Now I am trying to be an economist 🙂 No, not really. But what is happening around me is tragic.
We all know that Woolies, the flagship of the British High Street goes into liquidation in January. We also have noticed that more Starbucks shops are closing and you might be aware on your own High Street that estate agents close offices or the little shop selling baby stuff or lamp shades has disappeared. Most of those shops are on the limit to profitability and therefore will have to close when people stop spending.
More people might buy a lamp shade at Homebase for instance because it will be cheaper than in the local lamp shop. Whilst a year ago you might have preferred to have a better service and spend a couple of quid more, today you would not.
However, there are other stores that seem to disappear too:
– The Pier – one of the shops where my wife buys lamp shades and we bought curtains, carpets, glasses, candles, CD racks etc. etc. – no shopping spree without a visit to The Pier. Well, from now on it will have to be.
– Whittard of Chelsea – I bought my first ever coffee beans there and it is one of those shops you know that you find a nice present, good tea or alright coffee. The latter because my coffee taste developed 😉 Then again, I bought some espresso coffee there the other day. Maybe I go back today and buy some sales items. 120 years of history being vanished in one recession.
I believe it was Keynes who said there cannot be continuous growth. There will always be a time when we enter a recession and companies that are not profitable will disappear. I personally believe that is healthy and do not believe in bail outs. But I don’t want to be political in my blog 😉
When the recession is finally over, maybe end of 2009, maybe much later, we might see new shops appear. Very similar to the ones we have seen. Or, we might not, depending on how much consumer and seller confidence there is. The Pier for instance will re-open, I am sure. New management, slightly different style but a very similar shop. Why? Because I believe the UK High Street has a need for a shop like it. Maybe there is a business idea.
Until then we have to wait. See more redundancies, see more shops and banks closing and need to wait. We will shop in Asda instead of Waitrose, eat less take aways and cook more at home. We will gas the car less frequently and walk more and be glad if we can afford the mortgage payments. Unfortunately not everyone can.
So let’s hope for the best and have a Merry Christmas. As a survey suggests, people will celebrate Christmas because it only comes once a year. Then again, that might change too, you never know.