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Thread: Debenhams

  1. #51
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    It's only four weeks since Clarks Shoes (320 shops!) were 'rescued' by £100m of Hong Kong money. I fear that'll prove to be a sticking-plaster...

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-54815809
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  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    The prices and the customer service. There's the odd exception, but generally it's the cheapest place to purchase from and that counts for about 90% of the success. Add to this same day or next day delivery and a returns process that is as easy as clicking one button and taking your item to a post office. You even get the money refunded as soon as the post office has scanned the item prior to them receiving it back.

    I'm not sure what more you'd want from a 'website experience' other than easily find the product, read some customer reviews and click 'buy'?

    The tax thing I agree with...and the fact that the system should allow no individual to accumulate $131bn.
    Honestly, I just fail to see what's so amazing about next-day delivery and a returns process that involves going to the Post Office. I generally expect that from most of the online retailers I use.

    I accept Amazon may have set the bar and others have followed, so in that sense hats off to them. Other than that though, it's just a lowest common denominator retailer to me: dull as ditch water website, cheap prices for cheap things, quick delivery (granted). It's the online equivalent of Wilkos. I only ever go there for superglue and I use Amazon in a similarly sparing way. The last thing I bought was an elbow brace 6 months ago. I can't say I was blown away by the experience! Perhaps I need to push the boat out and look for sports socks or printer cartridges.

  3. #53
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwg663 View Post
    It's only four weeks since Clarks Shoes (320 shops!) were 'rescued' by £100m of Hong Kong money. I fear that'll prove to be a sticking-plaster...

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-54815809
    Agree...expensive and most of their stock seems to be completely old fashioned shoes...the kind of thick-rubber-soled leather upper shoe that looks so unfashionable that only grandad wears it.

    Gone are the days Clarks was the go-to place for school shoes...and the only semi-successful adapting I've seen is promotion of the slightly more expensive classic stuff like desert shoes. No wonder it is failing.

  4. #54
    Never understood how HoF or Debenhams survived this long. No clue who shops in them. Amazed WHS Smith is still open but apparently the travel shops are the profitable ones. Oxford geometry kits must have incredible margins.

    Ten years and JL will be next. They're going downhill at a decent pace and seem to have forgotten who their customer is when you look at the clothes they're stocking. Looks more like an ASOS store.

  5. #55
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    I think it's more to do with the fixation of "growth" since the 1970s. So many cash rich businesses had their money stripped away by bonus hungry directors manipulating figures to push share price up, selling premises to lease back etc.

    If greed wasn't so prevalent businesses would provide good service with good quality products. It's been cost cutting on staff and quality to shore up profits for years. Now the consumer is used to buying stuff that doesn't last and will try and pay what it's worth, which isn't much...

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    John Lewis pay more tax on their Oxford Street store than amazon pay in the whole of the UK.
    Wow!!

    Do you have a link to the data that proves this? Not disputing it at all just want to see the numbers.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Agree; for the last 10 or more years Iíve wondered how WHSmiths does it. Another shop I have fond memories of from childhood, but does anyone buy anything other than a bar of chocolate from there?

    I suppose the airport ones do a bit better

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by ach5 View Post
    Agree; for the last 10 or more years Iíve wondered how WHSmiths does it. Another shop I have fond memories of from childhood, but does anyone buy anything other than a bar of chocolate from there?

    I suppose the airport ones do a bit better
    Exactly, they only manage to compete with a captive audience in an airport / railway, and then charge more for the experience. Another relic from the past that is sure to disappear.

    Actually interviewed for WHS about 20yrs ago, didnít get the job & was told I was too commercial and shopper orientated, rather than thinking about coloured pens etc. I said back then, when they had issues, that they should be commercially driven.

    Iíve spent my career advising retailers and manufacturers how to maximise revenue abs optimise profit through range, merchandising and promotions. So many donít listen, any many of those are big retailers driven by a spreadsheet rather than insights & shopper knowledge.

    Christian, C64 games at Menzies...that brings me back! Was there or WHS, never did get the call for Taito Coin Hits or whatever it was called, that I ordered about 30yrs ago!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #59
    Amazon represents convenience from buying and returning perspective.

    I can buy a simple pen, it arrives very quickly and can be returned as quickly without issue. If something goes wrong, I can chat online or elect for Amazon to call me back straightaway to resolve issue.

    The buying experience is painless in my experience. The Amazon app informs me the delivery is 5 stops away etc.

    The disadvantage is that it's so easy to spend money on things you don't actually need.

    WHS was always the place to visit for stationery before new year when I was at school. The stores are stationary now with exception of their prices. With the same pen being much cheaper at Amazon, there does not seem to be a place for WHS, except at the airport.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Boss13 View Post
    I believe that is true. Ashley offered a £50m loan to try to save Arcadia. But sounds more like marketing than a serious proposition to me.
    It's well known that Ashley and Green HATE each other...the £50M offer was an utterly disingenuous play to secure top position on the creditors list in order to get first pickings (i.e cheap stock) when it all collapses.
    Ego's playing with normal peoples livelihoods, unfortunately.
    At least that's my take on it.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by prexelor View Post
    Amazon represents convenience from buying and returning perspective.

    I can buy a simple pen, it arrives very quickly and can be returned as quickly without issue. If something goes wrong, I can chat online or elect for Amazon to call me back straightaway to resolve issue.

    The buying experience is painless in my experience. The Amazon app informs me the delivery is 5 stops away etc.

    The disadvantage is that it's so easy to spend money on things you don't actually need.

    WHS was always the place to visit for stationery before new year when I was at school. The stores are stationary now with exception of their prices. With the same pen being much cheaper at Amazon, there does not seem to be a place for WHS, except at the airport.
    If not Amazon, students/parents will probably buy stationery at Tesco or other supermarkets. Also cheaper than WHS.
    Same for greeting cards, magazines and bars of chocolate.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Estoril-5 View Post
    Wow!!

    Do you have a link to the data that proves this? Not disputing it at all just want to see the numbers.
    Last year Amazon got a tax rebate for making a loss while JL Oxford street is profitable and paid tax.

    JL pays ~£170m in business rates (not this year though due to Covid), Amazon £63m. Business rates on Oxford Street branch was rumoured to be £19m.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by GOAT View Post
    It's well known that Ashley and Green HATE each other...the £50M offer was an utterly disingenuous play to secure top position on the creditors list in order to get first pickings (i.e cheap stock) when it all collapses.
    Ego's playing with normal peoples livelihoods, unfortunately.
    At least that's my take on it.
    Interesting take on it and makes a bit more sense than my Ďmarketingí guess! Either way it was quite bizarre!

  14. #64
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    JL pays ~£170m in business rates (not this year though due to Covid), Amazon £63m. Business rates on Oxford Street branch was rumoured to be £19m.
    Rateable Value is £19.91m incl. a couple side properties, actually paid is roughly half that

    https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/busin...ns/19002920000

  15. #65
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Abundance is also a key part of the Amazon experience. Most retailers have some products. Amazon has all of the products. Plus you get a very personalised experience as the AI learns your interests, Shopping habits, what you watch on Prime etc. It then provides tailored suggestions. Relevance is a key part of a great online experience and Amazon gives that. Consumers today expect content to find them, not to have to search for it. Amazon delivers in that regard

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  16. #66
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    Abundance is also a key part of the Amazon experience. Most retailers have some products. Amazon has all of the products. Plus you get a very personalised experience as the AI learns your interests, Shopping habits, what you watch on Prime etc. It then provides tailored suggestions. Relevance is a key part of a great online experience and Amazon gives that. Consumers today expect content to find them, not to have to search for it. Amazon delivers in that regard

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    I'd be more inclined to call them "targeted adverts"

    Don't get me wrong - I use Amazon a lot, but I wouldn't get too benevolent towards them.

  17. #67
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    I'd be more inclined to call them "targeted adverts"

    Don't get me wrong - I use Amazon a lot, but I wouldn't get too benevolent towards them.
    Yep indeed. They are programmatic adverts (that's actually the industry I work in) but tailored suggestion sounds much nicer! Essentially Programmatic is providing the right content to the right user at the right time on the right platform. That is the difference between spam and relevant contextual advertising (in theory!).

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  18. #68
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    They keep offering me butt plug lube, not sure why.

  19. #69
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ach5 View Post
    Agree; for the last 10 or more years I’ve wondered how WHSmiths does it. Another shop I have fond memories of from childhood, but does anyone buy anything other than a bar of chocolate from there?

    I suppose the airport ones do a bit better
    Agree...the airport ones probably have higher footfall but I'd imagine part of their higher profit goes to pay for much higher rents. A lot of people say WH Smiths survives because of it's airport stores, but why would you run a business with loads of unprofitable High St stores being propped up by relatively few airport stores? Doesn't makes sense. Therefore they must still ve viable even though their shops look like 1980s timewarps. Odd.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Agree...the airport ones probably have higher footfall but I'd imagine part of their higher profit goes to pay for much higher rents. A lot of people say WH Smiths survives because of it's airport stores, but why would you run a business with loads of unprofitable High St stores being propped up by relatively few airport stores? Doesn't makes sense. Therefore they must still ve viable even though their shops look like 1980s timewarps. Odd.
    The deal to put post offices inside WH Smiths stores probably helps.

  21. #71
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    I support our local village shops - Co-op, Budgens and farmshops very substantially.

    We use our local Waitrose and the further afield Aldi.

    However, I rarely, if ever, go shopping to retail parks and even less often shopping malls anymore. And my habits had changed long before Covid. Nothing would convince me to go back to how I shopped twenty years ago.

    I really don't like browsing. I don't like the whole physical shopping experience (with the exception of antique shops and art galleries and other very specialist niche shops). My time is precious, and so Amazon and a few other online retailers (including ebay) serve for probably 90% plus of all the non-food and domestic products I ever need.

    I don't tend to buy clothes online much, as I like to ensure stuff fits properly, and I can't buy shoes online as having large broad feet require me to try something on.

    But as other posters have noted - retailing has changed beyond all recognition in a decade, and it isn't going to change back. Shopping malls will fail, town centres will change irrevocably.

    But that is progress. Things don't stand still. Retailers that have, will fail.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  22. #72
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    ^ pretty much sums it up for my household too

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