There has been a lot in the press about retailers and the tough time they are having. I blogged about it here.
But I saw in the week a great quote – which perfectly fits the bill (forgive the pun in a moment)…
Lord Blackadder to Baldrick, “Oh God – bills, bills, bills …honestly Baldrick, sometimes I feel like a Pelican – whichever way I turn I’ve still got an enormous bill in front of me…“.
A sad but true reflection of a modern retailers life?
Whilst on that subject I can’t quite let Sir Terry Leahy’s comments on Desert Island Discs go. When asked whether the sight of boarded-up shops made him sad, he said: “It does but it is part of progress. People are not made to shop in supermarkets, they choose to shop there. High streets – some of them are medieval and the way that we live our lives now is very different, so what you have to do is make sure the benefits do outweigh the costs, and I think that they do.“
The progress he describes might be the progress that Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and the like make each day as they simply crush the opposition. The benefits are mostly to their shareholders?
He is right in one respect. People are fickle. They will say they object to the rise and rise of the supermarkets – but the reality is that those very same people will shop there – for convenience and price. No matter that the suppliers are beaten up and the big boys can afford to put an independent out of business? They sometimes behave like the school bully?
And if you wonder about the balance of power, according to the British Independent Retailers Association, 98% of the UK’s £150bn grocery sector is controlled by only nine chains…