bollocks? Skim a few percent off purchases through affiliate links, sell it as the online high street.
Seems like the sort of shite that ought to exist, but I've not heard of such a thing.
|>>|| No. 18923
All high street shops will sell exclusively fast food, key cutting, haircuts and spray tans within the next 3 years.
Also probably shoes because it does help a lot to be able to try those on. And alcohol.
|>>|| No. 18924
When the cost difference isn't massive I sometimes go to a physical shop because I'm too impatient for online shopping. They're probably not going to make a profit on that alone, but you'd think with some argos-y integration (but with more allowance for showrooming) that would be a possible moneymaker.
There's got to be some irony to the fact that while the internet has rapidly reduced our tolerance for delays in communication, obtaining media, etc, we've somehow become much more tolerant of waiting for products to be delivered versus just going to the store and buying them.
|>>|| No. 18925
I think it's more about time expended than waiting times. If you go into town to buy a shirt from Debenhams, it takes a big chunk out of your day. You need to get there, find somewhere to park, find the right bit of the shop, wait in a queue to get served and drive home.
You can order something off ASOS whenever and wherever you like - while you're watching telly, while you're sat on the bus, while you're having a big shit. It'll be at your door or waiting for collection at your local corner shop the next day.
It's a difference of perhaps two hours versus a few minutes. There aren't many circumstances where I absolutely need something from the high street today rather than tomorrow, but there are a lot of circumstances where I just don't have the time or the energy for a shopping trip.
There's also the issue of choice. Online, it's easy to find a button-down shirt in XXS or a bra in 48J. It's easy to find a classic pair of Sta-Prest or a rare pair of Yeezys. The kind of stuff you used to have to hunt down is now just a couple of clicks away.
Don't forget frothy coffee. Gallons and gallons of frothy coffee.
Watch your missus use Facebook/Whatsapp/Whatever. I'll bet that she's constantly sharing links to stuff.
|>>|| No. 18926
>we've somehow become much more tolerant of waiting for products to be delivered versus just going to the store and buying them.
There is a cost difference vs effort required vs speed of gratification ratio turns out we care more about how little something costs and not getting off our arses then waiting half a week for delivery.
|>>|| No. 18927
A fund manager explained to me a year or two ago that town centres are increasingly becoming places you go out for a social experience; to go to the cinema, bowling, for a meal, an escape room, etc.
Many large retailers are keeping a high street presence as effectively a marketing exercise; they're hoping that when people go into town they'll see their branding and that'll stick in their heads for when they go home and do their online shopping. It's why the likes of Argos are massively reducing the size of their physical stores.
|>>|| No. 18928
Greater Manchester towns which turned into suburbs of Manchester have high streets which consist mainly of pound shops, charity shops and phone shops. Pound shops are still a decent model because they can undercut Amazon, considering the postage cost.
|>>|| No. 18929
You don't have to contend with crowds, homeless people and charity muggers in the run up to using ASOS.
|>>|| No. 18931
The problem with places like Debenhams is that they're selling products that no one wants at prices no one wants to pay and in places no one wants to go.
I used to pop into one where I use to live because I could cut through it on the way to the main high-street. But the selection was complete bollocks. They had decent enough shirts and jeans, but nothing ever particularly stylish or eye catching. Nothing wrong with it but the type of people who would go for those styles are far more likely to get something from Sainsburys or Asda for a third of the price.
|>>|| No. 18932
I get work shirts from there when they're in the post-Christmas sales. Everything else seems aimed at middle aged people.
|>>|| No. 18935
I remember my mum used to take me there when I needed new clothes in those big sale nights they had. I once bought a pair of sunglasses there when I was about 21 that I was proper chuffed with as well, but they broke within a few weeks and it taught me the harsh life lesson that you're never allowed nice things.
It's not entirely surprising that places like Debenhams and BHS have gone bust. They've been increasingly irrelevant since at least the late 90s. The higher end ones like Harvey Nicks or John Lewis etc will keep chugging along on the vague sort of prestige they have- Their clientele doesn't mind paying over the odds because that's practically the entire point of shopping there. But the ones aimed at ordinary folk are going to struggle.
Next up is probably Marks and Sparks. It pretends to be a posh department store but everyone knows it isn't, it's the sort of place tossers go to try and make themselves feel a bit more upper class.
I wonder what's going to become of shopping centres and retail parks in twenty-third years time. Will those once great cathedrals of consumerism fall into ruin or is there always going to be a place for retail? Is it specifically "high street" retail that's suffering?
|>>|| No. 18936
A giant Cancer Research charity shop "superstore" has opened in my nearest retail park. The size of it really diffuses that charity shop smell.
|>>|| No. 18937
Their books are all 50p. It's nearly like a library, if all books accrued a 50p fine but you can keep them for as long as you want, including forever. It's less faffing about than the real library and worrying about getting things back for a certain time.
|>>|| No. 18939
>It's not entirely surprising that places like Debenhams and BHS have gone bust. They've been increasingly irrelevant since at least the late 90s.
BHS hasn't been pushed out by changing market forces, Primark is just better at being them.
>Next up is probably Marks and Sparks. It pretends to be a posh department store but everyone knows it isn't, it's the sort of place tossers go to try and make themselves feel a bit more upper class.
If you've identified a sterotypical audiance, then they obviously have an audiance, and one I don't see going away any time soon.
M&S I think is considerably less likely to disappear, they have diversified their portfolio as an upper end supermarket,specifically the place white collar workers go to buy their lunch and again they aren't going away anytime soon.
|>>|| No. 18947
Maplin took the piss with prices but they sold things you'd be struggling to get anywhere else on the same day.
That should have been their motto.
>We take the piss with prices but sometimes you need something on the same day.
|>>|| No. 18949
No, that would be:
>We take the piss with prices but sometimes you need something but can't leave the premises.
Cunts wanted £2 for a bottle of water at the airport and they were the only place you could buy one after the gates you aren't allowed to bring fluid through.
|>>|| No. 18950
Jokes on you. That's why I fill up on water beforehand and piss it out into bottles once I'm through the gates; if you drink enough then it comes out as water at the other end. You won't see me getting my pants pulled down.
|>>|| No. 18951
I remember having a simular experience buying lighters from them at airports on my way out.
|>>|| No. 18952
What if they use one of their imaging machines to determine there's water inside your body?
|>>|| No. 18954
I know it's not true of every airport but at Heathrow and Gatwick they have drinking fountains in the waiting area on the other side of the gates. The rules say you're not allowed to take X amount of liquid through, they don't say anything about empty bottles.
|>>|| No. 18955
This was a smaller airport. It was that or take your chances with the taps in the bogs with NOT DRINKING WATER signs next to them.
|>>|| No. 18956
I know someone who worked for Maplin as an installer. They were encouraged to take stock home with them so they could test it out and be familiar with it for their day jobs, but the company didn't keep tabs on it. When it went tits up the administrators wrote out to them all saying that they understood they had stock but didn't know what, so could they either return it or confirm what they have, keep it and pay for it. Most people played dumb. He had thousands of pounds worth of stock; laptops, tablets, CCTV systems, camera doorbells, etc.
|>>|| No. 18957
Same here. The difference is I wasn't encouraged to take it home and test it, I just hid it in the cardboard bin and put it in my car at the end of a shift, then wrote it off about a week later as shoplifting shrinkage. Internal theft was endemic in that place, but they really were asking for it. That company is a prime example of incompetent management tanking an otherwise very robust business- Investors taking over and trying to force it into a different market. If they had left it alone the place would still be ticking along selling resistors and aerial connectors to this day.
The same is happening with one of my favourite pubs at the moment. The "brewery", who are really just a property management company, are forcing a refurbishment and a commitment to a food menu, on a dingy back alley pub that's been a cornerstone of the city's alternative scene for decades. Never-mind that there's a massive Wetherspoons next door to compete with, nevermind the fact it'll kill years of carefully cultivated regular trade and word of mouth reputation overnight, they must have another cosy family gastropub and their spreadsheet says that should be the one. Anyone with common sense would be able to tell them it's a barmy decision that's only going to hurt business, but these cunts can only see in projections and market trends.
It's this short sighted kind of business mindset that's killing high street chain after high street chain.
|>>|| No. 18958
I'm told that in some places they installed search buttons that you were supposed to press on your way out, and if you got a red light you were supposed to be checked to make sure you weren't nicking anything. Understandably this was difficult to enforce against the staff when the managers themselves were pulling the same scam.
|>>|| No. 18959
>The same is happening with one of my favourite pubs at the moment. The "brewery", who are really just a property management company, are forcing a refurbishment and a commitment to a food menu
This is incredibly familiar. Anyone who works there under the new company we be constantly berated for not hitting targets until the place closes, and a director can blame it on the employees.
Is it Greene King?
|>>|| No. 18960
Is it surprising though?
I can sit in my underpants looking for what I need and instantly read reviews of usually hundreds of people, or if not tens of people, easily compare prices, products and options. It will arrive at my house usually on a day I want or at a pick up point if I'm not in. Done deal.
If you go to the high street you have to sit in traffic to get there, find a parking space, pay ludicrous amounts for parking, have some overzealous parking attendant give you a ticket anyway, have some inconsiderate fellow shopper bash your doors in getting their kids in the car, fight through hordes of people who have no other plans for the day other than to wade through the shops as slowly as possible to pass the time, have polarised attendants who either are really psuhy or completely disinterested, then fight to get through the queues.
I find it an utterly depressing experience, I really do. I feel terrible for the people losing their jobs though.
|>>|| No. 18962
>I'm told that in some places they installed search buttons that you were supposed to press on your way out, and if you got a red light you were supposed to be checked to make sure you weren't nicking anything
They had these when I worked at Tesco. I don't know if they were planning on getting them anyway, it was a brand new store, but they were installed not long after someone was caught trying to take several bottles of whisky home with them before it was even open to the public.
I had to be searched a few times. The only occasional I had a serious grilling was when I had my university bag with me because it was full of textbooks and notepads. They weren't even taking the piss; the security guards were genuinely suspicious of having pads full of handwritten notes.
|>>|| No. 18963
It would also be literally pointless because nobody's thick enough to try stealing things by just sticking it under their coat on the way out at 5 o'clock.
One lass got caught at a nearby shop, but she was being thick enough to stockpile the things she was going to steal within the building, where they were inevitably found, prompting a review of the CCTV. She must have been slack because that particular branch was huge and had dozens of camera blind spots, because they only ever equipped shops with the naff £299 16 channel DVRs and £39 cameras they sold.
|>>|| No. 18969
One place I worked we found a stockpile, clearly the same thing, someone planning to sneak out with them later, of stuff like the cheapo staff room biscuits, fairy liquid, loo roll and tea bags. It was so crushingly depressing that I just put the money on the books myself and left the stuff there.
|>>|| No. 27021
There will be loads of others - it's just that Mike Ashley is ruthless enough to start the cutting now, rather than in a couple of months time.
|>>|| No. 27022
Mike Ashley lost his stake in Debenhams when they went into administration last year. He is said to be looking at buying some of their stores when they try to offload them.
|>>|| No. 27028
The high street as we know it is dead on its feet, and coronavirus is merely going to be the stone that knocks out the last few shambling corpses. The businesses that survive will simply be the ones you've got a reason to go out in person to, instead of just going online.
This is why the government is pissing directly in the wind and our economy is taking a battering. They're trying to perform CPR to revive a heart attack victim, when said heart attack victim was already on the end of life pathway for their terminal bowel cancer.
|>>|| No. 27029
Agreed - our high streets were already (mostly) a dull mixture of charity shops, betting chains and the odd estate agent; none of it was high quality retail 12 months ago, and in 12 months time it will be completely decimated. I've got no doubt the hospitality sector will eventually come back - we all like eating out and going for a drink and a dance, and no amount of internet delivery business will change that - but the rest?
|>>|| No. 27030
It's all Brow Bars, Tattoo Palours and Charity Shops around here. Oh, and some Crystal Maze type thing called "Clue HQ" which I'm surprised to see hasn't been boarded up yet.
|>>|| No. 27031
>Oh, and some Crystal Maze type thing called "Clue HQ" which I'm surprised to see hasn't been boarded up yet.
I think escape rooms and going out for experiences, dining out and the like, is long-term where the high street will end up.
You also missed Turkish barbers off your list.
|>>|| No. 27033
>escape rooms and going out for experiences, dining out and the like, is long-term where the high street will end up
That plus the organic butcher, lipstick vegan greengrocer and the artisan bakery that everyone likes the look of, but nobody can afford to shop in.
|>>|| No. 27037
I have nothing against the hardworking corner shop merchants of our country but I never choose to go in one. Of course no-one reads newspapers anymore and everything else is low quality/out of date from weird brands you don't see anywhere else. It's like only in general retail are the independent shops permitted to be shitter than their national chain equivalents. That and greasy spoon cafes I guess.
|>>|| No. 27038
I'm trying to decide if this is a biker gang, a political activist group or an itinerant ethnic minority.
I read newspapers. Have you tried doing a crossword on your phone? Beyond grim.
|>>|| No. 27043
Not relevant to the conversation but hopefully Mike Ashley is sweating at the moment.
A huge Amazon warehouse is opening just down the road from his Shirebrook sweat shop and Amazon are offering a lot more pay.
Talking to some people who work at Ashleys warehouse nearly the entire staff is looking to revamp hopefully forcing him to offer better pay and shock horror an actual contract
|>>|| No. 27046
Amazon is a great company to work for, as long as you're not in one of the warehouses. Your friends might get paid more, but they're about to learn the meaning of "work hard".
|>>|| No. 29133
>JD Sports is expected to pull out of talks over a rescue deal for department store chain Debenhams on Tuesday.
>It was the last remaining bidder for the firm, which is in administration, and up until the end of last week had been closing in on a deal. But retail giant Arcadia is the biggest concession operator in Debenhams and its collapse is understood to have been a factor in JD Sports' decision. Without a buyer, Debenhams could be wound down, risking thousands of jobs.
Looks like this is finally it for Debenhams.
|>>|| No. 29146
Time I actually get onto the website everything I want will be gone. I bet they won't even have big discounts considering everyone will want to come away with something.
|>>|| No. 29152
I've been dressing myself almost exclusively via Debenhams since I was about 22, when I learned that women don't really notice or care how you dress, as long as it looks deliberate - and some of them are very much into the depressed dad look anyway.
It will be a shame to see them go, but I fully understand why, I have not once stood in a queue at a Debenhams in those last nine years.
|>>|| No. 29153
Comparing to Amazon, I'm not actually sure I saved any money and now feel a bit silly. At least I finally bought something from the place after all those times I just walked through to get to the shopping centre.
Watch everything arrive now in the wrong sizes.
|>>|| No. 29160
How's your polo shirt collection? I have quite the selection - Mantaray, Rocha, St Duffer, all picked up in the sales.
|>>|| No. 30872
Boohoo buying the Debenhams brand names but not the physical stores and Asos doing the same with Arcadia brands like Topshop and Miss Selfridge, there won't be any high street left at this rate.
|>>|| No. 30874
Is it accelerationist to like this sort thing? I feel like it will get us closer to UBI since there won't be any jobs for lower income people.
|>>|| No. 30877
Give it a few years and we'll all be slaves for the early retirees.
Coronavirus will wipe through the elderly, which means that those in their fifties and sixties will inherit the wealth of their parents and it'll have barely been reduced by having to pay for care fees. Care homes up and down the land will close as there's fewer elderly people needing their arses wiping, leading to hundreds of thousands of people suddenly without a career.
The population pyramid means that those in retirement are the ones who have to be appeased to win elections. We'll be at the whim of these very wealthy early retirees. Don't be surprised if sedan chairs make a comeback as getting carried around by a couple of paupers becomes the latest status symbol.
|>>|| No. 30879
>Don't be surprised if sedan chairs make a comeback as getting carried around by a couple of paupers becomes the latest status symbol.
I've had worse jobs TBH.
|>>|| No. 30880
I'd never actually considered it before but Wham! did some good fuckin pop music.
What a banger.
|>>|| No. 32067
I assume this is a result of a recent bad review by a poster on one of Britain's more popular discussion forums?
|>>|| No. 32072
I'm not surprised Thornton's is going. Their chocolate is both poor quality and expensive.
|>>|| No. 34379
US fashion giant Gap has confirmed it plans to close all its 81 stores in the UK and Ireland and go online-only. The firm said it would close all its stores "in a phased manner" between the end of August and the end of September. This includes 19 stores that were already scheduled to close in July as their leases were expiring.
The company has not disclosed how many employees the closures will affect, but will shortly start a consultation process with the staff. The firm said it was "not exiting the UK market" and would continue to offer a web-based store when all the shops had closed.
A Gap spokesperson said the decision followed a strategic review of its European business. As a result, Gap is also looking to offload its stores in France and Italy.
|>>|| No. 34380
Do people still wear their clothes?
I think the pandemic has finished off a bunch of zombie businesses that the internet was already ruining; same goes for the Top Shop empire - young people don't buy their clothes from those stores anymore.
|>>|| No. 34382
I like their jeans selection and I bought a couple of T Shirts there that fit great.
|>>|| No. 34383
Hopefully this will be the end of those ridiculously skinny jean shops and other places that do not cater to me. Never again will I pick up a pair of trousers in my size to try on only to find that they don't go past my thighs.
|>>|| No. 34572
Over a year later and I'm still getting daily emails about the Debenhams sale. They're even having a summer sale at the moment where there doesn't seem to be much discount at all going on:
Was it all a ruse?
|>>|| No. 34573
Debenhams is now an online only store owned by Boohoo. There won't be any further fire sales.
|>>|| No. 34795
>A fund manager explained to me a year or two ago that town centres are increasingly becoming places you go out for a social experience; to go to the cinema, bowling, for a meal, an escape room, etc.
The experiences replacing closed High Street stores
I'm taking a spin on a go-kart track with a difference. It's the old beauty hall of the Debenhams store in south-west London. The escalators are the only trace of the former department store which remain. All four floors are now being transformed into a high-tech entertainment venue. As we filmed, shoppers stopped to take photos when the shutters briefly opened giving a glimpse of the flashing lights and builders beavering away inside.
"We're creating a department store of fun," says Michael Harrison, the co-founder of Gravity which is due to open on 1 August. We have three bars, two restaurants, go-karting, a bowling alley, huge screens to watch sporting events and adventure golf. This is the future of the High Street. It's about experience," he says.
Michael has no shortage of retail landlords now ringing him up offering him potential new locations. They're grappling with the need to rethink, or repurpose, empty shops. Latest figures suggest one in seven stores, on average, are lying vacant. And in some places the number is far higher.
|>>|| No. 34796
From anecdotal evidence, a big part of the problem is landlords trying to hold onto the same prices they let for before despite the massive glut in empty units.
I know of a family run business thats been profitable enough for years, even through covid, being forced to relocate as the building owner is selling off the land to build houses, the cost cost of retail units in the town are eye wateringly high and they'd lose customers because there's no parking except the expensive multistory.
|>>|| No. 34797
I've seen all this before going back to the 00s. There's only a few businesses that can work on this model and they're gyms, cinemas and casinos whose clientele don't wander. These complexes soon rack up empty units and turn into ghost towns because the fundamental problem remains of a lack of foot traffic.
In London it's even worse because you have to compete with the more flexible Box Cities and a hundred or so dedicated businesses. Sporting event screens is the worst one because they're everywhere in London and some of them are a bit better than watching it at Debenhams.
|>>|| No. 34798
If you want a picture of the future, imagine the Trocadero re-opening under new management - for ever.
|>>|| No. 34799
If I wanted to buy a commercial unit just for a laugh, what would it run me? Not in the centre, but maybe up a quiet alleyway in the surrounding inner city. I guess I'd have to pay rent, and then business rates on it (even though I don't have a business)? What other costs are involved? Security and maintenance?
|>>|| No. 34800
Wouldn't be the worst thing. I assume the margins on such an enterprise are shit but I do miss that place.
|>>|| No. 34801
Commercial property can be an absolute minefield. If you just want somewhere to fettle your motorbike or hide from your wife, I'd suggest ringing around your local self-storage places - a lot of them offer units with power sockets that are suitable for use as a workshop.
|>>|| No. 34802
Business rates should be rebated to zero at the moment (and have been for at least the last 5 years)
Bear in mind paying business rates (even at zero) doesn't get you any services like bins. It might get you some furlough payments though if a pandemic should happen along.
|>>|| No. 34803
Just had a look at prices round here and a 600sqft garage+box room down an alley is going for £50K. Small retail spaces like old corner shops are going for around £250-500K
|>>|| No. 34807
I don't think you're allowed to live there, before you try it. There are zoning laws and things which say buildings can't be used for residential purposes if they're businesses.
|>>|| No. 34808
I met a girl once who was living illegally in a warehouse that had been converted into a small commune, as it was an affordable way to live in London, and was championed at the time by trendy twenty-somethings coming over from Europe.
|>>|| No. 34814
As otherlad points out, that will almost certainly not be freehold. I've been looking for a bigger unit to buy for fucking years, but all you really seem to be able to do is buy a pile of bricks on someone else's land, that you then pay ground rent on, often more than it would be just to rent a unit privately.
You're definitely not, but there's also no rule against having an 8-10 hour nap in your workshop. I stayed the night at mine when I had it plenty of times and nobody ever shopped me. It had a bog and shower in it anyway.
|>>|| No. 34815
I know a few art spaces in semi-industrial areas that have people living in them for ... I don't know how long but they always seem to be there.
|>>|| No. 34818
I'm curious how squatting rights intersect with planning rights, and if that's getting abused. If some interest wanted an industrial area turned into a residential development, could they secretly fund a commune to live in that area and "allow" them to build and develop amenities for a decade and then turn around and "buy them out" and go ham because now it's residential?
|>>|| No. 34821
You could in theory, but you wouldn't really need to. The new reforms to the planning system give the presumed right to convert most commercial properties to residential use. Council planning departments have a very short list of grounds to object to such a conversion, otherwise they have to give you permission.
If you wanted to develop on a large scale you'd need to jump through some hoops with regards to transport impacts, your development needs to have natural light in every habitable room, but otherwise there's really nothing they can do to stop you.
I'm currently looking for a suitable light industrial unit to convert, because I've always wanted a house with three-phase power and a loading dock.
|>>|| No. 34822
You're still constrained by building standards, though. If you're planning to build hutches for students, they have to be able to stretch their legs out and express natural behaviours such as shitting in buckets. It's a low bar.
It's going to be fascinating to see some of the horrendous conversions. My local council already (8 years ago?) converted a load of their city centre offices into student hovels in a strange arms-length deal. The conversions done with cardboard, string and piss buckets will be much more fun.
I'm pretty much in favour of it as a plan - have people actually live in city centres again, it's just the implementation that's going to be grim at times.
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