April 16, 2012

Mary Portass And The Death Of The High Street

(Guest post from Gaius)

Mary Portass, the well known television presenter produced a report a couple of months ago about saving the high street. She came up with 28 recommendations most of which are totally stupid and would only cost struggling businesses money. Only a couple of recommendations were sensible yet they only lightly brushed on the real problems that the high street faces.
So what are the real problems?
The first one is cost, an average shop may well cost £35,000 a year in rent and £30,000 a year in business rates. Employees would cost £40,000 a year for 3 on the minimum wage (and that includes employers NI).
Already the costs have spiralled to £105,000 a year. Assuming that the mark up is 33%, it means that the shop needs to sell at least £315,000 a year to cover their three main costs. Thats sales of £6,000 a week and they haven't even made a profit yet.
Rent is so high only because there isn't a free market in providing shops, this is due to planning laws, IOW its the fault of the govt.
Business rates are also set by the govt, so that's also their fault as well.
Govt are also responsible for the minimum wage and employers NI, both of which do nothing more than drive up the cost of employees.
The second problem is over regulation, ranging from what you can do or sell in your premises to the sort of signage you are allowed to use. Again the fault of govt.
So why hasn't Mary Portass pointed this out?
Maybe its because she doesn't really know. After all, she worked her way up from the shop-floor to the boardroom in Harvey Nichols, a shop for overly wealthy fashion victims. She then became a self employed consultant and worked for large corporations who needed to justify their failures to the "city" by paying her consultancy a large fee.

Her advice to independent shops includes getting in premium brands that simply wouldn't be interested without the telly exposure.

She has NEVER made money from her own shop due to her own efforts. The H of F is a concession that only works because of the free publicity from the tv show. The overpriced knickers idea only works because of the massive advertising due again, to the television series.
If Mary Portass is a retail expert then I'm the Queen of Sheba.
However I am an expert of the corrosive actions of govt, corrupting everything they touch like a malignant cancer.
Govt is not the solution, it's the problem.


Anonymous said...

How I agree with you Ranty.

Every day it becomes obvious that our country is becoming more like the old Soviet Union.

From a business point of view rates for shops are far too high.

It is also a nightmare to drive and park in cities now - traffic calming and high parking charges deter people.

TPTB can not see that they are killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

But the question that has to be asked is "where the hell is all our money going to?"

Sciatico said...

I get most things from ebay now. Mostly from individuals and some things direct from China.
Shops are just slaves to the local councils so, much as I like the individuals running them, I'd rather not feed the scummy nojob council leeches attached to them.

Twisted Root said...

Hence the blossoming of charity shops like bubonic plague. No business rates and staffed largely by volunteers.

Span Ows said...

Never heard of her! But that's really not much of a surprise.

Never ceases to amaze me how anti small-business the UK is.

Anonymous said...

Portas is paid to promote Westfield shopping centres I believe at the same time as defending, allegedly, the high street. It has been reported in the Eye

Woodsy42 said...

"I get most things from ebay now"

You mean you did at the old postal rates. Accident or design?

Anonymous said...

plenty of easten food shops opening around the north wales area. Quite a new occurence.

Pete said...

Captain, this article is music to my ears. Let me explain why.

I have now run three business. My first trading style was as a limited company and I had premises a factory unit, a yard and nine vans that provided an industrial cleaning service. I employed twelve staff and I did not pay them minimum wage as I refuse to exploit people.

The rent and rates for the premises were crippling and they were our second biggest on balance sheet cost, the first was wages. As the business rates went up then our pricing structure also had to increase but, we were tied into some longer term contracts at a set price and thus we could not breach the contract terms. After about two years of juggling I had no choice but to make the staff redundant and close the business. The rent and rates increases crippled us.

My next business that I ran, I decided to use a different business model, no premises, no rates and work from home. This business was in vehicle finance as a leasing broker. Our only overheads were stationery, telephones, postage, websites and advertising. This was a thriving business until the credit crunch/recession, the banks stopped lending and our clients could not get approved for finance despite having brilliant credit standing, we had experian and creditsafe so we checked them before sending off the finance proposals. This business went under through no fault of our own.

The third business operates on a similar model, no premises, no rent, no rates. It differs slightly in that I am no longer reliant on a third party (ie a bank) saying whether my business survives or not.

I have a very good pal in England who owns three large centre of town toy shops. The business has been trading since the 60s when his father opened the doors. He is now talking of closing the complete company as he cannot afford the rates (he owns all the buildings). So, he employs 55 people and all might become unemployed and why, because the local council are taxing his company to death.

Sorry for the long winded reply but these so-called experts know jack shit about running real businesses.

Stealthy said...

Spot on Gaius, they need to sort it the fk out! :P

Anonymous said...

Interesting post from Gaius. Explains the very thing that kills businesses - rates (And people wonder where all the money comes from to pay the politicians' expenses?). However, minimum wage is a pittance to say the least. Once you've taken off rent and other 'survival' bills, you're left with fuck all. The owners of the company don't have a minimum wage. They earn far more than their workers and in the majority of cases do far less work, if any at all.

The problem isn't government, but the people.

1. If all businesses got together and told the government to fuck off with their rates and taxes, then there wouldn't be the problems of trying to survive as a business.

2. If the people told the government to put a cap on living costs, back to 20 years ago, then people wouldn't be struggling to survive.

3. If the people brought back protectionism, stopped buying foreign goods and bought British, then you kill two birds with one stone - unemployment drastically drops (providing you stop immigration and drastically reverse it) and the wage helps other businesses grow, recreating local communities, now gone.

Businesses in Britain will continue to disappear unless the people wake up and say no! This won't happen for many reasons. It's all part of the agenda. It also shows how much society has changed, British people in the past bought British. The American economy flourished when Americans bought American. Hitler's Germany grew incredibly when Germans bought German goods, made by Germans. It's common sense but this sort of logic is branded as racist. Thatcher destroyed the mining industry in the UK (amongst many) which led to entire villages and towns dying because the miner's wage stopped. It was better to import Polish coal and throw the miners into unemployment, so Thatcher believed. However those who do the reading know this was merely part of the agenda to further obliterate the UK and bring in globalism via free trade.

People are and always have been the problem. Their society is crumbling around them, but that's ok. They have football and X factor.........



Anonymous said...

Bob (free2Bme)

can we vote for harbinger? jeez that guy talks so much sense..yet again!!

one question though... WHY ...

why are things this way... i dont believe its accidental.

MOG - Miserable Old Git - LOL said...

Thanks for the inspiration to write my first blog!!! Much appreciated

Dembones said...

On a day-trip to York we passed a closed down shop; pasted prominently on the window was a sign "As featured on Mary Queen of Shops".

Anonymous said...

Bob (free2Bme),

"one question though... WHY ...

why are things this way... i dont believe its accidental."

Things are this way simply because they've been planned to be this way. To understand the bigger picture I strongly suggest popping along to cuttingthroughthematrix.com and listening to Alan Watt. He's helped me greatly to understand the bigger picture, because unlike other truth movement speakers, he breaks it down pointing out the players, their organisations and booklists to back it all up with as fact.

What keeps this whole agenda hidden is not only a total MSM blackout, but a network of secret societies, which people find totally unbelievable. Yes, what essentially happened was all institutions were infiltrated with Manchurian candidates. The cuckoos were placed in the nests. In the UK we have Common Purpose and guaranteed there are organisations like CP all over the world. Then there's the daddy of them all - freemasonry. For example Alan quotes Carolle Quigley, the historian for the Council on Foreign relations, who let alot of secret information out in his books 'Tragedy & Hope' and 'The Anglo American Establishment'. They immediately put a halt on publishing but not before a few got out. This is why you'll see them selling for a high price. Quigley spoke of how the UK & USA haven't had a prime minister who wasn't a puppet sine the late 1800's.

You simply cannot have freedom within society when the major establishments are non transparent. People don't want to believe the simple fact that there is a massive conspiracy going on. In a nutshell, everything that's happening is being done to create a planned global chaos whose people will eventually beg for a world government, not realising that this government has been behind all the chaos.

One word - Rothschild. I strongly believe he's the Kingpin. Read the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and regardless what people say of their authenticity, what is written has happened and will in the future. Conspiracy theorists are ridiculed because they are correct. Remember the quote by Arthur Schopenhaeur:

"Truth passes through three stages. Firstly it is ridiculed. Secondly it is vehemently denied. Thirdly it is accepted as self evident."



Anonymous said...

There is a great video here from Godfrey Bloom, Suggest you post it CR

You are putting up to good stuff CR.