Companies That You Expect to Disappear Soon

Iskra

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Remember over half the population agree with him over Brexit. 'Woke' customers may remember and care about Mr Martin's business practices but I doubt if they're his target ones anyway. I don't frequent student areas so may be wrong.
It all adds up though doesn't it and I should imagine margins are tight and even if a few percent stop going it can make a difference.

Even some of the Brexit-voting oldies who I attend the football with are principled enough to not use a business that screws its staff over.

I think the main customer base Spoons will retain is those that can't afford to drink elsewhere.
 
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Chew Chew

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Remember over half the population agree with him over Brexit. 'Woke' customers may remember and care about Mr Martin's business practices but I doubt if they're his target ones anyway. I don't frequent student areas so may be wrong.
It was 51.9% of the people who voted. That is a very different thing to saying over half the population agree with him over Brexit. On a turn out of 72.2% that translates to 38% of eligible voters, when you then add in those not eligible to vote it becomes around 25% of the UK population who voted in favour of Brexit.
 

Meerkat

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It was 51.9% of the people who voted. That is a very different thing to saying over half the population agree with him over Brexit. On a turn out of 72.2% that translates to 38% of eligible voters, when you then add in those not eligible to vote it becomes around 25% of the UK population who voted in favour of Brexit.
Not this nonsense! That is standard democracy.
 

Chew Chew

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Not this nonsense! That is standard democracy.
Nonsense? It is fact.

Whilst in the case of the number of people who voted Leave was the most popular choice I don't think it is correct to assert that "over half the population agree with him over Brexit".
 

Peter Sarf

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Unfortunately I think that you are spot on.

Without being offensive to any Wetherspoons customers who might be on this thread the type of people I see at the Wetherspoons I pass on my way home from work are not the sort of people that I expect would consider the behaviour of Tim Martin when they are thinking about what watering hole they wish to visit. It is all about the cheapness. I appreciate that might not be the same everywhere though, anecdotally I know my cousin loves his local Spoons as it is family friendly and not like the rest of the pubs where he lives which are pretty run down.
Interesting, I find spoons to be a bit rough tbh, especially when compared to other pubs in Leicester. The one by the train station looked really bad, but that's now closed.

The Hope Tap spoons in Reading has a reputation as well, that said other spoons are absolutely fine.
Some of the Wethrspoons are rough. Plenty are quite nice. It depends on the location. Interestingly in Croydons case a cheaper pub quite obviously drew off the rough drinkers.
 

underbank

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Argos will probably shut all it's sole stores with all of them being inside a Sainsbury's
At the moment, the "proper" city centre Argos stores are used as distribution hubs for the Sainsbury counters, so they're dual purpose. If they're closed, Argos will have to beef up their distribution system and build new local hubs. The Sainsbury counters have very little stock and very little storage space, so rely on daily deliveries from their nearest city centre store - they're just a satellite counter of the main local store at the moment.
 

Busaholic

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Remember over half the population agree with him over Brexit. 'Woke' customers may remember and care about Mr Martin's business practices but I doubt if they're his target ones anyway. I don't frequent student areas so may be wrong.
I think you left the 'd' off the end of 'agree'.

The son of a friend asked to 'come home' and live with her for the duration when the lockdown began, as he had been working for a brewer in Cardiff who'd sacked most of the staff, including him, and poured hundreds of gallons of beer down the drain. They hadn't paid him either, and he had no money for rent.The number of beer brewers will have decreased dramatically once the pubs reopen, which probably won't be until Autumn. It'll mostly be the 'big brands' in Wetherspoon's in future, I suspect, with smaller ones that survive probably wary to supply them.
 

Peter Sarf

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At the moment, the "proper" city centre Argos stores are used as distribution hubs for the Sainsbury counters, so they're dual purpose. If they're closed, Argos will have to beef up their distribution system and build new local hubs. The Sainsbury counters have very little stock and very little storage space, so rely on daily deliveries from their nearest city centre store - they're just a satellite counter of the main local store at the moment.
Sounds like the Argos' in Sainsburys are catering for click and collect only. The out of town Argos in (near) Croydon opposite Sainsburys has closed - presumably gone into Sainsburys ?. We still have the Argos in central Croydon afaik.
 

Dai Corner

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I think you left the 'd' off the end of 'agree'.

The son of a friend asked to 'come home' and live with her for the duration when the lockdown began, as he had been working for a brewer in Cardiff who'd sacked most of the staff, including him, and poured hundreds of gallons of beer down the drain. They hadn't paid him either, and he had no money for rent.The number of beer brewers will have decreased dramatically once the pubs reopen, which probably won't be until Autumn. It'll mostly be the 'big brands' in Wetherspoon's in future, I suspect, with smaller ones that survive probably wary to supply them.
Fair point about the 'd' !

Sorry to hear about your friend's son, and that his employer didn't furlough him.

Pouring good beer down the drain is a terrible waste. I'd have been there with a jug if they'd given it away (or even charged full price).
 

D365

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Whilst in the case of the number of people who voted Leave was the most popular choice I don't think it is correct to assert that "over half the population agree with him over Brexit".
Equally, it’s quite a stretch to make that claim nearly four years later.

As much as I’d like to say I will be boycotting ’spoons, in a lot of towns they are the only viable (or affordable) gastropub option. And I don’t particularly want to see their staff face further hardship.
 

philjo

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It was mentioned on the radio earlier that Debenhams will be closing a further 5 stores, including the Bull Ring in Birmingham.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52565928


Debenhams has confirmed that another five stores will not be re-opening after lockdown restrictions are lifted.
The department store chain has struck deals with landlords to keep most of its 142 stores open, after it fell into administration for the second time.
But five more stores will not reopen when the government lifts coronavirus restrictions on non-essential shops.
It's understood the retailer has been unable to agree new terms with shopping centre owner Hammerson.
The Debenhams stores affected are in the Bullring in Birmingham, The Oracle in Reading, Centrale in Croydon, Highcross in Leicester, and Silverburn in Glasgow.
The BBC understands that around 1,000 jobs will be affected, including concession staff.
Debenhams said in a statement: "We can confirm that despite our best efforts, we have been unable to agree terms with Hammerson on our five stores in its shopping centres, and so they will not be reopening.
"We continue to engage in constructive talks with our landlords and have agreed terms on the vast majority of our stores, which we look forward to reopening when government restrictions allow".
When Debenhams first collapsed in April last year, it agreed a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with its landlords to cut costs in order to save the business.
Under the agreement, the retailer would close 22 stores in 2020 and 28 stores in 2021.
Last month, Debenhams still had 142 stores but it was forced to appoint administrators again to protect the business from its creditors as coronavirus forced it to temporarily shut its stores.

It then accelerated negotiations with landlords to agree new terms and conditions, including a five month rent and service charge holiday.

More store closures

Debenhams has managed to strike deals on 120 stores. But over the course of the last few weeks, it's emerged a number of stores would close permanently once the government lifts restrictions on non-essential shops.
A total of 15 stores are now set for closure, including the five outlets in Hammerson shopping centres.
The BBC has approached Hammerson for comment.
The retailer's Warrington store had been earmarked to shut but this has now been given a last minute reprieve.
However, the future of five major Debenhams stores in Wales is still in doubt, unless the Welsh government reverses a decision on business rates relief.
Debenhams is still in discussions with the remaining seven stores in its estate.
The retailer is still trading online "normally" while its shops are closed.
Like many other non essential retailers, it has furloughed the majority of its staff who are being paid under the government's coronavirus job retention scheme which pays 80% of a worker's salary up to £2,500 a month.
Update -
BBC have just reported that Next will be taking over these 5 stores to open as Beauty Halls

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52571271

There'll be a new name in beauty appearing at shopping centres after the lockdown ends.
Next has snapped up space in five former Debenhams stores to extend its online Beauty concept to bricks and mortar.
The retail fashion chain launched its beauty business in 2018 and now offers 200 different brands online.
"We're creating a new force in beauty retailing," said Next boss Simon Wolfson.
The new stores will open up in five Hammerson shopping centres.
The stores will be located at Bullring & Grand Central, Birmingham, The Oracle, Reading, Highcross, Leicester, Silverburn, Glasgow and Centrale in Croydon.
Next said it is also in discussions for a "small number" of further sites, as it continues to grow its beauty business.

Replacing Debenhams

The beauty halls from Next will replace Debenhams' beauty halls in Hammerson's centres while the property owner looks at opportunities to fill the other empty floors of the former department stores.
Next said the stores would be adapted to ensure that, when they open, they adhere to government social distancing guidelines and are safe for customers and staff.
"This is an exciting opportunity to bring our online business to life," said Mr Wolfson.


Challenging time

The deal is a boost to Hammerson, which saw a £400m deal to sell seven UK retail parks collapse on Wednesday.
"This is a really challenging time for all of us, so it's really encouraging to see strong, innovative brands like Next work with us to plan for the future," said David Atkins, Hammerson's chief executive.
"This is another example of how we are re-purposing department store space and improving the shopping experience for consumers."
It received planning consent to redevelop the House of Fraser store at the Oracle, Reading in March and has secured Ireland's luxury retail store Brown Thomas to replace the House of Fraser unit in Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin.
"The Next deal is the right decision not only for consumers but for our communities more broadly, as it will create employment prospects and support local economies all over the country," said Mr Atkins.
 
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37424

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At the moment, the "proper" city centre Argos stores are used as distribution hubs for the Sainsbury counters, so they're dual purpose. If they're closed, Argos will have to beef up their distribution system and build new local hubs. The Sainsbury counters have very little stock and very little storage space, so rely on daily deliveries from their nearest city centre store - they're just a satellite counter of the main local store at the moment.
Indeed the main Hub stores run the Home Delivery operation as well as deliveries to the Inside Sainsburys stores are unlikely to close unless there is a major restructure of operations. My hub store is extremely busy at the moment the public shop floor space has been turned into additional storage space as Home Delivery and Click and Collect sales are through the roof far busy than the normal busy period in the run up to Christmas. There has been a trend to move the smaller stores into Sainsburys anyway, there are a few larger stand alone stores which don't run a Home Delivery service which are currently closed and staff relocated between other Argos stores and Sainsburys but I doubt, certainly the ones in my area will close because as you say the inside Sainsburys stores nearby are far too small.

Argos Home Delivery's based on a home delivery operation from the nearest Hub store which may be in your local City/Town or your next nearest City/Town, there has been suggestions that in the long term the Home Delivery operation might move to more centralised Dark warehouse structure in which the Hub stores would likely close, but up to corona at least while walk in sales to these stores has dropped off in recent years they still do reasonable business but going forward of course who knows.
 
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johntea

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Specialist Leisure Group has gone into administration (Shearings Holidays, National Holidays, Wallace Arnold, Bay Hotels)

Another casualty of Covid-19 obviously and a very sad one at that, I have used National Holidays in particular for several short coach breaks and the value for money often made me wonder how they could afford it in the first place! (e.g. a return coach trip from West Yorkshire to Newquay plus a few local excursions with a couple of nights stay in a hotel including some free drinks at the bar for about £100!)
 
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Thank you for that. I'd imagine the rather unloved (if press reports are accurate) Britannia Hotels might take a hit as well. I stayed in one once, in Liverpool (not the Adelphi) in 1986 or 87. Pretty grim. Mind, that shows they have staying power.
 

FQTV

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Specialist Leisure Group has gone into administration (Shearings Holidays, National Holidays, Wallace Arnold, Bay Hotels)

Another casualty of Covid-19 obviously and a very sad one at that, I have used National Holidays in particular for several short coach breaks and the value for money often made me wonder how they could afford it in the first place! (e.g. a return coach trip from West Yorkshire to Newquay plus a few local excursions with a couple of nights stay in a hotel including some free drinks at the bar for about £100!)
I’m rather saddened by this news, and it’ll be a worry in a lot of seaside towns in particular. If the supposed bounce in UK summer holiday season stands any chance at all, it needs all the accommodation and transport options available. Coaches and the likes of Bay Hotels would potentially be hugely useful, and their non-availability will be frustrating.

For a section of the population, coach trips are one of the only practical means of maintaining some kind of holiday activity, and therefore they fulfil a valuable function.

Unfortunately though, it seems that SLG was working on margins of about 1%, possibly in part due to its debt-backed through its ownership by a US private equity house.

I hope other coach operators, who together as an industry are facing the abyss, may be able to to pick up some of the business - perhaps even being able to combine efforts between a number of operators.

I suspect (though don’t know) that the coaches were leased and the hotels mortgaged, so the ultimate owners may be able to bring the money back to the market for other operators quite soon.
 
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DavidGrain

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I am planing a group booking next year in a Britannia hotel. Yes I have read the Trip Adviser reports but I am working on the fact that the group that I am organising it for will just require the hotel as a B & B. as I am planning a full programme for the weekend. This lockdown has prevented me making a reccie for all the things I am planning. I do know the hotel as I have stayed there many times before it became a Britannia hotel. So I am ever an optimist.
 

cactustwirly

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I am planing a group booking next year in a Britannia hotel. Yes I have read the Trip Adviser reports but I am working on the fact that the group that I am organising it for will just require the hotel as a B & B. as I am planning a full programme for the weekend. This lockdown has prevented me making a reccie for all the things I am planning. I do know the hotel as I have stayed there many times before it became a Britannia hotel. So I am ever an optimist.
Don't bother just book a premier Inn.
From what I've read they're dirty and falling apart, not very nice!
 

Statto

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Don't bother just book a premier Inn.
From what I've read they're dirty and falling apart, not very nice!
Britania are almost always ranked the worst of the hotel chains, plus the way they sacked staff & left some homeless as a result when the Lockdown started

Evictions and sackings in response to COVID-19
In March 2020, Britannia Hotels attracted widespread condemnation for their response to the coronavirus pandemic: on 19 March, the Coylumbridge Aviemore Hotel sacked and evicted approximately thirty staff without notice or redundancy pay, leaving several homeless as a result of living in the hotel as part of their jobs.Britannia Hotels later reversed the decision under widespread political and public pressure, but claimed that the sackings were due to an “administrative error”. A similar incident also occurred at the Britannia-owned Pontins holiday parks, where many employees were living there as part of their jobs

On 24 March, Manchester City Council reported that Britannia Hotels evicted homeless people from Britannia's two city centre hotels (Britannia Manchester and Sachas Hotel), despite the central government allowing hotels to continue accommodating health workers and homeless people.


 

FQTV

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I am planing a group booking next year in a Britannia hotel. Yes I have read the Trip Adviser reports but I am working on the fact that the group that I am organising it for will just require the hotel as a B & B. as I am planning a full programme for the weekend. This lockdown has prevented me making a reccie for all the things I am planning. I do know the hotel as I have stayed there many times before it became a Britannia hotel. So I am ever an optimist.
Don't bother just book a premier Inn.
From what I've read they're dirty and falling apart, not very nice!
Britania are almost always ranked the worst of the hotel chains, plus the way they sacked staff & left some homeless as a result when the Lockdown started

Evictions and sackings in response to COVID-19
In March 2020, Britannia Hotels attracted widespread condemnation for their response to the coronavirus pandemic: on 19 March, the Coylumbridge Aviemore Hotel sacked and evicted approximately thirty staff without notice or redundancy pay, leaving several homeless as a result of living in the hotel as part of their jobs.Britannia Hotels later reversed the decision under widespread political and public pressure, but claimed that the sackings were due to an “administrative error”. A similar incident also occurred at the Britannia-owned Pontins holiday parks, where many employees were living there as part of their jobs

On 24 March, Manchester City Council reported that Britannia Hotels evicted homeless people from Britannia's two city centre hotels (Britannia Manchester and Sachas Hotel), despite the central government allowing hotels to continue accommodating health workers and homeless people.


As others have said: if you can, choose an alternative. They’re a bad business and it’s likely that they’ll cause you and your guests bother unless they really have no baseline for decent standards.

When all this is over, I do hope that we become more discriminating and engaged with who we do business with. It’s those who have behaved responsibly and those whose businesses are sustainable that should be supported, not the bottom-feeders.
 

37424

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As others have said: if you can, choose an alternative. They’re a bad business and it’s likely that they’ll cause you and your guests bother unless they really have no baseline for decent standards.

When all this is over, I do hope that we become more discriminating and engaged with who we do business with. It’s those who have behaved responsibly and those whose businesses are sustainable that should be supported, not the bottom-feeders.
Indeed last time I stayed in one of their hotels the room was so hot I complained so they found me another room which was just as bad, by 2 in the morning I had enough and went and slept in the car instead.

I think there strong likely hood that those groups shielding for 12 weeks will be advised to shield beyond the current end date of mid June, so hotels and transport which cater for those groups are going to be in for a difficult time.

Theo Paphitis has suggested that the virus has accelerated the move to online retail by about five years which is probably not far off the mark, as such I think the list of Retailers going down the pan is likely to be a long one, and if the high street wasn't already finished in some towns it is now.
 

Dai Corner

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Two Welsh Councils have persuaded Debenhams not to close the branches in their cities permanently.

 

Peter Sarf

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As others have said: if you can, choose an alternative. They’re a bad business and it’s likely that they’ll cause you and your guests bother unless they really have no baseline for decent standards.

When all this is over, I do hope that we become more discriminating and engaged with who we do business with. It’s those who have behaved responsibly and those whose businesses are sustainable that should be supported, not the bottom-feeders.
My feeling is that it is the businesses that have filled the bottom of the barrel with very marginal profitability that will be the first ones to go. I don't blame those businesses or their business model. After all if they expected a better profit margin then the hotels/venues involved would have closed decades ago.

So COVID-19 has probably just accelerated the inevitable. Mind you bricks and mortar does not necessarily vanish so some will re-open under new owners when/*IF* demand picks back up. Given that I think flying will take longer to recover I suspect UK domestic holiday demand will recover quicker. It is highly likely that demand for domestic holidays will eventually be a lot more than last year whilst holidays abroad are not generally possible (due to quarantine regulations). That might stay a long term feature if COVID-19 hangs around for a long time or is followed by COVID-20, 21 etc. Large amounts of international (air) travel might become a thing of the past long before the ecological argument would have succeeded.

Two Welsh Councils have persuaded Debenhams not to close the branches in their cities permanently.

Good news - I don't know how the councils would have otherwise "persuaded" them. Problems will also be down to financial incentives. Lower rents (which normally depends on the building owners). But more likely a reduction in the business rates as these are crippling. I see some high streets / shopping centres dying because the local council still thinks they can make a healthy income out of business rates. Its like over fishing - they are sucking high streets dry. So it all depends whether the council see the high street as an important centre to the living area that their domestic rate payers (and voters) live in. Well done to Newport and Swansea councils for smelling the coffee.

The inevitable is that the internet is on the rise and people always want cheaper with quality/reliability/sustainability coming lower down the pecking order. So high streets will have to adapt to things that are not possible for the internet to do. Socialising (oops currently), hairdressing etc. Things that might be considered social include youth clubs and suchlike. Not actual money spinners but things that make a town/suburb attractive.
 

DavidGrain

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Good news - I don't know how the councils would have otherwise "persuaded" them. Problems will also be down to financial incentives. Lower rents (which normally depends on the building owners). But more likely a reduction in the business rates as these are crippling. I see some high streets / shopping centres dying because the local council still thinks they can make a healthy income out of business rates. Its like over fishing - they are sucking high streets dry. So it all depends whether the council see the high street as an important centre to the living area that their domestic rate payers (and voters) live in. Well done to Newport and Swansea councils for smelling the coffee.
Rateable values are fixed by the Valuation Office which is part of HMRC. Business Rates are fixed by the government. So local authorities have no control over business rates. The big problem with business rates in the retail industry is that shops have much higher rateable values than warehouses which is what online/mail order businesses are classed as.
 

Dai Corner

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Rateable values are fixed by the Valuation Office which is part of HMRC. Business Rates are fixed by the government. So local authorities have no control over business rates. The big problem with business rates in the retail industry is that shops have much higher rateable values than warehouses which is what online/mail order businesses are classed as.
The particular problem in Newport is that the Welsh Government decided not to exempt premises with a rateable value above £500,000 from Business Rates during the crisis, though all other retail and leisure businesses are exempt. The intention was probably to raise revenue from large supermarkets but Debenhams RV is just over the threshold so it has to pay even though it's not allowed to trade.
 

DavidGrain

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The particular problem in Newport is that the Welsh Government decided not to exempt premises with a rateable value above £500,000 from Business Rates during the crisis, though all other retail and leisure businesses are exempt. The intention was probably to raise revenue from large supermarkets but Debenhams RV is just over the threshold so it has to pay even though it's not allowed to trade.
Thanks for clarification
 

Peter Sarf

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Rateable values are fixed by the Valuation Office which is part of HMRC. Business Rates are fixed by the government. So local authorities have no control over business rates. The big problem with business rates in the retail industry is that shops have much higher rateable values than warehouses which is what online/mail order businesses are classed as.
Thanks. So not necessarily the local authority at fault but central government.

The above seems an unjustifiable advantage online/mail-order businesses have over shops ?. Another daft one is that, for planning rules, betting shops are classed as financial institutions - the same as banks !. That is what I was told once - or is that an urban myth ?.
 

Busaholic

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Thanks. So not necessarily the local authority at fault but central government.

The above seems an unjustifiable advantage online/mail-order businesses have over shops ?. Another daft one is that, for planning rules, betting shops are classed as financial institutions - the same as banks !. That is what I was told once - or is that an urban myth ?.
Politicians of all colours have utterly failed to deal with rate revaluation any more than they have with social care reform or, except in a very piecemeal way, pensions reform. The situation now is even more ludicrous while Amazon (say) can supply you with goods that may be in your local shop, but utterly unobtainable from them, and which of those potential suppliers will be paying more tax into government coffers, or providing employment for local workers with reasonable conditions of employment?
 

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