Companies That You Expect to Disappear Soon

SteveM70

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Indeed, the pandemic (and the closure of most Smiths) may have been the final nail but the coffin lid had been applied some time ago!
An ever increasing share of magazine sales are discounted subscriptions, so it’s a bit of a double whammy for the publishers.

But as for Q, the odd time I’ve bought it in recent years based on an interesting front cover, I’ve always been disappointed - it’s far, far thinner than it used to be and a lot of the content seems to be “listicles” rather than the original music journalism of its early days
 
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Tetchytyke

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Magazines are in a downward spiral, they're thinner than they used to be and have far more adverts. The women's mags my wife occasionally buys for a long journey seem to be nothing but adverts, which is a bit rich when the mag has a £4 cover price.

Specialist magazines (no, not that sort!) seem to be in a better place, but even then just look at the state of Rail magazine these days.

I'll have my Private Eye subscription until the day I die though!
 

Busaholic

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Magazines are in a downward spiral, they're thinner than they used to be and have far more adverts. The women's mags my wife occasionally buys for a long journey seem to be nothing but adverts, which is a bit rich when the mag has a £4 cover price.

Specialist magazines (no, not that sort!) seem to be in a better place, but even then just look at the state of Rail magazine these days.

I'll have my Private Eye subscription until the day I die though!
Of course, Private Eye is not available online, and probably never will be while Ian Hislop remains editor.
 

ainsworth74

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Of course, Private Eye is not available online, and probably never will be while Ian Hislop remains editor.
They've still come a long way! I'm sure it wasn't all that many years ago that the website was little more than a page with details on how to subscribe and a message otherwise telling you to "do one" if you were expecting to see any of their content for free online :lol: The website has since gained actual content I notice now! Still, it is somewhat odd that they don't offer a digital, paid for, version of the magazine.
 

C J Snarzell

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TUI have announced today that over 160 of their branches will closed in light of the bloodbath Covid19 has caused to the travel industry.

My home town has only two other travel agents left - Hays (who took over the former Thomas Cook branch) and an independent family run firm that has been around since the 1970s.

Lunn Poly, Going Places & First Choice have all disappeared in the last twenty years - maybe TUI will be the next to go?

CJ
 

gswindale

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TUI have announced today that over 160 of their branches will closed in light of the bloodbath Covid19 has caused to the travel industry.

My home town has only two other travel agents left - Hays (who took over the former Thomas Cook branch) and an independent family run firm that has been around since the 1970s.

Lunn Poly, Going Places & First Choice have all disappeared in the last twenty years - maybe TUI will be the next to go?

CJ
Lunn Poly and First Choice disappeared due to being acquired by what is now TUI. Going Places became part of Thomas Cook.

For quite sometime now, a number of "competing" travel agents/tour companies have been owned by the same parent. In a number of cases, the only difference would be the hotels you'd stay in - the included excursions would be the same and run together (as happened to us on a trip to the Azores where we paid less by booking with the tour operator direct, but got the better quality hotels than those who'd booked through the operators branch network (different branding)).
 

Huntergreed

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Given the rise of streaming services, the impacts of covid, and the mandation of masks in them, I wouldn't be surprised if this spells the end for the cinema industry (including the big ones like odeon, vue, cineworld etc).

I don't see the pleasure in sitting in a noisy, hot cinema with a mask one and no snacks when you can relax in your own home with no mask and no rules and enjoy the movie at your own pace (and pause for loo breaks!!)
 

DavidB

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I think it is more down to people routinely carrying tablets on which they can read ebooks in situations where they might previously have used a Kindle. A single purpose device like that has been rendered rather obsolete. Audiobooks and podcasts have also grown enormously in popularity.
I agree that a phone can be useful for reading books on commuting train journeys and the like, but the screen isn't great for longer periods and I have a Kindle at home, which I use a lot.

As regards real books versus e-books, it rather depends what it is. e-readers are fine for fiction, but for any reference books or anything with photos they are fairly crap.
 

thejuggler

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Byron burgers are teetering. No loss to me as I have been twice many years ago and on each occasion the burger must have been cooked under a 60w bulb.

I know rare can be an option, but they were steak tartare rare, despite asking for well done.
 

C J Snarzell

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Given the rise of streaming services, the impacts of covid, and the mandation of masks in them, I wouldn't be surprised if this spells the end for the cinema industry (including the big ones like odeon, vue, cineworld etc).

I don't see the pleasure in sitting in a noisy, hot cinema with a mask one and no snacks when you can relax in your own home with no mask and no rules and enjoy the movie at your own pace (and pause for loo breaks!!)
I had this conversation last night with my mum who prior to the lockdown, used to go to the local Vue cinema which did a cheap rate on a Tuesday.

The audiences at my local Vue were not great and yesterday's news is a potential death sentence for the cinema industry.

Who is going to go and sit in a cinema theatre for up to two hours wearing a face mask, when you can simply relax at home without one and watch something on Netflix which is far cheaper too.

Because I wear glasses, wearing a face mask too can steam up the lenses if you pull the mask above your nose and this can become uncomfortable at times. I generally have to resort to removing my glasses if I go in a shop now.

I personally think cinema going in this country has been on the decline for several years. You used to see queue's of people stood waiting outside cinema buildings to see the latest big film, with many unlucky few being turned away at the door because the cinema theatre had reached it's maximum capacity. I remember the rush to see Jurassic Park and the potential disorder outside the local Ritz when people realised they weren't going to get in. Very rare we will see that again.

More than 20 years ago, cinema going was a treat. A new film came out, and if you didn't go & see it, you would have to wait several months to rent it from Blockbuster (another industry that has long gone) or wait about four years for either the BBC or ITV to televise it.

We now live in a different world where cinema's are not regarded as prime social venues anymore - people went on dates to the cinema but how many do that now? People are more likely to go hill walking on a first date now rather than visit the cinema.

I also think people's viewing habits have changed & it's very rare a new film comes out now and people flock to the cinema to watch it. Even the new Bond film, that was put back to November - I will eventually watch this in the comfort of my own home NOT in a cinema.

The only issue in the decline of cinema's is the knock on effect to the film industry. I believe the vast majority of money generated from cinema tickets goes back to the film makers so the cinema doesn't make much of a profit at all. This is why you have to remortgage your house if you buy the drinks & popcorn while in the cinema! Peter Kay once joked about having four items in a pick n mix bag and it costing him £20.

CJ
 

xotGD

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From the BBC: "Hays Travel is to cut up to 878 jobs out of its 4,500-strong workforce."

Presumably this means lots of their stores will close.
 

FQTV

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From the BBC: "Hays Travel is to cut up to 878 jobs out of its 4,500-strong workforce."

Presumably this means lots of their stores will close.
And after they'd saved Thomas Cook from so many job losses!
Looking at the breakdowns, it’s principally trainee, bureau de change/foreign exchange and some head office staff positions associated with the former two cohorts that are under consultation.

At the same time M&Co, the Scottish-based clothing and homewares retailer is expected to enter a pre-pack administration, with fifty out of a total of 262 stores to close, and the founding family to buy back the assets constituting the remainder of the business.
 

richw

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Well the Retail company I work for doesn't seem to be that much in favour of outsourcing in fact they have even decided to buy their own delivery vans now instead of using a leasing company.
This is probably sensible! The retail company I used to work for, when one sprinter left the fleet, the leasing company charged the store over £25000 for damage. The vehicle was then seen on eBay once restored to good condition For £6995 + VAT.
those in spares/repair type condition were on eBay for 2995!
 

C J Snarzell

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Yesterday's news continued to deliver more grim job losses & business closures. Pizza Express is to close 67 of their restaurants due to mounting debts the company has had before lockdown.

Currys/PC World are also cutting 800 supervisory roles. I suspect they may be heading the same way as other former High Street electrical retailers like Comet & Maplin.

From conversations I have had, there is likely to be more more job losses on the horizon as the furlough scheme comes to an end & struggling businesses cannot afford to pay staff their full salaries.

I'm sure I have read somewhere that the unemployment level in the UK will become the highest since national records began 50 years ago. Economic Scientists are comparing the unemployment levels with those of the 1930s which was a time of extreme social hardship.

CJ
 

FQTV

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Yesterday's news continued to deliver more grim job losses & business closures. Pizza Express is to close 67 of their restaurants due to mounting debts the company has had before lockdown.
This is really just a hyper-acceleration of an inevitable trend, caused again by massive over-expansion, crippling debts and huge overheads, which are themselves often a product of exactly the same factors dictating the commercial property rental environment.

Hugh Osmond, who oversaw the earlier expansion of Pizza Express has gone on record recently to say that mid market ‘“casual dining chains have no future”:

 

DavidB

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This is really just a hyper-acceleration of an inevitable trend, caused again by massive over-expansion, crippling debts and huge overheads, which are themselves often a product of exactly the same factors dictating the commercial property rental environment.
That's as may be, but when it's accelerated to the point where what may have been spread out happens all at once, at a time when very few new jobs are appearing, it's got the potential to cause major problems.
 

C J Snarzell

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This is really just a hyper-acceleration of an inevitable trend, caused again by massive over-expansion, crippling debts and huge overheads, which are themselves often a product of exactly the same factors dictating the commercial property rental environment.

Hugh Osmond, who oversaw the earlier expansion of Pizza Express has gone on record recently to say that mid market ‘“casual dining chains have no future”:

Having been brought up in a working class town - I always feel Pizza Express is a refined eatery which I would associate with cosmopolitan environments where people have a bigger income to enjoy dining out. Somewhere that has a trendy setting - not a town where people eat pasties out of paper bags and do their shopping at Poundland.

There is a Pizza Hut in my home town which has always done really well, but PH feel like the McDonald's of Italian restaurants which will always capture a huge audience of low income families who have young children. It's almost like a 'fill yer boots' mentality when you go in Pizza Hut.

I have only dined at Pizza Express three times. The last time was the branch close to Liverpool's Echo Arena a few years ago. I seem to remember their pizzas are small and overpriced. If you have a big appetite like me, it's tempting to get a bag of chips on the way home!!!

CJ
 

SteveM70

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This is probably sensible! The retail company I used to work for, when one sprinter left the fleet, the leasing company charged the store over £25000 for damage. The vehicle was then seen on eBay once restored to good condition For £6995 + VAT.
those in spares/repair type condition were on eBay for 2995!
With the greatest of respect, that’s probably a reflection on the contract your employer entered into.

For most companies the decision whether to buy or lease is generally driven by their working capital position and the cost of money.
 

johntea

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I have literally no idea who shops in Dixons or the related brands these days

Huge stores means massive overheads, row upon row of TVs on display (might have worked a decade ago but now I suspect most people have a flat screen TV they are satisfied with)

If you want a new fridge you’re hardly getting that in the back of your car the same day either, so you might as well have ordered online to begin with

Obviously staff under pressure to hit their sale / extended warranty targets too, not their fault they have to try the hard sell to every customer but very off putting as a customer

Same with Carphone Warehouse, it is a business that no longer works too well in the ‘post Nokia’ era, people simply aren’t changing their phone every 2 minutes any more, makes me wonder how there are still so many mobile network operator physical retail stores around!
 

DavidGrain

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This is probably sensible! The retail company I used to work for, when one sprinter left the fleet, the leasing company charged the store over £25000 for damage. The vehicle was then seen on eBay once restored to good condition For £6995 + VAT.
those in spares/repair type condition were on eBay for 2995!
I have to say that is a reflection on the company that you worked for. I used to work for a company that had 500 vehicles, all on contract hire terms. All damage to vehicles had to be reported and repaired so the only end of lease costs we had would be for excess mileage over the contract terms. OK our insurance costs were quite high but that was negotiable every year whereas you have no control over end of lease charges.
 

FQTV

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That's as may be, but when it's accelerated to the point where what may have been spread out happens all at once, at a time when very few new jobs are appearing, it's got the potential to cause major problems.
I would never seek to dismiss or even downplay the anxiety and economic impact that employees might face, but the point is that the whole sector has been spiralling towards this for years, and thousands have already lost their jobs over the past few, with 'the system' still steaming on and those folks being given little to no specific support when they're on the receiving end of another CVA.

This sudden acceleration in the trend does shine a spotlight on the unsustainability of the whole commercial rental property and venture capital/fund managed/investment backed 'concepts' in retail and hospitality, especially in shopping centres. If that means that the folks at the sharp end do get some support to get through the inevitable, because the scale of the problem can no longer be ignored, then that may be a small upside.

Having been brought up in a working class town - I always feel Pizza Express is a refined eatery which I would associate with cosmopolitan environments where people have a bigger income to enjoy dining out.
This is part of the problem with these types of places.

They're perceived as pricey by a large proportion of the popoulation, but not special enough by another large proportion to be an everyday choice. There are not enough people to patronise these places say, once a month, for a special treat, when there are so many of these places vying for business. Their rents and often the locations that they operate in mean that they must be open seven days a week, often 365 days a year, so they absolutely must drive custom way beyond the special occasion. To try and do so, they're the ones who have dumped '2-4-1' type vouchers into the market for quiet time dining, which then serves to dilute the proposition when trying to charge full price at busier times.

As an aside, this is likely to be a problem with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, too. A proportion of folks won't pay £20 on a Thursday for what was £10 on a Wednesday, so the effect is diluted.

My hope is that, at the end of this, local and more independent, privately owned and perhaps more freehold restaurants and cafes can find themselves doing far better, working on a more level playing field without the likes of Pizza Express with unsustainable institutional support covering £1.6m of debt per restaurant being (I'd argue) unfair competition down the road. They'll also employ more people per £ of spend (small independents almost always do) and some of those spat out by the chains find better employment with them as a result.
 

johntea

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WH Smith finally loses their seemingly invincible mode

WH Smith is considering cutting 1,500 jobs - 11% of its workforce - after lockdown caused sales to plummet.

A trading update said it expected to make losses of between £70-75m.

The company said it had been a very difficult decision. It said it was committed to supporting colleagues throughout the process and ensuring it was conducted fairly.

The newsagent is the latest High Street name to consider radical action amid the chaos caused by the coronavirus.

The company, which has 612 High Street shops and employs more than 14,000, saw revenue at its worst-hit divisions, those at airports and rail stations, fall by 92% in the first month of lockdown.

Its best performing division, the High Street, was still 25% down on last year in July after lockdown eased.

92% drop in revenue at airports and rail stations probably shows the trouble SSP are in!
 

C J Snarzell

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WHSmiths has cropped up on this thread many of times. If anyone has had the mispleasure of going into the Wigan Standishgate branch you will see how bad it has gone.

Tables full of discount books they can't get rid of, and display boxes full of almost outdated confectionary & sweets with discount Whoopsy labels.

Some of the magazine racks look like they haven't been touched in years - I'm sure if you looked hard enough you might be able to find a Buster comic or a copy of Lookin!!!

The staff in there seem fed up and there is no real pride or atmosphere in the place. It actually now feels like one of those ghastly temporary shops that spring up during the run up to Christmas - the ones that sell cheap multipacks of cards and Christmas decorations.

Given the High Street bloodbath is continuing - my money is on HMV taking another dive before the end of the year & Waterstones must be due a pinch of the Covid fallout considering everyone I know buys e-books these days.
 

gswindale

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Given the High Street bloodbath is continuing - my money is on HMV taking another dive before the end of the year & Waterstones must be due a pinch of the Covid fallout considering everyone I know buys e-books these days.
Yes & No with Waterstones - e-books are great for fiction, but not so good if you want a nice reference book with images etc. I'll happily read an electronic version of a Terry Pratchett book, but it's somewhat nicer having a good cook-book that can cope with being splattered in the kitchen!
 

Bletchleyite

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WHSmiths has cropped up on this thread many of times. If anyone has had the mispleasure of going into the Wigan Standishgate branch you will see how bad it has gone.
WHS has got so bad (other than the motorway services ones, which are the same only really in name) that I have no idea how it's still going anyway.

I remember when that one was a John Menzies! :)
 

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