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Old 18-04-2011, 12:13   #721
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They have closed the HMV local to my parents in Epsom, which was not on the original list to close this year. There was a break on the lease so could walk away.

The plan was to be one of the proposed combi stores as the local Waterstones is on 2 floors both with no customers, so turn into 1 for HMV and 1 for Waterstones, although the plans to sell Waterstones seem to have killed off that idea
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Old 04-05-2011, 15:19   #722
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13283501

Focus is going into administration.
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Old 04-05-2011, 15:43   #723
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You have to wonder how the hell a simple DIY chain could be allowed by it's banks and other creditors to get over £230m in debt - the harsh reality is it should have folded several years ago. Who extended them that much credit! I mean even if the Wickes guy had managed to turn them around they'd have to be making tens of millions of pounds in clear profit a year for many years in a row to start tackling that.
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Old 04-05-2011, 16:34   #724
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True, would have thought the interest on that would have killed them. THey're not a massive chain anymore
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Old 18-05-2011, 11:08   #725
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Not in administration (yet) but Mothercare to close 25% (110 stores) over the next two years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13436017

I went in to their Hammersmith store a few months ago to get something for my sister - an absolute hell-hole stuffed full of chavs and screaming chav brats and seriously miserable and unhelpful staff. Naturally I will choose Baby Gap / Tesco / local independent baby stuff store rather than set foot in the hell-hole again.
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Old 18-05-2011, 16:06   #726
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We're buying for our baby, not impressed with it at all. Always overpriced for what they sell, its another one where I don't think many people will be shocked.

Best watch out if you do one of their baby accounts where you pick your stuff and then pay it off bit by bit
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Old 23-05-2011, 09:36   #727
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyVader View Post
Not in administration (yet) but Mothercare to close 25% (110 stores) over the next two years.

I went in to their Hammersmith store a few months ago to get something for my sister - an absolute hell-hole stuffed full of chavs and screaming chav brats and seriously miserable and unhelpful staff. Naturally I will choose Baby Gap / Tesco / local independent baby stuff store rather than set foot in the hell-hole again.
You can hardly hold it against them that there were people with kids in the shop (shock horror) - whatever next?
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Old 23-05-2011, 10:29   #728
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I stand by that no bancruptcy has been a surprise to me, if you'd sat and thought about any of these then its pretty much certainty that they're running a 90's business model in todays modern age.

HMV's "Buy it from us, what choice do you have?" might have worked in 1992, but hardly does it today. Hopefully new management will see it compete.

Future predictions - Clintons and other high end card shops, Card Factory is always packed, these are always empty. WH Smiths, Homebase?
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Old 23-05-2011, 10:38   #729
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I noticed our local Trespass shop is closing.

Don't know what the new owners of Waterstones will do. One talking head on t'telly suggested they might withdraw into smaller, more local-style outlets.
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Old 23-05-2011, 19:43   #730
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Trespass is always closing down, you sure its for ever?
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Old 24-05-2011, 10:42   #731
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Quote:
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I stand by that no bancruptcy has been a surprise to me, if you'd sat and thought about any of these then its pretty much certainty that they're running a 90's business model in todays modern age.

HMV's "Buy it from us, what choice do you have?" might have worked in 1992, but hardly does it today. Hopefully new management will see it compete.

Future predictions - Clintons and other high end card shops, Card Factory is always packed, these are always empty. WH Smiths, Homebase?
Not sure about Homebase I think they are doing very well now. I think there is room for 3 DIY chains, especially as wickes is "Own Brand" only. Homebase are pretty price competitive now as they are part of the Argos group. Although I did hear something about them being seperated off which may cause trouble. Homebase are often considerably cheaper than B&Q for a lot of things and our local one is always busy.

Last edited by eddieed; 24-05-2011 at 10:43.
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Old 24-05-2011, 11:34   #732
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I've always found the opposite. B&Q is usually cheaper and has a better selection
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Old 24-05-2011, 13:10   #733
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I find both B&Q and Wickes to be well expensive for most things, easily beaten by Homebase. Plus Homebase quite often have discount weekends, and as far as I can tell, they don't put prices up for these weekends, they are genuinely cheaper.

Then again they're all beaten by the likes of Wilko's and for certain things Poundland/Poundstretcher etc!
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Old 24-05-2011, 13:13   #734
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Focus were always a little flaky IMO. The way the shelves were stocked, the bargain bins etc. It always seemed like a bit of an afterthought.

I don't rate B&Q much, but you can nearly always get sorted there.
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Old 25-05-2011, 13:01   #735
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyVader View Post
Not in administration (yet) but Mothercare to close 25% (110 stores) over the next two years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13436017

I went in to their Hammersmith store a few months ago to get something for my sister - an absolute hell-hole stuffed full of chavs and screaming chav brats and seriously miserable and unhelpful staff. Naturally I will choose Baby Gap / Tesco / local independent baby stuff store rather than set foot in the hell-hole again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbullivant View Post
We're buying for our baby, not impressed with it at all. Always overpriced for what they sell, its another one where I don't think many people will be shocked.

Best watch out if you do one of their baby accounts where you pick your stuff and then pay it off bit by bit
The way I see it for baby stuff, people on a budget will buy their baby clothes at Primark, ASDA, Tesco, etc as they're cheaper, whereas people with more disposable income will shop at places like Jo Maman Bebe, Petit Bateau and Gap. That leaves Mothercare in a predicament because you cannot charge high prices and sell average tat because your customers will bugger off somewhere cheaper or somewhere what sells better quality items. I imagine they're going to focus on out of town stores and hopefully improve their products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbullivant View Post
Future predictions - Clintons and other high end card shops, Card Factory is always packed, these are always empty. WH Smiths, Homebase?
I agree with you regarding Clintons but I can see the WH Smith name suriving because they have the airport, service station and railway station markets sewn up. Every terminal in London has a branch - quite a captive audience. Hardware stores will always have a market because people will always want to make home improvements and that can't always be done by browsing a website, and it's argued as no-one is moving home currently then people will spend the money on DIY instead. The question is who has the biggest pieces of the pie. I expect Homebase and B&Q to remain with us for a good while yet.

Last edited by danielsesay; 25-05-2011 at 13:04.
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Old 25-05-2011, 14:49   #736
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Looks like buyers were found for 55 of the Focus stores anyway, but the remaining 123 will probably close down.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13538192
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Old 25-05-2011, 15:59   #737
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Old 26-05-2011, 10:44   #738
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Quote:
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The question is who has the biggest pieces of the pie. I expect Homebase and B&Q to remain with us for a good while yet.
I agree. B&Q should be ok, they are Kingfisher group owned and along with Screwfix (also owned by same parent company) they do ok I would expect. Focus seems the worst (and it has shown) and homebase just sits in the middle. I would expect store closures for Homebase. Wickes are another that fall more on the trade side so closer to Screwfix?
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Old 26-05-2011, 11:31   #739
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B&Q in my opinion tend to sell too many major things and not the small bits you need.. THe amount of times we've needed a few pence washer or certain bit for plumbing and all they have in say the full tap for £60.
Some of the smaller shops seem to stock bits.

I did some drilling of holes in my PC case a while ago for a water cooling setup and not one of the chain DIY stores had the auger / drillbit required. Popped along to a small independent shop and they had a wide selection to choose from and I got exactly what I wanted.

Focus seems to be a bit of everything just thrown together with no real thought.
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Old 26-05-2011, 11:40   #740
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Reading today about HMV. Although the sale of Waterstones isn't 100%, likely to be approved - and they got more money for it than predicted.

This has calmed nerves a bit, although music industry apparently still very supportive (still account for 25% of UK music sales) so it's in no-one's interest to see them fail. But sales down again during first quarter.
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