BBC News: "New Look Cuts 1000 jobs and Closes 60 Stores"
As I sit and write this, minutes after it's been announced through news agencies, none of it gives me great pleasure. I did nearly 20 years in retail up to high levels. My ex-wife was 'laid off' by companies that saddled themselves with debt, 'hoping' things were going to turn around. They didn't.
And now it appears that another High Street name was struggling. It will be truly upsetting and devastating for those 1,000 employess and their families. I very much know that feeling.
Back in the first week of January in a video I put into my private Facebook Group, called 'The Best Kept Business Secret', I told people that this year could be their best year ever, but it was going to be tough. I couldn't have been proven more right if I'd wanted to be by the first week of March. Carillion, Toys R Us, Maplin, and now New Look plus others have started falling over. I question how long this domino effect is and only wish I could be AS right about my EuroMillions lottery numbers.
The UK high street is now starting to look like a 3D estate agents front window as more "For Rent" and "For Sale" signs go up, with windows washed out or boarded up.
But oddly I have hope.
I have hope that something will begin to happen. The hope that a groundswell of business people will get together; allow independent retailers and food outlets show their wares. Show what they can do. Show the brilliance that sits beneath the ridiculousness of the corporate ineptitude.
I have hope that the landlords who will soon be recieving no money for their spaces show common sense and work something out. Remember property is a great investment, but if no-one wants to buy it, or rent it, it will soon become a weight around their necks and ultimatley their business. Rent negotiations seem to be going on up and down the country as your read this and that is a sensible step. But someone in the local authorities needs to start to 'own' their high streets.
Worcestershire, (where I'm originally from), used to have a slogan saying it was "a great place to live." Towns, cities and shopping centres will soon no longer be a great place to be. They are emptying faster than a sieve full of water.
It's time that retail as a whole; the high street as a whole, grab a seat, work out how it comes back from here or face extinction. This is not some rose tinted glasses notion, this is me looking to the CEO's, Investment Firms and Business Owners, to step up and start doing the right thing...serve their customers first and foremost...because those customers just also happen to be their employees and their families.
Story from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43317334