The UK’s double dip recession has led to some wacky transformations in the retail sector. Among the less welcome of these are the continuing transformation of central London into a shopping theme park. Having ruined parts of east London with Olympics developments, the planners now want to turn those parts of The City between Holborn and Cheapside into a so-called ‘shopper’s paradise’ too – so the suburban middle-class can have days out in town where they enjoy retail therapy a-go-go all the way from Oxford Street to Spitalfields.
Right now there is also a race on to open new (as well as revamp old) London stores before the start of the Olympics. One of the new to the UK market retailers is America lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret – their Bond Street store opens on 25 July. Given the ongoing obesity crisis maybe Bravissimo is where the retail trade should expect a real expansion in this sector of the market. Bravissimo sell lingerie, swimwear, clothing and nightwear for D to L cup women. There may or may not be a retail bonanza in London from tourists during the Olympics – but does anyone really expect this madness to continue afterwards?
Casting aside underwear and moving on to groceries, it is being suggested that the average UK consumer is now so broke that multi-buy offers (discounting for multiple purchases) may soon be a thing of the past. These days people are increasingly going out with a list of what they need for the week and will buy nothing else. No matter how good the offer, the impoverished majority are increasingly just not interested in buying anything more than their immediate needs. Hence the return of the once mighty budget supermarket Kwiksave – which closed down in 2007. Now a franchise operation owned by Costcutter, the first of the new Kwiksave convenience stores opened at 21 Market Street, Little Lever, Bolton, about a month ago. There are plans for a second revamped Kwiksave to open somewhere in Scotland soon.
Moving on again, I’m amazed that the likes of Watersones, HMV and JJB Sports have hung on in there on as UK chain stores. Waterstones is currently revamping it’s bookshops and doing what was previously thought unthinkable – selling Amazon Kindle readers. HMV has also turned more to flogging hardware – having seen music and DVD sales collapse. The JJB Sports plan is to have more exclusive product – it’s been making a huge loss and really ought to do the decent thing and close! It really can’t compete with the unashamedly cheap and nasty Sports Direct! But remember kids, ultimately it isn’t just these shops that are gonna die – capitalism itself can’t survive forever!
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!
Comment by Arnold Layne on 2012-06-15 12:18:05 +0000
Comment by John Causon on 2012-06-15 13:00:32 +0000
The market is dead and capitalism has no other god.
Comment by Andrew Lennon on 2012-06-15 13:22:17 +0000
“capitalism itself can’t survive forever” It’s going to be interesting as the number of souls on this rock increases and resources become progressively more scarce. The documentary Collapse is worth a watch.
Comment by Wang Min on 2012-06-15 15:51:27 +0000
Comment by Kasper Opstrup on 2012-06-15 21:05:35 +0000
ha, one of the things i noticed recently is how tk maxx stores are appearing all over city. small patches of suburbia sprouting in the center. next they’ll have to bulldoze the neighbouring buildings to make parking spaces cos people will need a car to drag away all the stuff they buy in one go. sort of like copenhagen which has been consciously provincialised during the past twenty years to make it more ‘family friendly’…
Comment by mistertrippy on 2012-06-15 22:20:33 +0000
Yeah it’s weird how most of Oxford Street now looks like a suburban high street would have done before the recession – and T. K Maxx discount brand fashion on Charing X Road and even in Kensington, who needs it! Andrew Lennon The thing not enough people say about the recession is that if it wasn’t just about the rich grabbing more resources then it would be good if everyone was cutting back on consumption…..
Comment by Leah Weller on 2012-06-16 00:17:55 +0000
I need some retail therapy right now!
Comment by News Hound on 2012-06-16 00:54:56 +0000
Allders which has been open in Croydon since 1862 and became the flagship store of a chain across England has gone into administration….
Comment by Maria Pérez-Pujazón on 2012-06-16 15:29:16 +0000
Victoria’s Secret shows what Americans like most are prophets. They always find them very late too…
Comment by Bargain Hunter on 2012-06-16 15:38:46 +0000
Every get the feeling you’ve been ripped-off after buying something in JJB Sports?
Comment by Hector Smith on 2012-06-16 16:21:20 +0000
Bravissmo catalogues are the best one-handed read you can find and they’re free. I can’t get enough of the models they use to sell their lingerie!
Comment by Callum McCarthy on 2012-06-16 20:17:47 +0000
Will this double dip bottom out or are we just heading for the bottom?
Comment by Dave Shrinkage on 2012-06-16 20:43:40 +0000
There’s someone behind you – looks like a store detective to me. And don’t you just hate the way store staff are trained to look you in the eye and ask if they can help if they think you look suspicious coz it is supposed to have the psychological effect of putting you off shoplifting….
Comment by Mark Pipes on 2012-06-16 22:22:19 +0000
Employee theft is as big a cause of shrinkage as shoplifting! Rock on!
Comment by Laurie Finn on 2012-06-16 22:39:52 +0000
The prices at JJB Sports are enough to make you wanna riot in protest!
Comment by Buck Naked on 2012-06-17 19:51:04 +0000
Is a double dip the opposite of a skinny dip?
Comment by Occupy Your Own Mind on 2012-06-17 20:57:09 +0000
Keep Cheapside cheap – oh it’s in The City and has expensive office space? Then make it cheap again! Occupy!
Comment by The Wiggler on 2012-06-17 21:09:49 +0000
You can dance the fat off and you can fuck the fat off – and doing both is best!
Comment by Pat Collier on 2012-06-18 16:49:44 +0000
Keep it clean!
Comment by Willy Wonker on 2012-06-18 17:15:33 +0000
From now on double dip means chocolate chip!