Monday, 27 December 2010

50% off half-price and nothing to pay to June 2016

Poland's gone back to work after Christmas, but here in the UK, there's an extra two days of public holiday (on account of the fact that Christmas Day and Boxing Day fell on a weekend). In Poland - tough. Public holidays on a weekend - the workers lose out (national accounts do better).

So how have Britons been spending the day? In a word, shopping. So Moni, Eddie, Cousin Hoavis and his mum set off with me to Derby. Westfield Centre was packed to the gunwales. Table for five at Pizza Express? That'll be a one and half hour wait. 70% advertised off in many shop windows. Last year's tat that failed to move off the shelves. Want something timeless? Classic? Normal price. Do these people milling aimlessly about know what they actually want? Or are they merely tempted by the thought of bargains?

Outside the Westfield Centre, every other shop is either boarded up or advertising a closing-down sale. The opening of Derby's new mega-mall coincided with the recession hitting these shores. Some nice (read: non-chain) shops still survive around the Quarter by the Cathedral, offering something outside of the standard. Pound World and 99p Kingdom are doing boffo business, I pop in to buy some more reading glasses.

We find a Pizza Express in the Cathedral Quarter - a table for five magically appears just for us. And our waitress was from Wroclaw.


Chris said...

It is sad to see Derby's independent shops in trouble. I was up near The Spot in the summer and I also noticed the difference between inside the Westfield and outside. I’m not sure what the answer is. I like to buy in shops where the staff are passionate about their products and knowledgeable too, but that comes with a price; higher fees at the till. I like a bargain too, but am constantly irritated by the ‘dunno mate, I just work here on Saturday’, attitude of the staff in shops where you will get a good deal. I don’t know what the answer is. There must be a middle ground where the small, expert trader can survive alongside the larger shops. You’re a business expert, what do you think?


Anonymous said...

No, I don't think they do know what they want. They just can't resist acting like robot sheep addicted to anything commercial and heavily advertised.

Absolutely raving bonkers the lot of them!

Paddy said...

Back in the UK myself I was quite bewildered by the endless news stories focussing on sales, high street sales, what were the numbers like, how was consumer confidence looking for 2011 etc. etc, I thought maybe this was a British thing until I got back to see an almost identical news report on Fakty. It's just an obvious news story on a slow day, and I guess plenty more people just spent the day at home, but that's not much of a news story and not the same pictures of bobbing heads aimlessly occupying shop space.