Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ealing Broadway, September 2013

Back from a few days in the UK on business; many observations and photos, so keep clicking for updates. In the meanwhile, before I retire to bed, just one photo and observation.

Take a look at the picture below - Ealing, quintessential London suburb. To the left, the Haven Green Baptist Church. Plenty of trees in leaf, across the green, Ealing Broadway Station. Red buses ply the streets as they have done for the past century, though today they are smarter and less polluting. But take a closer look at the advert on the back of this E9 (click to enlarge).

It's for a Polish chain of supermarkets! And it's all in Polish!! Mieszko Food City is offering Pudliszki, Tschibo and Costa - brands well known here in Poland, now available in Ealing.

Polish economic muscle now in Perivale and Alperton. Polish food retailing in the UK is a tough market; after 2004 a vast amount of stores opened, only to close in the face of cut-throat competition (including the big supermarkets' Polish aisles). The Mini-Biedronka in West Ealing is now closed (meanwhile, I am reliably informed a real Biedronka is being built here in Jeziorki). But the entrepreneur with the eye on a larger market, willing to spend money on advertising, may go further, and worry about other things than merely keeping the wolf from the door, such as expansion strategy, financing growth and marketing.

Having been in London to chair a meeting of Polish entrepreneurs, I can say that those who will disrupt existing patterns of business with game-changing concepts, will grow and prosper. Those who are just 'me-too' alternatives to regular employment will find it harder to stay around.

Not having been to a Mieszko Food City, I cannot vouch for the offering, price or service, but I am impressed by the rozmach of this entrepreneur. But to become a new Tesco or Sainsbury, Mieszko will need to strike out beyond the Polish customer, offer innovation as well as well-stocked shelves of Polish products.

This time last year:
Heritage or high-rise?

This time two years ago:
A glorious month

This time three years ago:
My grandfather

This time four years ago:
My home-made fixie bike

This time five years ago:
Well-shot pheasants

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