Christmas may be Cancelled

If there is no upside to Brexit then a No Deal Brexit plumbs the depth of stupidity. And yet, two men who claim to be intelligent are currently racing to utter the most damaging nonsense and not bothering to hide the fact that they have no clue about what is going to happen. From “F**k Business” Boris to Hunt’s “destroying businesses and livelihoods is a price worth paying and I will look them in the eye and tell them that as they sign on the dole” (I paraphrase a little), we have people who do not understand the real world. A No Deal Brexit will destroy our supply chains. Brexit itself will mangle them badly (see my post from over three years ago on this). People will lose jobs, livelihoods and in the worst-case scenario, lives, if this no-deal rubbish goes ahead.

So why does Christmas matter? When Brexit was in March, retailers began to stockpile products as and when they could. You can do this for non-perishable products. But it comes at a price; this price is additional costs to businesses (and eventually consumers) from tying up capital in stock, a revised/ damaged cash flow, additional handling etc. and the cost of renting warehouse space. The March Brexit date approached, it became apparent such space was running out and thus, such a strategy became even more costly or impossible. The short term was sort of covered and muddled through with the real pain delayed.

And then we didn’t leave (hurrah)!

But we might leave at Halloween (boo, hiss)!

Now October is not March in so many ways, but in one special way for retailers. It is seven months closer to Christmas and for some retailers it almost is their Christmas. If they have not got their stock in place by October then they may never get it fully in place. And to do that they need warehouse space – loads and loads of it. And they need supply chains to work seamlessly.

The problem in this is sort of obvious, but last week retail leaders felt the need to begin to queue up to point to the bleeding obvious. If all our warehouse space is full with Brexit preparation stock then there is no space for the Christmas stock (and they are different). If it is not full, then it will be more expensive or difficult. If you wanted to pick the worst time for Brexit (yes I know any time is just the worst) then it is the end of October. Warehouse space will not be available and that assumes you can get the products into the country in the first place.

Christmas is of course the time of year that retailers see the main bulk of their sales and their profits. Get it wrong and the business really suffers or in many cases could have to close down. A bad Christmas can be business ending. Throw in a disastrous Christmas on a Brexit addled economy and you get a major catastrophe at individual, business and sector level. We’ll help, the politicians parrot; but ask them “how”? and they clam up. Clueless.

Our political clowns don’t care. “It’s soooo worth it,” they repeat on a loop. It’s not; it’s really not. Disrupt our supply chains to the extent proposed (without a care as well) and people will suffer big time. And I hope people wreak revenge when they can. These politicians deserve their comeuppance. And then when they are put out of their jobs, look them in the eye and say it is worth it. By then it will be.

Borders, tariffs, WTO etc. have had their moment in the Brexit shambles. But it is the scarcity of our supply that we should be worried about. Hence the renewed panic this month about medicines. And still we are nowhere near concerned enough.

I don’t think the answer is, as one of my colleagues proposed, to cancel Christmas on the basis it is too German or suspiciously continental. But the way it’s going it is far more sensible than the suggestions coming out of our politicians mouths.

 

Posted in Brexit, Christmas, Disasters, distribution, European Union, Finance, Frictionless, Government, Logistics, Politicians, Producers, Resilience, Stock, Suppliers, Supply Chains, Uncategorized, Warehouses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Food and Retailing Cultures: Zaragoza

On a few occasions before, I have come back from somewhere and commented on the quality of food and/or retail culture that I have observed. I have then contrasted it with our own paucity of offer. I know this can be an unfair contrast and there are good things being done here, but it is a contrast nonetheless. Whether it is Lisbon (Part One and Part Two), Helsinki, (twice), Rome or in this case Zaragoza, it puts our cities in the shade.

The latest EAERCD (don’t ask) conference was held in Zaragoza last week. We flew to Madrid and then caught a non-stop train to Zaragoza; it clocked over 300km/h on the way and was light years ahead of anything in the UK. Contrast One.

On the last day there we did have a couple of hours to wander the centre and old town and two further contrasts caught my eye. The first was the food. Italy gets most of the plaudits but the food culture in Spain gives it a run for its money. This was brought home in Zaragoza Central Market.

The Market itself appears to be based normally in a large building in the form of a standard (if impressive) market. This is undergoing renovation. I fear that in the UK in a similar situation some odd compromise would be in place and the stall holders would be left to try to fend for themselves. Here, a pop up portakabin market hall had been developed and stall holders traded from there.

As the photos show, the market is thriving with fabulous displays of fish, meat and fruit and veg. The range and quality was far in excess of what we see normally and in our supermarkets. I also liked the bags to take your whole Iberico ham home in – that tells you a lot about the food culture. As did the offal and tripe stall; people know about food. Contrast Two.

 

Wandering around the centre in the cool of the morning (it would be too hot later) it was also clear that Zaragoza had pride in some of its historical stores. A collection of historical shops and cafes, exhibiting a nice variety of signs and lettering as well as store styles, had been protected from the march of time. These were not as numerous or as splendid as in Lisbon, but in total they really said something about pride in place. A further contrast.

 

The collection of photos here illustrates some of the stores, signs and lettering. They speak of a bygone era but have a role in the present. The fact many of the photos show closed stores is purely a function of the time of day. But who can’t be impressed by the signs and the style exhibited? Our equivalents have in most places been lost; and in that we have lost so much more than a sign or a building. Our sense of place and identity has also been much diminished.

 

Posted in Architecture, Consumer Lifestyle, Food, Food Retailing, Heritage, Lisbon, Local Retailers, Markets, Places, Retail History, Retail Planning, Shopfronts, Signage, Spaces, Streetscapes, Town Centres, Uncategorized, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Retail Focused Funded PhD Available – Suburban Mobility: Shopping and Older People

A fully funded three year PhD is available for Autumn 2019 start. This research project explores features of the retail environment that enable older people to use local neighbourhood and high street shops as well as participate and keep mobile in their ‘everyday lives’.

Background information

3-year PhD studentship based in the faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, commencing 1st October 2019. The studentship includes tuition fees and a stipend (based on 18/19 rates this will be c.£15,009 per year) for three years. The studentship will lead to a PhD from the University of Stirling.

The project will be supervised by Prof. Judith Phillips who has a track record in research on ageing and environment and Prof. Leigh Sparks, with expertise and experience of research on retail environments.

In addition to monthly supervisory meetings, the doctoral student will receive mentoring and support from the Dementia and Ageing Research group (particularly architects in design) and by colleagues in the School of Management, Retail Studies group. Both research groups run regular seminars and training events and will provide opportunities for the student to meet and benefit from the experience of other students and staff with relevant expertise. The student will also be able to take advantage of the training events and support through the Institute of Advanced Studies. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop skills and experience in interdisciplinary research as part of a team of researchers in ageing.

Project Overview

The research project explores features of the retail environment that enable older people to use local neighbourhood and high street shops as well as participate and keep mobile in their ‘everyday lives’. The main aims are to determine the barriers and enablers of older people’s access and mobility to and within retail environments (particularly local high streets), and to propose, visualise and evaluate negotiated design modifications for overcoming the barriers and promoting enablers. It adopts a collaborative approach to develop innovative solutions and uses a mixed methods approach in new research to investigate mobility patterns of older people in relation to their local retail environment; the barriers and enablers they experience in their journey to, and inside, shops; and the improvements that could be made. It provides a platform to develop tools to communicate results of this research to retailers.

Context and background

The retail sector has continued to undergo profound change, primarily through out-of-town retailing, online shopping, and an unbalanced financial playing field producing a crisis in town centres and high street retailing. Various reports have called for strategies to revitalise town centres. These can only be sustainable through individual towns addressing their unique opportunities and challenges (social, economic, physical, and historical circumstances).This requires detailed exploration of the needs of the people who use a place, how and why they travel to local shops, and what barriers they face both now and in the future. There is a gap in our knowledge of how the retail sector balances the needs of their customers and their desire to sell goods when designing retail environments and, in particular, how to design retail environments that are more attractive to older people. Most shop design initiatives concern large retailers and focus on accessibility issues. There is some stress on creating appropriate ‘atmospheres’ that are efficient and user-friendly, but the social aspects are often only considered in large shopping malls or supermarkets. We know little of the extent to which small businesses engineer good in-store design for an ageing population. Local shops also play a crucial community role as ‘social hubs’ that ‘support’ older people’s emotional and social needs.

The shift to out-of-town retail parks, reliance on the car and the development of online shopping threaten the sustainability of suburban and high street shops. The decline of local and high street stores potentially increases older people’s social exclusion given 48% of people over 70 do not have full driving licences (or may have lost confidence to drive) and 72% of people over 75 do not use the internet. The study will contribute towards filling a knowledge gap by focusing on older people’s whole shopping experiences and journeys and their use of different retail options e.g. high street, neighbourhood shops, retail outlets and internet shopping. Through an investigation of the whole shopping experience we will explore the balance between different forms of shopping (click and collect; face to face); what balance do older people prefer and how does the choice of option impact on older people who lose confidence or mobility.

It is important for older people to retain independence and wellbeing if they are to remain active and engaged in society. Outdoor activity is beneficial to physical and mental health as well as social engagement: encouraging mobility in the local neighbourhood is crucial for postponing the shrinkage of older peoples’ radius of movement in later life. Mobility is encouraged by having accessible shops in close proximity and in safe, supportive environments. Consumer focus on convenience has risen in recent years, but it is unclear if these new, convenient opportunities consider older, local users. Few studies concentrate specifically on the local suburban neighbourhood in which many older people ‘age in place’.

Shopping benefits health, social interaction and wellbeing, yet many obstacles may deter people from going out, such as provision of public toilets, busy streets with high level signs and complex road layouts if driving, uncertainty over reliability of public transport, accessibility of shops at street level, difficulties in their internal configuration and facilities (lifts, doors and walkways) and perceptions of the environment in relation to safety, quality and ambience. The study explores this neglected area by focusing holistically on whole journeys, taking account of elements such as lighting, parking, pavements, social interaction, interior and exterior design. This distinctive approach will focus on typical, everyday whole journey shopping trips undertaken by older people viewed in the context of their whole shopping experience. Information about why older people take routes or forms of transportation, what motivates them, and how they think the external built environment and internal design of shops could be improved will contribute to developing strategies for interventions and modifications that support older people.

The applied research will contribute to debates on lifetime neighbourhoods, inclusive design, usability and accessibility, and age-friendly communities to ensure that all stages of a person’s journey and the interior retail environment are conceptualised as an integrated whole system. The project will contribute to the debate on what kinds of retail ‘places’ (real and virtual) best support the wellbeing of ageing populations

Older people are developing different images of age with varied social relationships, lifestyles, and self-perceptions. A change is required in the way we view older people as active contributors to the economy (consumers, residents, entrepreneurs and workers) and how we regard the utility of town centres and high streets. Older people can help rejuvenate local places through their incomes and wealth as consumers but also as residents, workers and entrepreneurs, playing out different lifestyles and behaviours. The PhD is an opportunity to contribute to this reshaping of image of both older people as active citizens and to the discussion around the rejuvenation and sustainability of the high street at a critical time in its development.

Eligibility and availability

The successful candidate will have:

  • A degree level qualification (preferably 2.1) in a relevant subject
  • An MRes or relevant postgraduate qualification
  • A background and interest in research in ageing
  • An interest in appropriate methodologies for the project
  • Skills in time management and completion of work

How do I apply?

Applications should include a covering letter; a full CV including the names of two referees (at least one referee should be an academic); a transcript/record of detailed grades achieved during previous university studies; a sample of the candidate’s written academic work; and a short summary (maximum 500 words) written by the candidate that explains how they would approach the project’s research. The short summary of how the candidate would approach the research should refer to the project proposal and will be used to assess the applicant’s knowledge of the research field and of relevant methodological issues. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview in Stirling or via online methods.

Closing date: Friday 16th August 2019.  Interviews will be held on Friday 27th September

Applications should be sent, by post or email, to:

Suzannah Hunter
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Stirling
Stirling
FK9 4LA

socscipgr@stir.ac.uk

Further information

Candidates are welcome to make informal enquiries about the academic project, which should be directed to Professor Judith Phillips dp.researchpa@stir.ac.uk telephone: 01786 467022.

You can also informally approach Leigh Sparks (leigh.sparks@stir.ac.uk) by email or phone (01786 467024).

Posted in Academics, Ageing, Architecture, Community, Consumers, Design, Health, Healthy Ageing, High Streets, Older consumers, PhD, Places, Planning, Public Realm, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Shopping, Streets, Streetscapes, Town Centre Living, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Landlords vs Retailers or Zombies vs Aliens?

There are not many reasons for feeling sorry for Philip Green (see my earlier blogs here  here and here and those were before the latest American and other revelations), but the fact that he is in such a weakened state that even the property owners and landlords are almost getting the better of him comes close to one (well, not really).  Arcadia teetered on the brink yesterday as some landlords refuse to meet his demands, but in the end he lived to fight on, even if he did have to put his hand in his own pocket.

In an interview this morning on the Radio 4 Today programme, Philip Green was his customary charming self and seemingly in denial still. But he did rightly say that retailing had changed fundamentally now. That does then beg the question as to whether these CVAs for Arcadia will be enough to save the business, as dramatic as they are? Is closing 50 stores the only shot in the locker? If so, as I have argued before, I don’t see a positive future. What is the compelling offer for the customer?

CVAs have become all the range; landlords and property owners have been all but ordered to wind their ‘greed’ in and to take a ‘haircut’ (difficult if you are bald already) and there is a view that the price of the retail crisis/over expansion is being paid by those left holding the shop portfolio.  The real cost of course is paid by those who lose their jobs or their pensions, but that seems often lost in the debate of who suffers more, the landlords or the retailers?  There is also a cascading impact on other trading retailers who want at least the same terms and so a downward spiral to e new equilibrium continues.

It does seem that this has seeped into public debate as well.  The so-called ‘crisis of the high street’ has seen public media commentary levels (well, volume) rise and issues of closed stores, CVAs, property greed all come to the fore.

Heading off for the train the other morning and walking through Stirling town centre I spotted that the Edinburgh Woollen Mill store had ‘Closing Down Sale’ posters in its windows.  Closer inspection saw ‘subject to landlord negotiations’ across the signs.  The photograph below shows this.

EWM

Now, I was not sure what to make of this and being inherently cynical, I immediately assumed it was a play to allow the ‘closing down’ claim which will make customers feel there must be real bargains around.  My cynicism might be misplaced; but then maybe not.  After all why tell customers you are in negotiations if you are not (or if you are?)?

Various twitter exchanges stepped up and pointed to other examples across the country.  Some of these (and not all are Edinburgh Woollen Mill) have been in this ‘closing down’ mode since before Christmas apparently.  Such signs are not uncommon.

If this is real then it simply expresses the difficult relationships in the sector currently.  But why bother telling customers?  If it is not real then it simply depresses me further – is this really the best our retail management and owners can do?  Are customers taken in by such things?  The “death of the high street” has many parents, but we sometimes overlook bad retail management and operations as a factor.

Posted in Advertising, Arcadia, Closure, CVA, Inter-depenendencies, Landlords, management, Philip Green, Property, Rates, Rents, Retail Change, Store Closures, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future of Shopping Centres in Scotland’s Towns

There is no doubt that retailing is undergoing a major transformation.  In popular press terms this is the ‘death of the high street’, a phrase which is wrong on so many levels; it is not the death and it is not the high street being just two of them.  Things are far more complex and nuanced than this.

When we look at retailing in our towns we can be forgiven if nostalgic images of streets and streetscapes come to mind.     But the reality is somewhat different, with various distinct forms and structures.  Likewise the phrase ‘shopping centre’ conjures up a range of responses in people, often involving out-of-town sites and planned build on greenfield locations.

A closer examination of both these elements – town centres and shopping centres – comes to the rather obvious point.  In many towns the ‘high street’ is, or is dominated by, a managed planned shopping centre.  Across Scotland from Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow, the Thistles in Stirling, the Paisley Centre, Oak Mall in Greenock or the Postings in Kirkcaldy, a lot of our towns contain such centres.  And many of them are struggling – in the same way as retail overall is changing, so too such spaces have to adapt.  Whilst things are not so bad as the hyped £1 sale price of the Postings in Kirkcaldy might suggest (it went for more), there is an issue around such large space users and significant space occupiers.

Revo Cover

Such considerations are why at the end of March, Revo (the new name for British Council of Shopping Centres), Scotland’s Towns Partnership and DWF LLP convened a session on the Future of Shopping Centres in Scotland’s Towns with invited speakers, commentators, practitioners and placemakers.  Someone was kind enough to ask me to chair and we have recently produced a summary of our discussions and presented this to Scottish Government and now more widely.

There is little point in rehearsing all that went on and the detail of the discussion.  We kicked off with three short presentations/think pieces on Paisley and Stockton-on-Tees and commercialisation research from DWP LLP.  Most of the time was then spent on discussion and development of possible lines for policy and ways forward.  You can download the short summary report The Future of Shopping Centres in Scotlands Towns.

An attempt was made to make the discussion forward looking and proactive, but almost inevitably the first part was spent on going back over the issues and challenges, mainly constructed around retail challenges and the risk for public/private (both or either) investing in towns.

Discussion did move on to solutions and opportunities and focused on data informed strategies, the new landscape of city regions and learning from strong asset focused investment examples (Altringham, Preston and Stockton mentioned).

Finally we turned to the topic of breaking down barriers to policy solutions.  Time was against everyone at this point but the focus was on the role of retail concentration and ownership of town centres, how to improve trust and collaboration and the need to think of towns (and shopping centres within them) as locally focused asset conglomerations.  Too often partial solutions based on specific problems have been sought, whereas the need is for an overall linked vision and strategy.

Shopping centres in towns are changing and their presence and use will need to reflect local situations and circumstances as well as local strategies.  It is unlikely they can all survive in their present guise and indeed that would not necessarily be a desirable outcome.  But we need to manage this adjustment process and use the assets for the town as a whole.  This will inevitably mean the rethinking of many uses and relationships, and the development of more multi-functional and interesting spaces.  Our discussion only scraped the surface of the issues, but was a start.

Posted in Architecture, Government, High Streets, Kirkcaldy, Local Authorities, Malls, Paisley, Places, Policy, Public Realm, Regeneration, Retail Change, Retail Policy, Retailers, Retailing, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Scotland's Towns Partnership, Scottish Government, Scottish Retailing, Shopping Centres, Spaces, Streetscapes, Sustainable Development, Town Centre Action Plan, Town Centres, Towns, Uncategorized, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Return to Sender? Deposit Return Schemes

CPG DRS

I am in the fortunate position of being able to get involved in two Scottish Parliament Cross Party Groups; one on Towns and Town Centres linked to Scotland’s Towns Partnership, and one on Independent Convenience Stores linked to the Scottish Grocers’ Federation.  They provide a forum to discuss issues in these areas and to engage with MSPs and others on matters of concern.  Such access and openness is a benefit of the Parliament and being located near enough to get involved.

In most cases my involvement has been on topics I know something about and I have presented on occasions on policy and our work.  But the latest meeting in the CPG on Independent Convenience Stores was a little different.  It focused on the hot topic of Deposit Return Schemes in Scotland and the potential impact on small convenience stores.  It was different in that it was a topic on which I was aware there was an issue but really knew little.  So I sat at the back, listened and used Twitter to take some notes (see @sparks_stirling for the 21st May).

The Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham opened the session by drawing attention to the Government’s recently published policy (see the consultation process and responses here, the debate in parliament here, and the Full 150 page Stage 1 business case here) but also the Government’s openness for further input on operational and implementation matters.  She was followed by a variety of scheme/system promotors and Scottish retailers who had been involved in trials over the last few months promoted by the Scottish Grocers’ Federation.  It is I think a mark of the enhanced role and capability of SGF that such things are now the norm in the sector.  A slightly heated Q&A session followed and we were so engrossed we ran out of time.  The fact it was a packed room (mainly of convenience store retailers) was an indicator of the significance of this issue.

So what did I take away from the event?

  1. The various trials showed the practicalities of the scheme and the in-store operational ‘pit falls’. None of this was problematic and the systems can be made to work.  This should not be a surprise to anyone, especially if you are Scandinavian.
  2. Consumers reacted well to the trials and their response was highly positive. But, and it is a big but, the trials were false in that the consumers got money back but did not have to pay the deposit in the first place.  Something for nothing tends to be better received than nothing for something.
  3. The inclusion of glass in the proposed scheme (it was not in the trials) is controversial and retailers believe it will alter the practicalities significantly. There are operational issues of space, security, safety and mess/cleaning and there is a fear that these will overwhelm smaller stores if glass is included.
  4. The second big issue was the question of the handling fee to retailers and its relationship to the cost of machines. Smaller retailers fear that if the handling fee is too low they will have to subsidise the scheme, whereas larger multiple retailers will be able to profit.  As a level playing field is a key aim then setting the fee will be a major consideration.
  5. Some debate kicked off on the return and use of the deposit to consumers as vouchers. Should this be restricted to the store in which the recycling takes place and on only some products or as a cash voucher for use anywhere?  As it is a refund, a cash voucher is the more logical, but children collecting bottles to trade for sugary sweets does seem a little at odds with other Scottish Government goals on healthy diets/eating.
  6. The final point of note for me was the Scottish vs English (UK) matter. Roseanna Cunningham made a point of Scotland being ahead of the game and not wanting to wait for others to catch up.  There was not much concern from retailers in the room about the UK issue (retailers present were local or Scottish) but producers did voice a concern.  Other multiple retailers might have a different view.  The feeling seemed to me to be fine Scotland’s doing it, let’s make it work as best we can.

I am not sure that I captured all the sentiments and points of agreement and disagreement, either above or on Twitter. As was said at the outset, the policy direction is now set, and many are in favour.  But the devil is in the detail, especially for independent convenience stores, and so the implementation and consultation phase still has a number of possibilities and could end up problematic.  It will be interesting to see how this works through and settles down.

 

Posted in Community Grocer, Consumer Lifestyle, Convenience stores, Deposit Return Scheme, Food Retailing, Government, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Legislation, Local Retailers, Public Realm, Regulation, Retailers, Retailing, Returns, Reverse Vending, Scottish Government, Scottish Grocers Federation, Small Shops, Uncategorized, Vending Machines | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Efficiency or Idiocy?

For some time it has been apparent that Dave Lewis has been determined to address the ‘bloat’ in Tesco and cut back on all sorts of things.  In the big picture out have gone most of the diversifications of the previous regime, replaced by a focus on the core business.  The store portfolio has been hacked at the edges, though there remain concerns over the estate.  Within the stores, the excessive range has been chopped back, with more to come.  The result, and it seems to be working, is a sharper, leaner business providing more offer/value to the consumer.

Tesco counter closures

It was announced a little while ago that in some stores the next target was to be the counter service offers.  So the recent announcement in our local Stirling store (see photo) was not a total surprise.  The closures and limited hours means a chunk of real estate in the store is not going to be used, but more importantly some consumers are going to be dissuaded from visiting.  So, at what point does copying the competition and efficiency gains at all costs become a spiral of consumer dissatisfaction and behaviour change?  Where is the tipping point for some consumers?

Stirling is not a hot-bed of quality butchers nor does it have a fishmonger, so the alternatives are a little limited (though Bridge of Allan and Dunblane are well served), but perhaps others, hopefully an independent, will fill the gaps.  It is noticeable that at the Stirling Farmer’s Market the fishmonger does very well.

A photo update from 25th May – really, what are they trying to achieve here?

Tesco counters 1Tesco counters 2Tesco counters 3

 

 

Boots bags

Efficiency was also the theme of the second story that caught my eye this week.  At a time of national discussions of climate emergency and a fervour among many citizens and consumers about environmental matters large and small, Boots rolled out plastic bags for some prescriptions.  This, at this of all times, is genuinely jaw dropping.

The explanation, such as it was, for such a change was that of handling and distribution efficiency. Plastic is better handled in central sites and lasts longer (yeah!).  This may be true, but is utterly irrelevant when your consumer base is going in completely the opposite direction.  How many people across the business were asleep at the wheel?  This smacks of a business out of touch, with itself and the country.

 

And finally, talking of out of touch, it was proposed this week that a penny tax on all self-checkout transactions should be levied to ‘heal the generational divide caused by Brexit’.  Where to begin?  This is barking mad at so many levels.  It fails tests of practicality, reasonableness, awareness, effectiveness amongst so many more.  What are these people thinking and why are people so out of touch so close to “power”

 

CHUK

Posted in Boots, Competition, Consumer Change, Consumers, Costs, Customer Service, distribution, Food Retailing, Local Retailers, Pharmacy, Plastic Bags, Retailers, Self-checkout, Stirling, Tax, Tesco, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments