Companies That You Expect to Disappear Soon

Peter Sarf

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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?
Oh yes. The gig economy has created a lot of zero hours contracts. Apparently people like these - a myth I suggest ?. I have yet to meet someone who likes this. For flexibility read insecurity. But the punters are too greedy to see that what goes round comes round. You save on some thing you buy and then have to pay more in welfare for the people left behind. Mind you if you go too far down the socialist route you breed complacency. Somewhere in the middle is the middle ground - but that is boring !.
 
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DavidGrain

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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 ?.
No you are correct, not an urban myth: A1 covers shops, A2 coveres financial institutions, yes including betting shops, A3 is restaurants and cafes, A4 Drinking establishments, A5 Hot food takeaways.
How that affect their rateable value for Business rates, I don't know as that is not my field.
 

headshot119

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Oh yes. The gig economy has created a lot of zero hours contracts. Apparently people like these - a myth I suggest ?. I have yet to meet someone who likes this. For flexibility read insecurity. But the punters are too greedy to see that what goes round comes round. You save on some thing you buy and then have to pay more in welfare for the people left behind. Mind you if you go too far down the socialist route you breed complacency. Somewhere in the middle is the middle ground - but that is boring !.
Not a myth at all, I was firmly in the category of liking my zero hours contract I had during university, as it was flexible enough to fit around my studies. There is a place in society for zero hours contracts, but they should be used a lot less than they actually are.
 

Peter Sarf

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Not a myth at all, I was firmly in the category of liking my zero hours contract I had during university, as it was flexible enough to fit around my studies. There is a place in society for zero hours contracts, but they should be used a lot less than they actually are.
I was lead to believe that if you did not take the work offered when it was offered then you tended to get forgotten about. But how true is that ?. It makes sense I suppose but then again it depends how many alternative people there were available.
 

headshot119

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I was lead to believe that if you did not take the work offered when it was offered then you tended to get forgotten about. But how true is that ?. It makes sense I suppose but then again it depends how many alternative people there were available.
It really depends on the company, some do operate on that basis, which is a lot of what is wrong with zero hour contracts. Where I worked didn't, and it wasn't an issue if you didn't pick up shifts for a few weeks.
 

Bald Rick

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Oh yes. The gig economy has created a lot of zero hours contracts. Apparently people like these - a myth I suggest ?. I have yet to meet someone who likes this.
I had a zero hours contract 30 years ago. Loved it, as it suited my circumstances and lifestyle then perfectly. Sometimes there was no work for a few days, sometimes just a short shift, sometimes 70hrs+ a week. I’d usually get my shifts sorted a few days out, but it wasn’t unknown to be in on the early shift (finish 1430/1530) and be asked to come back for the evening shift (1700). Yes, I was young, full of energy, and my financial responsibilities were much less than they were now. But it was brilliant.

The employer? The NHS.
 

Iskra

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I had a zero hours contract 30 years ago. Loved it, as it suited my circumstances and lifestyle then perfectly. Sometimes there was no work for a few days, sometimes just a short shift, sometimes 70hrs+ a week. I’d usually get my shifts sorted a few days out, but it wasn’t unknown to be in on the early shift (finish 1430/1530) and be asked to come back for the evening shift (1700). Yes, I was young, full of energy, and my financial responsibilities were much less than they were now. But it was brilliant.

The employer? The NHS.
I hear that a lot of university staff/academics are also on zero hour contracts too.

Used responsibly, they aren't necessarily a bad thing, it's just that many do appear to be exploitative.
 

PG

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I had a zero hours contract 30 years ago. Loved it, as it suited my circumstances and lifestyle then perfectly. Sometimes there was no work for a few days, sometimes just a short shift, sometimes 70hrs+ a week. I’d usually get my shifts sorted a few days out, but it wasn’t unknown to be in on the early shift (finish 1430/1530) and be asked to come back for the evening shift (1700). Yes, I was young, full of energy, and my financial responsibilities were much less than they were now. But it was brilliant.

The employer? The NHS.
I too worked some time ago on a bank (ie as and when required) basis for the NHS, and at the time it too suited my circumstances well. I could schedule work around other things as opposed to other things being scheduled around my work.

After a few years my circumstances changed and I worked on a more normal x hours per week contract.
 

DavidGrain

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The idea that zero hours contracts are always a bad thing cannot be true in many circumstances.
Let us take two examples: Suppose you are a a football club who need an army of workers for home matches. Do you keep them permanently on the payroll just to work every other Saturday in the winter plus other occasions?
Then there is the catering industry. You have a conference and banqueting centre. Do you keep your kitchen and waiting staff on permanently in the hope that you have enough banquets, conferences and weddings to pay for them or do you have a list of people you can call in as required.

I used to work for a transport company and one of our depot managers never used agency drivers as he had a number of people he could call on. He was able to maintain their loyalty because most of the Saturday work was done by them.

Ten years ago I spent seven weeks in hospital, most of that time in a rehab ward. The qualified nurses, therapists etc were full time staff but most of the rest of the staff on the ward were on what in the NHS is know as the bank, ie those who would work as required. I actually overheard the ward manager speaking to one of them because she had worked more than 48 hours that week.
 

Bletchleyite

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I hear that a lot of university staff/academics are also on zero hour contracts too.

Used responsibly, they aren't necessarily a bad thing, it's just that many do appear to be exploitative.
They're ideal for students - you get yourself "on the books" of a company (so do all the paperwork once) and then work as they need you/you need work. That's basically what they're made for - single-customer "contracting" in a sense.

The trouble is where they are used for people who do have regular hours and should be on a proper contract.
 

Tetchytyke

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If you want to be a temp, then zero hours contracts are great. You can pick up shifts when you want to, and don't have to pick up shifts when you don't. It's the same principle as with bank or supply work, you pick and choose when you want to work, and let the agency do the rest.

Where it all falls down is that many companies no longer use zero hours contracts for temporary or bank staff, there to cover peaks or absences, they use them for everyone. That is hugely exploitative. It is about business owners transferring the risk of ther business on to their staff, especially in the hospitality industry. Oh it's a quiet night, off you go home, and no, we're not paying you for your travel.

As others have said, universities are going down the zero hours route in a really big way for their teaching and research staff. It's disgraceful. The work needs doing, what zero hours contracts are there for is to impose control on the staff. Criticise the corrupt VC (I've worked in several universities, and the VCs of all of them have been- to a man- fundamentally corrupt) and you don't get any work. It is one way of making staff kiss ass.

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.
The Brexit supporters I know and talk to agree with Brexit, but don't agree with big companies exploiting people. Most Brexit supporters are not, in my experience, fanatical libertarians, they just want a fair crack of the whip and blame the EU for the fact they don't get one. And with Martin shafting his staff and shafting his suppliers, I think people will notice that. With the upcoming recession, cheap beer will likely outsell ethical beer, and so I don't expect Spoons to be deserted. But I think people have noticed what he's up to and they don't like it.

Maybe I'm just associating with Woke Brexit :lol:
 
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DavidGrain

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I think that the gig economy started with Harold Wilson imposing Selective Employment Tax. Yes a Labour Government really did tax employment. The construction industry were not classed as an essential business and so construction companies could not recover the tax. The result of this was that all the construction companies immediately made all their workers self employed. Going on the Lump as it was called in those days. The Law of Unintended Consequences is often a result of government policy.

And before anyone wants to start a political argument please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Employment_Tax The figures quoted were significant amounts in the 1960s
 

philjo

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BBC reported today that Go Outdoors is going into administration.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53127083

Go Outdoors' owners are set to call in administrators as the coronavirus pandemic pushes High Street retailers to breaking point.

JD Sports, which owns Go Outdoors, filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators on Friday, according to reports in the Sunday Times.

The chain employs about 2,400 staff across 67 stores, specialising in camping equipment, bikes and clothes.

The coronavirus pandemic has ramped up pressure on the firm.

It did not comment on the reports when contacted by the BBC.

The Manchester-based JD Sports group bought Go Outdoors in 2016 for £112m. But the chain has been struggling in recent years, and forced store closures under the coronavirus lockdown have further exacerbated the firm's problems.

It is understood the accountancy firm Deloitte has been appointed to oversee the process, which could see the company restructured or requests made for rent cuts or "holidays" for its stores.

A spokesperson for Deloitte told the BBC it had no comment at this time.
 

philjo

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Also Betram Books went into administration on Friday. Bertram is one of the 2 main book wholesalers in the UK that supplied bookshops. It is also the distributor of stock for some smaller publishers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-53111229

More than 450 employees of a book wholesaler are set to lose their jobs after it collapsed into administration, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bertram Books, based at the Broadland Business Park in Norwich, appointed administrators this week.

The firm was founded in a chicken shed in 1968.

Joint administrators Turpin Barker Armstrong said the majority of staff would be made redundant with "immediate effect".

Kip Bertram, who started the company with his mother Elsie before selling it in 1999, said its collapse was "very sad for the staff, the city of Norwich and the customers".

He disputed the claims of the administrators over the reasons for the collapse, saying: "It's nothing to do with e-Books or Covid-19 - people still like to hold and smell books."

Mr Bertram said the firm's fate was concerning for small publishers which used it for distribution.

Galley Beggar Press, based in Norwich, is owed £7,000, and its co-founder Sam Jordison said Bertrams has "quite a lot of stock of ours - we have printed the books, but don't know if we can get hold of them".

In a statement, Turpin Barker Armstrong said: "Book wholesalers have suffered from falling demand in recent years due to changes in the distribution model for literature and the rising popularity of e-books.

"These factors, combined with the Covid-19 related closure of many public libraries and educational facilities, meant these businesses could no longer operate viably.

"Unfortunately, the majority of employees have been made redundant with immediate effect with a small number retained to manage the winding down of operations."
 

Crossover

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I never really understood "Go Outdoors." Always thought they were extremely expensive, and that was before you take into account that stupid membership card that they want you to have.
I have used them on occasion - some things used to be OK on price, but on my last visit, something I was after the store didn't have in my size and it was available on Amazon cheaper than the store with the "discount" applied. Over the last couple of years our local branch seems to have gone somewhat downhill, to the point that one of the last times, the roof was letting in more water than it was keeping out!
 

SteveM70

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JD was probably going down the Sports Direct finger in every pie business model.
Possibly an out of town add-on to the high street Blacks and (I think) Millets that they already own. Be interesting to see whether anyone goes for a cheap deal out of admin, apparently they’re sitting on an absurd level of stock that might suddenly become very cheap
 

OuterDistant

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Intu:


I'm struggling to see how a company can "[make] a loss of £2bn in 2019, failing earlier this year to raise £1bn in new funding, and having debts of £5bn" unless its headquarters consists of nothing but people shovelling £20 notes into a furnace.
 

Bald Rick

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Intu:


I'm struggling to see how a company can "[make] a loss of £2bn in 2019, failing earlier this year to raise £1bn in new funding, and having debts of £5bn" unless its headquarters consists of nothing but people shovelling £20 notes into a furnace.
It’s simple, and often the case with property companies.

There will have been a revaluation of property, based on a forward project of likely rental values. As shopping centres and the high street were already in trouble long before the virus hit, it’s not surprising that intu’s estate has fallen in value.

Any such fall in value is taken as a hit to the profit and loss.
 

johntea

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Pret suggesting redundancies;


I don't think they will disappear though. I think there will be a lot of redundancies in retail/leisure sector however.
3 million quid a week in takings is only 15% of normal? How many sandwiches does the world need!

It became a bit of a running joke with a few friends on a trip to London a few years back how many Pret branches we could spot over the weekend we stayed there, we easily got to over 100 without trying...and didn’t really venture out of central London!

Going to be a bit of a problem for many of these type of chains now that quite a lot of the regulars have migrated their office to home! (Deliveroo and the likes must be loving it though!)
 

SteveM70

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3 million quid a week in takings is only 15% of normal? How many sandwiches does the world need!
So £20 million a week is normal. 530 branches, average say 6 days a week (assuming 50% of weekdays on Saturday and Sunday) equates to £6,290 per branch per day. Assuming an average sandwich is £3.50 and that the average customer buys one of coffee / crisps / cake / fruit with it, so £5 total spend, that’s about 1,250 customers per store per day. Assuming they open 12 hours a day, it’s about 100 customers an hour or one every 40 seconds or so. Sounds about right to me
 

Iskra

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So £20 million a week is normal. 530 branches, average say 6 days a week (assuming 50% of weekdays on Saturday and Sunday) equates to £6,290 per branch per day. Assuming an average sandwich is £3.50 and that the average customer buys one of coffee / crisps / cake / fruit with it, so £5 total spend, that’s about 1,250 customers per store per day. Assuming they open 12 hours a day, it’s about 100 customers an hour or one every 40 seconds or so. Sounds about right to me
That sounds optimistic to me and I work in a very similar business and have worked in other ones too.

Some of their sites are in airports and other travel locations which usually have much longer trading hours than 12 hours, however.

Remember you lose 20% of takings in tax pretty much straight away, but that is still quite optimistic (probably double what I would expect an average store to take per day).

3 million quid a week in takings is only 15% of normal? How many sandwiches does the world need!

It became a bit of a running joke with a few friends on a trip to London a few years back how many Pret branches we could spot over the weekend we stayed there, we easily got to over 100 without trying...and didn’t really venture out of central London!

Going to be a bit of a problem for many of these type of chains now that quite a lot of the regulars have migrated their office to home! (Deliveroo and the likes must be loving it though!)
I do see them as quite a 'Southern' thing, it's more Greggs and Coffee shops up here, there is usually only one or two Prets per city.
 

cactustwirly

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That sounds optimistic to me and I work in a very similar business and have worked in other ones too.

Some of their sites are in airports and other travel locations which usually have much longer trading hours than 12 hours, however.

Remember you lose 20% of takings in tax pretty much straight away, but that is still quite optimistic (probably double what I would expect an average store to take per day).



I do see them as quite a 'Southern' thing, it's more Greggs and Coffee shops up here, there is usually only one or two Prets per city.
I would argue Pret is a bit like a coffee shop tbh, just with a greater range of sandwiches.
 

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