Lancashire TelegraphBlackburn retailers enjoy bumper Christmas (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Blackburn retailers enjoy bumper Christmas

BLACKBURN town centre is enjoying a bumper run up to Christmas and cautious shoppers finally open purses and wallets to take advantage of unusually good cut-price seasonal offers.

The Mall has surprised bosses by exceeding the number of customers during last year’s heavily promised first full festive season.

The market is bustling and independent traders are reporting an unexpectedly good Christmas after a tough year.

Supermarkets in the town are also extending their hours as a final rush for festive food and gifts fills their aisles.

Mall general manager Loraine Jones said: “The all-important pre-Christmas trading period has been very positive for us here at The Mall and we are delighted to announce that we have seen an increase on last year’s record footfall on the run up to the big day.

“Shoppers from all over Lancashire have been coming to The Mall as our fantastic reputation continues to grow.

“We are also open right up until 4.30pm on Christmas Eve so everyone still has plenty of time to stock up on gifts and festive essentials.”

Blackburn Chamber of Trade President Tony Duckworth said: “Traders are happy. Footfall is up on last Christmas after a tough year. Mercers toy shop in Darwen Street is bursting.”

Phil Ainsworth, of Ainsworth’s Jewellers in Blackburn, said: “Lots of people are coming in and we are selling some high value items.”

Greg Mercer, of Counsell and Woan carpet shop, said: “It has been a good run up to Christmas - better than last year and we are looking forward to a good 2013.”

Market manager Keith Holden reported a busy couple of weeks. He said: “We’ve a whole host of activities taking place in the run up to Christmas which will no doubt add to the festive atmosphere and provide shoppers with an enhanced shopping experience including live music and song.”

A Morrisons spokesperson said: “Sales at the Blackburn store have been steadily building over the last few weeks and we’re expecting Sunday 23rd to be our busiest day of the year. We’re well prepared for it though and have put a number of measures in place to help customers get through the store as quickly and as smoothly as possible.”

Comments (16)

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9:38am Sat 22 Dec 12

Noiticer says...

The usual hype from retailers trying to whip up trade. Let's seee the statistics after Christmas for the true picture.
The usual hype from retailers trying to whip up trade. Let's seee the statistics after Christmas for the true picture. Noiticer
  • Score: 0

9:55am Sat 22 Dec 12

lostforwords says...

Ah the spiral of negativity starts with the first comment. Bah Humbug,.
You boring person Noiticer.
Ah the spiral of negativity starts with the first comment. Bah Humbug,. You boring person Noiticer. lostforwords
  • Score: 0

11:31am Sat 22 Dec 12

Is Eckersley playing? says...

Yes, perhaps, but isn't he spot on?
Yes, perhaps, but isn't he spot on? Is Eckersley playing?
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Sat 22 Dec 12

cathedral citi says...

seeing is believing. I was in Blackburn yesterday, and it was absolutely heaving! And yes, it was shoppers actually spending, not just browsing.

I'm sure the post seasonal statistics will confirm a marked increase in footfall and expenditure.
seeing is believing. I was in Blackburn yesterday, and it was absolutely heaving! And yes, it was shoppers actually spending, not just browsing. I'm sure the post seasonal statistics will confirm a marked increase in footfall and expenditure. cathedral citi
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Sat 22 Dec 12

garydavies2304 says...

its been the worst run up to christmas for us sold nothing in 5 days seen 5 people all week merry christmmas ! the forgoten end of darwen street.
its been the worst run up to christmas for us sold nothing in 5 days seen 5 people all week merry christmmas ! the forgoten end of darwen street. garydavies2304
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Kevin, Colne says...

Good news indeed, but it doesn’t alter the fundamentals of our national predicament by one iota.

Certainly given the importance of Christmas trading for many retailers the rise in footfall will be welcome, but footfall is one thing; margin on sales is quite another.

Verdict, the retail market research company, expects food sales over the festive period to rise by around 3%, but this will be as a result of inflation. They are anticipating volumes will contract.

Very few seem to bother making the point that it was ‘shop till you drop’ that contributed in part to our current crisis.

The spending power of every Pound is declining at a steady and persistent rate.

Frankly, I can’t see the price of fuel and food coming down any day soon. In fact quite the reverse: the price of crude oil remains stubbornly high despite a faltering world economy and recent poor harvests point towards further increases in the price of food.

It really is a ghastly situation for a great many people with incomes stagnating or falling in nominal terms and the cost of living rocketing. As they say in the USA: ‘do the math’.
Good news indeed, but it doesn’t alter the fundamentals of our national predicament by one iota. Certainly given the importance of Christmas trading for many retailers the rise in footfall will be welcome, but footfall is one thing; margin on sales is quite another. Verdict, the retail market research company, expects food sales over the festive period to rise by around 3%, but this will be as a result of inflation. They are anticipating volumes will contract. Very few seem to bother making the point that it was ‘shop till you drop’ that contributed in part to our current crisis. The spending power of every Pound is declining at a steady and persistent rate. Frankly, I can’t see the price of fuel and food coming down any day soon. In fact quite the reverse: the price of crude oil remains stubbornly high despite a faltering world economy and recent poor harvests point towards further increases in the price of food. It really is a ghastly situation for a great many people with incomes stagnating or falling in nominal terms and the cost of living rocketing. As they say in the USA: ‘do the math’. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Sat 22 Dec 12

hasslem hasslem says...

Kevin, Colne wrote:
Good news indeed, but it doesn’t alter the fundamentals of our national predicament by one iota.

Certainly given the importance of Christmas trading for many retailers the rise in footfall will be welcome, but footfall is one thing; margin on sales is quite another.

Verdict, the retail market research company, expects food sales over the festive period to rise by around 3%, but this will be as a result of inflation. They are anticipating volumes will contract.

Very few seem to bother making the point that it was ‘shop till you drop’ that contributed in part to our current crisis.

The spending power of every Pound is declining at a steady and persistent rate.

Frankly, I can’t see the price of fuel and food coming down any day soon. In fact quite the reverse: the price of crude oil remains stubbornly high despite a faltering world economy and recent poor harvests point towards further increases in the price of food.

It really is a ghastly situation for a great many people with incomes stagnating or falling in nominal terms and the cost of living rocketing. As they say in the USA: ‘do the math’.
kevin, i used to work for verdict a few years ago and understand the dynamics of the retail market - the forecast numbers you quote are for food. realistically why would anybody expect anything other than a flat to slight increase in food volumes over christmas?. virtually every family pigs out over the christmas period with "i'm stuffed, i couldn't eat another thing" being a common maxim.

for a while the big boys saw £ volume sales increase on a like for like basis by getting customers to trade up into "finest", "taste the difference" "the best" etc ranges.....but more recently their budget brands "savers" "value/everyday" "basics" have driven their own brand sales. equally there has continued to be selective switching from primary brands into own label.

the key goals for each of the grocers with food is 1) share - capturing it off their rivals and 2) margin - sales is vanity, profit is sanity.

the zero sum game on food consumption demonstrates why non food proposition is vital to their future growth plans and why these ranges have been extensively developed over the years.

retail success is a function of
1) getting existing customers to buy more of the same stuff
2) getting existing customers to buy different stuff
3) getting new customers to buy some stuff

that coupled with a decent understanding of price, margin management, service and an effective supply chain are the fundamentals of success in the food game. difficulties occur when these retailers forget these basic business principles.
[quote][p][bold]Kevin, Colne[/bold] wrote: Good news indeed, but it doesn’t alter the fundamentals of our national predicament by one iota. Certainly given the importance of Christmas trading for many retailers the rise in footfall will be welcome, but footfall is one thing; margin on sales is quite another. Verdict, the retail market research company, expects food sales over the festive period to rise by around 3%, but this will be as a result of inflation. They are anticipating volumes will contract. Very few seem to bother making the point that it was ‘shop till you drop’ that contributed in part to our current crisis. The spending power of every Pound is declining at a steady and persistent rate. Frankly, I can’t see the price of fuel and food coming down any day soon. In fact quite the reverse: the price of crude oil remains stubbornly high despite a faltering world economy and recent poor harvests point towards further increases in the price of food. It really is a ghastly situation for a great many people with incomes stagnating or falling in nominal terms and the cost of living rocketing. As they say in the USA: ‘do the math’.[/p][/quote]kevin, i used to work for verdict a few years ago and understand the dynamics of the retail market - the forecast numbers you quote are for food. realistically why would anybody expect anything other than a flat to slight increase in food volumes over christmas?. virtually every family pigs out over the christmas period with "i'm stuffed, i couldn't eat another thing" being a common maxim. for a while the big boys saw £ volume sales increase on a like for like basis by getting customers to trade up into "finest", "taste the difference" "the best" etc ranges.....but more recently their budget brands "savers" "value/everyday" "basics" have driven their own brand sales. equally there has continued to be selective switching from primary brands into own label. the key goals for each of the grocers with food is 1) share - capturing it off their rivals and 2) margin - sales is vanity, profit is sanity. the zero sum game on food consumption demonstrates why non food proposition is vital to their future growth plans and why these ranges have been extensively developed over the years. retail success is a function of 1) getting existing customers to buy more of the same stuff 2) getting existing customers to buy different stuff 3) getting new customers to buy some stuff that coupled with a decent understanding of price, margin management, service and an effective supply chain are the fundamentals of success in the food game. difficulties occur when these retailers forget these basic business principles. hasslem hasslem
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Wishingwell says...

Kevin, Colne wrote:
Good news indeed, but it doesn’t alter the fundamentals of our national predicament by one iota.

Certainly given the importance of Christmas trading for many retailers the rise in footfall will be welcome, but footfall is one thing; margin on sales is quite another.

Verdict, the retail market research company, expects food sales over the festive period to rise by around 3%, but this will be as a result of inflation. They are anticipating volumes will contract.

Very few seem to bother making the point that it was ‘shop till you drop’ that contributed in part to our current crisis.

The spending power of every Pound is declining at a steady and persistent rate.

Frankly, I can’t see the price of fuel and food coming down any day soon. In fact quite the reverse: the price of crude oil remains stubbornly high despite a faltering world economy and recent poor harvests point towards further increases in the price of food.

It really is a ghastly situation for a great many people with incomes stagnating or falling in nominal terms and the cost of living rocketing. As they say in the USA: ‘do the math’.
I think your right, but the pound has been up for the last year so we have not felt the full effects of inflation yet. If the pound drops back again it will be more like Stagflation.
Business will not improve until there is an increase in either volumes and or price. It is only when people with money or credit realise that there may be a future supply shortage that these may increase.
In the meantime it is gunna be GRIM!
[quote][p][bold]Kevin, Colne[/bold] wrote: Good news indeed, but it doesn’t alter the fundamentals of our national predicament by one iota. Certainly given the importance of Christmas trading for many retailers the rise in footfall will be welcome, but footfall is one thing; margin on sales is quite another. Verdict, the retail market research company, expects food sales over the festive period to rise by around 3%, but this will be as a result of inflation. They are anticipating volumes will contract. Very few seem to bother making the point that it was ‘shop till you drop’ that contributed in part to our current crisis. The spending power of every Pound is declining at a steady and persistent rate. Frankly, I can’t see the price of fuel and food coming down any day soon. In fact quite the reverse: the price of crude oil remains stubbornly high despite a faltering world economy and recent poor harvests point towards further increases in the price of food. It really is a ghastly situation for a great many people with incomes stagnating or falling in nominal terms and the cost of living rocketing. As they say in the USA: ‘do the math’.[/p][/quote]I think your right, but the pound has been up for the last year so we have not felt the full effects of inflation yet. If the pound drops back again it will be more like Stagflation. Business will not improve until there is an increase in either volumes and or price. It is only when people with money or credit realise that there may be a future supply shortage that these may increase. In the meantime it is gunna be GRIM! Wishingwell
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Is Eckersley playing? says...

Hells bells. There's more to shopping than I realised. I'll bear all the above in mind next time I buy my cocoa!
Hells bells. There's more to shopping than I realised. I'll bear all the above in mind next time I buy my cocoa! Is Eckersley playing?
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Kevin, Colne says...

Hasslem, Hasslem

Thank you for responding to my observations. I take your point about food sales: there is a limit to the number of mice pies that people can consume!

Your comments demonstrate very well the highly sophisticated operating model of the supermarkets but with food inflation marching ahead there must be a fear that consumers will have fewer Pounds for discretionary expenditure that may typically encompass non-food items. As you say non-food offerings have been developed extensively by some of the groups and this takes them into an entirely new realm of competition, notably on-line e-tailers. The supermarkets have developed their on-line shopping proposition but the danger here must be that they are effectively cannibalising their bricks n’mortar stores.

I wonder whether you might agree that ‘The ‘Big Four or Five’ supermarkets have reached the point where they can grow only by taking market share from each other; and the hard-discounters are taking market share at the low price end.

To be honest I think the supermarkets have a pretty big strategic dilemma on their hands in as much as the ‘easy’ growth of yesteryear is now well and truly over, but with top managers schooled in the doctrine of growth the potential for going astray strikes as being quite high. One has to look only at Tesco’s unsuccessful foray into the USA market while the business back at home was running into the sand. Perhaps this confirms your point about firms concentrating on their core competences and capabilities and on customers that they know well and understand.

With every good wish

Kevin
Hasslem, Hasslem Thank you for responding to my observations. I take your point about food sales: there is a limit to the number of mice pies that people can consume! Your comments demonstrate very well the highly sophisticated operating model of the supermarkets but with food inflation marching ahead there must be a fear that consumers will have fewer Pounds for discretionary expenditure that may typically encompass non-food items. As you say non-food offerings have been developed extensively by some of the groups and this takes them into an entirely new realm of competition, notably on-line e-tailers. The supermarkets have developed their on-line shopping proposition but the danger here must be that they are effectively cannibalising their bricks n’mortar stores. I wonder whether you might agree that ‘The ‘Big Four or Five’ supermarkets have reached the point where they can grow only by taking market share from each other; and the hard-discounters are taking market share at the low price end. To be honest I think the supermarkets have a pretty big strategic dilemma on their hands in as much as the ‘easy’ growth of yesteryear is now well and truly over, but with top managers schooled in the doctrine of growth the potential for going astray strikes as being quite high. One has to look only at Tesco’s unsuccessful foray into the USA market while the business back at home was running into the sand. Perhaps this confirms your point about firms concentrating on their core competences and capabilities and on customers that they know well and understand. With every good wish Kevin Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Kevin, Colne says...

Wishingwell, hi!

To be honest with you I might be inclined to suggest that stagflation has been part of the scene for some time.

Without doubt price inflation is baked in the cake. It’s deliberate policy. This is as really important point. Policy makers are trying to boil the frog without it jumping out of the pan. Sir John Templeton got it right when he said: “Government deficits always end in inflation”.

We’re headed along the road of trying to engineer in part a soft-default of the national debt. Until recently the outcome has been seen in rising prices across a range of hard assets and commodities, while wages are stagnating. This spells a painful adjustment for a great many people and a state of torpor for a national economy that is based heavily on consumer spending, such as the UK.

In order to end on a positive note while it is good to see Blackburn shopping centre doing well it is worth remembering that we do have some truly excellent manufacturing businesses in Lancashire, and long may they prosper!

All the best

Kevin
Wishingwell, hi! To be honest with you I might be inclined to suggest that stagflation has been part of the scene for some time. Without doubt price inflation is baked in the cake. It’s deliberate policy. This is as really important point. Policy makers are trying to boil the frog without it jumping out of the pan. Sir John Templeton got it right when he said: “Government deficits always end in inflation”. We’re headed along the road of trying to engineer in part a soft-default of the national debt. Until recently the outcome has been seen in rising prices across a range of hard assets and commodities, while wages are stagnating. This spells a painful adjustment for a great many people and a state of torpor for a national economy that is based heavily on consumer spending, such as the UK. In order to end on a positive note while it is good to see Blackburn shopping centre doing well it is worth remembering that we do have some truly excellent manufacturing businesses in Lancashire, and long may they prosper! All the best Kevin Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Sat 22 Dec 12

hasslem hasslem says...

Kevin, Colne wrote:
Hasslem, Hasslem

Thank you for responding to my observations. I take your point about food sales: there is a limit to the number of mice pies that people can consume!

Your comments demonstrate very well the highly sophisticated operating model of the supermarkets but with food inflation marching ahead there must be a fear that consumers will have fewer Pounds for discretionary expenditure that may typically encompass non-food items. As you say non-food offerings have been developed extensively by some of the groups and this takes them into an entirely new realm of competition, notably on-line e-tailers. The supermarkets have developed their on-line shopping proposition but the danger here must be that they are effectively cannibalising their bricks n’mortar stores.

I wonder whether you might agree that ‘The ‘Big Four or Five’ supermarkets have reached the point where they can grow only by taking market share from each other; and the hard-discounters are taking market share at the low price end.

To be honest I think the supermarkets have a pretty big strategic dilemma on their hands in as much as the ‘easy’ growth of yesteryear is now well and truly over, but with top managers schooled in the doctrine of growth the potential for going astray strikes as being quite high. One has to look only at Tesco’s unsuccessful foray into the USA market while the business back at home was running into the sand. Perhaps this confirms your point about firms concentrating on their core competences and capabilities and on customers that they know well and understand.

With every good wish

Kevin
Mice Pies? Best not to give any of them to my pal Micky!

whilst, you are correct about the cannibalization impact of bricks n clicks it is vital that if there is any development of food sales via the internet that the "big 4" you refer to grab the sales themselves rather than letting a new entrant into the market to eat their pie (almost literally).

the important thing that clicks offers each of the big 4 is to open new markets for some of them. customer acquisition is very expensive to get and loyalty even harder to maintain. people's choice of grocer (store) is largely (but not totally) a function of convenience - ie most shoppers are lazy and will shop at the closest superstore and do top-ups across a range of shops. internet shopping for food is largely driven by the choice of superstore - but the ease allows the internet savvy shopper to be much more promiscuous in their choice - shoppers will desert and opt for another option if they get let down by their delivery. interestingly morrisons website is not interactive and they have lost market share in recent years. it is really really hard to get a decent online food offer as the logistics are extremely complicated. the rewards are there if you can crack it - but the likes of occado are finding it extraordinarily tough.

realistically the top 4 have been taking share off the rest of the multiple sector since the 60s. Self-service (late 40s) and the end of food rationing (mid 50s) led to the evolution of supermarkets, but this also permitted the coop to do well too. the main driver that when the multiples exploded was the abolition of re-sale price maintenance in 1964/65 (where multiples could pass on their buying power onto the customers in lower prices - its still in place in a few limited fields notably newspapers). the likes of tesco, sainsbury's and finefare thrived. 60s also saw lifestyle changes in the home and kitchen gadgetry like fridges and freezers couple with increasing car ownership led to the development of the first out of town shops (asda).
following on from that the multiples basically crept all over the country - but the growth came largely at the expense of a phenomenally week coop sector (too many independent societies) and the corner shop. when this easy growth slowed the boys had to start to take share off each other partly through attrition and parlty through acquistion. stacks of grocery names have disappeared: Fine Fare, Safeway, Presto, Liptons, Templetons, Hintons, Laws, Wm. Low, Lennons, Interantional, Frank Dee, Hillards, Wm Jackson/Grandways, Gateway, Mac Markets, Victor Value, Kwik Save.....

you are right growth is now extremely difficult. of course the market is saturated (only so much food) which explains the big lads exploring new options. tesco wasn't really running into the sand because of the USA venture - they operate successfully in many countries in eastern europe and south east asia. the US is a retailers graveyard for UK companies - they all try and they almost all universally fail (Marks, Tesco, Sainsburys...) . tesco had not become a basket case - but sales growth had tailed off - its biggest issue in the uk is that as market leader growth of 0.1% market share is extremely hard to obtain. its stores had by its own admission become a bit sterile and factory like - but it will recover.

the basket case among the big lads keeps changing like a game of pass the parcel. my own view is that it is currently morrisons - but all of these businesses are extremely cash rich and money generating machines. the issue is what do they do with that cash. many see them as evil - but realistically nobody forces anybody to shop in them. personally, i have more respect for them than i do about the banking sector. the biggest issue for three of them (excl asda) is that they are all listed on the UK stock exchange and there is always pressure from the city for both growth, EBITDA and thus share price. asda, as part of wal-mart, is less influenced by the vagaries of the city - but, believe me, wal-mart does not less the moss grow.
[quote][p][bold]Kevin, Colne[/bold] wrote: Hasslem, Hasslem Thank you for responding to my observations. I take your point about food sales: there is a limit to the number of mice pies that people can consume! Your comments demonstrate very well the highly sophisticated operating model of the supermarkets but with food inflation marching ahead there must be a fear that consumers will have fewer Pounds for discretionary expenditure that may typically encompass non-food items. As you say non-food offerings have been developed extensively by some of the groups and this takes them into an entirely new realm of competition, notably on-line e-tailers. The supermarkets have developed their on-line shopping proposition but the danger here must be that they are effectively cannibalising their bricks n’mortar stores. I wonder whether you might agree that ‘The ‘Big Four or Five’ supermarkets have reached the point where they can grow only by taking market share from each other; and the hard-discounters are taking market share at the low price end. To be honest I think the supermarkets have a pretty big strategic dilemma on their hands in as much as the ‘easy’ growth of yesteryear is now well and truly over, but with top managers schooled in the doctrine of growth the potential for going astray strikes as being quite high. One has to look only at Tesco’s unsuccessful foray into the USA market while the business back at home was running into the sand. Perhaps this confirms your point about firms concentrating on their core competences and capabilities and on customers that they know well and understand. With every good wish Kevin[/p][/quote]Mice Pies? Best not to give any of them to my pal Micky! whilst, you are correct about the cannibalization impact of bricks n clicks it is vital that if there is any development of food sales via the internet that the "big 4" you refer to grab the sales themselves rather than letting a new entrant into the market to eat their pie (almost literally). the important thing that clicks offers each of the big 4 is to open new markets for some of them. customer acquisition is very expensive to get and loyalty even harder to maintain. people's choice of grocer (store) is largely (but not totally) a function of convenience - ie most shoppers are lazy and will shop at the closest superstore and do top-ups across a range of shops. internet shopping for food is largely driven by the choice of superstore - but the ease allows the internet savvy shopper to be much more promiscuous in their choice - shoppers will desert and opt for another option if they get let down by their delivery. interestingly morrisons website is not interactive and they have lost market share in recent years. it is really really hard to get a decent online food offer as the logistics are extremely complicated. the rewards are there if you can crack it - but the likes of occado are finding it extraordinarily tough. realistically the top 4 have been taking share off the rest of the multiple sector since the 60s. Self-service (late 40s) and the end of food rationing (mid 50s) led to the evolution of supermarkets, but this also permitted the coop to do well too. the main driver that when the multiples exploded was the abolition of re-sale price maintenance in 1964/65 (where multiples could pass on their buying power onto the customers in lower prices - its still in place in a few limited fields notably newspapers). the likes of tesco, sainsbury's and finefare thrived. 60s also saw lifestyle changes in the home and kitchen gadgetry like fridges and freezers couple with increasing car ownership led to the development of the first out of town shops (asda). following on from that the multiples basically crept all over the country - but the growth came largely at the expense of a phenomenally week coop sector (too many independent societies) and the corner shop. when this easy growth slowed the boys had to start to take share off each other partly through attrition and parlty through acquistion. stacks of grocery names have disappeared: Fine Fare, Safeway, Presto, Liptons, Templetons, Hintons, Laws, Wm. Low, Lennons, Interantional, Frank Dee, Hillards, Wm Jackson/Grandways, Gateway, Mac Markets, Victor Value, Kwik Save..... you are right growth is now extremely difficult. of course the market is saturated (only so much food) which explains the big lads exploring new options. tesco wasn't really running into the sand because of the USA venture - they operate successfully in many countries in eastern europe and south east asia. the US is a retailers graveyard for UK companies - they all try and they almost all universally fail (Marks, Tesco, Sainsburys...) . tesco had not become a basket case - but sales growth had tailed off - its biggest issue in the uk is that as market leader growth of 0.1% market share is extremely hard to obtain. its stores had by its own admission become a bit sterile and factory like - but it will recover. the basket case among the big lads keeps changing like a game of pass the parcel. my own view is that it is currently morrisons - but all of these businesses are extremely cash rich and money generating machines. the issue is what do they do with that cash. many see them as evil - but realistically nobody forces anybody to shop in them. personally, i have more respect for them than i do about the banking sector. the biggest issue for three of them (excl asda) is that they are all listed on the UK stock exchange and there is always pressure from the city for both growth, EBITDA and thus share price. asda, as part of wal-mart, is less influenced by the vagaries of the city - but, believe me, wal-mart does not less the moss grow. hasslem hasslem
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Noiticer says...

Just buy as little as possible at the lowest price possible and enrich oneself rather than the capitalists and at the same time help the country by not sucking in billions worth of imports which drag down the balance of payments. Also by not buying it forces the shops to reduce prices further to get rid of their products. And ones stays clear of debt!
Just buy as little as possible at the lowest price possible and enrich oneself rather than the capitalists and at the same time help the country by not sucking in billions worth of imports which drag down the balance of payments. Also by not buying it forces the shops to reduce prices further to get rid of their products. And ones stays clear of debt! Noiticer
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Sun 23 Dec 12

Kevin, Colne says...

hasslem hasslem wrote:
Kevin, Colne wrote:
Hasslem, Hasslem

Thank you for responding to my observations. I take your point about food sales: there is a limit to the number of mice pies that people can consume!

Your comments demonstrate very well the highly sophisticated operating model of the supermarkets but with food inflation marching ahead there must be a fear that consumers will have fewer Pounds for discretionary expenditure that may typically encompass non-food items. As you say non-food offerings have been developed extensively by some of the groups and this takes them into an entirely new realm of competition, notably on-line e-tailers. The supermarkets have developed their on-line shopping proposition but the danger here must be that they are effectively cannibalising their bricks n’mortar stores.

I wonder whether you might agree that ‘The ‘Big Four or Five’ supermarkets have reached the point where they can grow only by taking market share from each other; and the hard-discounters are taking market share at the low price end.

To be honest I think the supermarkets have a pretty big strategic dilemma on their hands in as much as the ‘easy’ growth of yesteryear is now well and truly over, but with top managers schooled in the doctrine of growth the potential for going astray strikes as being quite high. One has to look only at Tesco’s unsuccessful foray into the USA market while the business back at home was running into the sand. Perhaps this confirms your point about firms concentrating on their core competences and capabilities and on customers that they know well and understand.

With every good wish

Kevin
Mice Pies? Best not to give any of them to my pal Micky!

whilst, you are correct about the cannibalization impact of bricks n clicks it is vital that if there is any development of food sales via the internet that the "big 4" you refer to grab the sales themselves rather than letting a new entrant into the market to eat their pie (almost literally).

the important thing that clicks offers each of the big 4 is to open new markets for some of them. customer acquisition is very expensive to get and loyalty even harder to maintain. people's choice of grocer (store) is largely (but not totally) a function of convenience - ie most shoppers are lazy and will shop at the closest superstore and do top-ups across a range of shops. internet shopping for food is largely driven by the choice of superstore - but the ease allows the internet savvy shopper to be much more promiscuous in their choice - shoppers will desert and opt for another option if they get let down by their delivery. interestingly morrisons website is not interactive and they have lost market share in recent years. it is really really hard to get a decent online food offer as the logistics are extremely complicated. the rewards are there if you can crack it - but the likes of occado are finding it extraordinarily tough.

realistically the top 4 have been taking share off the rest of the multiple sector since the 60s. Self-service (late 40s) and the end of food rationing (mid 50s) led to the evolution of supermarkets, but this also permitted the coop to do well too. the main driver that when the multiples exploded was the abolition of re-sale price maintenance in 1964/65 (where multiples could pass on their buying power onto the customers in lower prices - its still in place in a few limited fields notably newspapers). the likes of tesco, sainsbury's and finefare thrived. 60s also saw lifestyle changes in the home and kitchen gadgetry like fridges and freezers couple with increasing car ownership led to the development of the first out of town shops (asda).
following on from that the multiples basically crept all over the country - but the growth came largely at the expense of a phenomenally week coop sector (too many independent societies) and the corner shop. when this easy growth slowed the boys had to start to take share off each other partly through attrition and parlty through acquistion. stacks of grocery names have disappeared: Fine Fare, Safeway, Presto, Liptons, Templetons, Hintons, Laws, Wm. Low, Lennons, Interantional, Frank Dee, Hillards, Wm Jackson/Grandways, Gateway, Mac Markets, Victor Value, Kwik Save.....

you are right growth is now extremely difficult. of course the market is saturated (only so much food) which explains the big lads exploring new options. tesco wasn't really running into the sand because of the USA venture - they operate successfully in many countries in eastern europe and south east asia. the US is a retailers graveyard for UK companies - they all try and they almost all universally fail (Marks, Tesco, Sainsburys...) . tesco had not become a basket case - but sales growth had tailed off - its biggest issue in the uk is that as market leader growth of 0.1% market share is extremely hard to obtain. its stores had by its own admission become a bit sterile and factory like - but it will recover.

the basket case among the big lads keeps changing like a game of pass the parcel. my own view is that it is currently morrisons - but all of these businesses are extremely cash rich and money generating machines. the issue is what do they do with that cash. many see them as evil - but realistically nobody forces anybody to shop in them. personally, i have more respect for them than i do about the banking sector. the biggest issue for three of them (excl asda) is that they are all listed on the UK stock exchange and there is always pressure from the city for both growth, EBITDA and thus share price. asda, as part of wal-mart, is less influenced by the vagaries of the city - but, believe me, wal-mart does not less the moss grow.
Hasslem, Hasslem,

Thank you for posting an excellent and informative piece. You have produced a tour de force of the history and development of supermarket retailing that is mightily impressive.

Mice pies? Yes well, I now would like to exercise my right to invoke the ‘Captain Mainwaring defence’: “Ah well spotted, I was wondering who’d be first to notice that!”
[quote][p][bold]hasslem hasslem[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kevin, Colne[/bold] wrote: Hasslem, Hasslem Thank you for responding to my observations. I take your point about food sales: there is a limit to the number of mice pies that people can consume! Your comments demonstrate very well the highly sophisticated operating model of the supermarkets but with food inflation marching ahead there must be a fear that consumers will have fewer Pounds for discretionary expenditure that may typically encompass non-food items. As you say non-food offerings have been developed extensively by some of the groups and this takes them into an entirely new realm of competition, notably on-line e-tailers. The supermarkets have developed their on-line shopping proposition but the danger here must be that they are effectively cannibalising their bricks n’mortar stores. I wonder whether you might agree that ‘The ‘Big Four or Five’ supermarkets have reached the point where they can grow only by taking market share from each other; and the hard-discounters are taking market share at the low price end. To be honest I think the supermarkets have a pretty big strategic dilemma on their hands in as much as the ‘easy’ growth of yesteryear is now well and truly over, but with top managers schooled in the doctrine of growth the potential for going astray strikes as being quite high. One has to look only at Tesco’s unsuccessful foray into the USA market while the business back at home was running into the sand. Perhaps this confirms your point about firms concentrating on their core competences and capabilities and on customers that they know well and understand. With every good wish Kevin[/p][/quote]Mice Pies? Best not to give any of them to my pal Micky! whilst, you are correct about the cannibalization impact of bricks n clicks it is vital that if there is any development of food sales via the internet that the "big 4" you refer to grab the sales themselves rather than letting a new entrant into the market to eat their pie (almost literally). the important thing that clicks offers each of the big 4 is to open new markets for some of them. customer acquisition is very expensive to get and loyalty even harder to maintain. people's choice of grocer (store) is largely (but not totally) a function of convenience - ie most shoppers are lazy and will shop at the closest superstore and do top-ups across a range of shops. internet shopping for food is largely driven by the choice of superstore - but the ease allows the internet savvy shopper to be much more promiscuous in their choice - shoppers will desert and opt for another option if they get let down by their delivery. interestingly morrisons website is not interactive and they have lost market share in recent years. it is really really hard to get a decent online food offer as the logistics are extremely complicated. the rewards are there if you can crack it - but the likes of occado are finding it extraordinarily tough. realistically the top 4 have been taking share off the rest of the multiple sector since the 60s. Self-service (late 40s) and the end of food rationing (mid 50s) led to the evolution of supermarkets, but this also permitted the coop to do well too. the main driver that when the multiples exploded was the abolition of re-sale price maintenance in 1964/65 (where multiples could pass on their buying power onto the customers in lower prices - its still in place in a few limited fields notably newspapers). the likes of tesco, sainsbury's and finefare thrived. 60s also saw lifestyle changes in the home and kitchen gadgetry like fridges and freezers couple with increasing car ownership led to the development of the first out of town shops (asda). following on from that the multiples basically crept all over the country - but the growth came largely at the expense of a phenomenally week coop sector (too many independent societies) and the corner shop. when this easy growth slowed the boys had to start to take share off each other partly through attrition and parlty through acquistion. stacks of grocery names have disappeared: Fine Fare, Safeway, Presto, Liptons, Templetons, Hintons, Laws, Wm. Low, Lennons, Interantional, Frank Dee, Hillards, Wm Jackson/Grandways, Gateway, Mac Markets, Victor Value, Kwik Save..... you are right growth is now extremely difficult. of course the market is saturated (only so much food) which explains the big lads exploring new options. tesco wasn't really running into the sand because of the USA venture - they operate successfully in many countries in eastern europe and south east asia. the US is a retailers graveyard for UK companies - they all try and they almost all universally fail (Marks, Tesco, Sainsburys...) . tesco had not become a basket case - but sales growth had tailed off - its biggest issue in the uk is that as market leader growth of 0.1% market share is extremely hard to obtain. its stores had by its own admission become a bit sterile and factory like - but it will recover. the basket case among the big lads keeps changing like a game of pass the parcel. my own view is that it is currently morrisons - but all of these businesses are extremely cash rich and money generating machines. the issue is what do they do with that cash. many see them as evil - but realistically nobody forces anybody to shop in them. personally, i have more respect for them than i do about the banking sector. the biggest issue for three of them (excl asda) is that they are all listed on the UK stock exchange and there is always pressure from the city for both growth, EBITDA and thus share price. asda, as part of wal-mart, is less influenced by the vagaries of the city - but, believe me, wal-mart does not less the moss grow.[/p][/quote]Hasslem, Hasslem, Thank you for posting an excellent and informative piece. You have produced a tour de force of the history and development of supermarket retailing that is mightily impressive. Mice pies? Yes well, I now would like to exercise my right to invoke the ‘Captain Mainwaring defence’: “Ah well spotted, I was wondering who’d be first to notice that!” Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Sun 23 Dec 12

s_smith says...

Of course, with council-run car parks being free on weekends, it would be interesting to see whether trade has increased in town like everyone thought it would, or whether - as proper research suggests - its had no impact on trade whatsoever.
Of course, with council-run car parks being free on weekends, it would be interesting to see whether trade has increased in town like everyone thought it would, or whether - as proper research suggests - its had no impact on trade whatsoever. s_smith
  • Score: 0

9:10am Tue 25 Dec 12

Graham Hartley says...

I am always entertained by by the TV advert in which one supermarket claims to have many more items at reduced prices than do its competitors; the number of items offered at higher prices never mentioned.
I am always entertained by by the TV advert in which one supermarket claims to have many more items at reduced prices than do its competitors; the number of items offered at higher prices never mentioned. Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

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