Businesses that don't even try

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  • Businesses that don't even try
  • Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Cairn Lodge just needs to have the indian burial ground reconsecrated and it’ll be fine

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Those old stone buildings cost a fortune

    Its not so much the stone as the permanence of the declaration. I think the only example I’ve seen in recent years of anything so optimistic is the new Scottish Ballet building.

    Premier Icon TomB
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    I recall getting a ‘cappuccino’ in Cairn Lodge a few years ago, lass opened the instant nescafe powder pouch in front of me, poured it into a grubby mug, added hot water and wanted to charge something like £2.30 for the pleasure. I left, thirsty but not any poorer.

    Awwww! You didn’t hang around for the “Froth”?

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    I recall getting a ‘cappuccino’ in Cairn Lodge a few years ago, lass opened the instant nescafe powder pouch in front of me, poured it into a grubby mug, added hot water and wanted to charge something like £2.30 for the pleasure. I left, thirsty but not any poorer.

    That incident is probably why they stopped turning the lights on. If you’d not seen how grubby the mug was you’d be non the wiser. 🙂

    poolman
    Member

    I like these old quirky businesses run as a hobby. Some are just waiting to be bought out by developers, isnt there a wh smith minging carpet fan club somewhere. The previous ceo kate swan ran down the old high st branches to fund the travel locations.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    There’s a bike shop near me, it’s been going as long as I can remember. We used to use it to buy bits for Grifters and Boxers. It’s basically the bottom floor of two terraced houses knocked together. The front looks like it’s not been washed in years, you can barely see through the windows. I popped in a couple of years ago for something random, an inner tube or something. Stock is overpriced and all over the place, and the bikes he sells are high-demand things like Diamondback and Raleigh. The guy running it looks to be about 100 – probably the same bloke who was there in the 80s. How he turns a profit I’ve no idea, probably has zero overheads and does it for fun like others have suggested.

    hooli
    Member

    WHSmith must be on to something, they have started to put post offices in them in small towns when the actual post office closes down.

    Argos is one that baffle me, every time I walk past one I am always surprised that they are still in business.

    nickhit3
    Member

    anyone know Mackay’s in Aberdeen? im 34 and its been there all my life- unlike me who left Aberdeen 5 years ago. An incredibly weird clothing emporium. Those who know, know..

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
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    Argos is one that baffle me, every time I walk past one I am always surprised that they are still in business.

    They’ve been bought by Sainsburys. They seem like a bit of an old-school model but with a lot of businesses moving towards “click and collect’ as buyers are getting frustrated with mail-order home delivery having a distribution system and a business model based on handing things over at a counter they’re probably onto a winner. You can opt to have ebay purchases delivered to your local Argos for instance and they’re a distribution facility for retailers that don’t have a high st presence anymore such as Habitat.

    I think their older High St premises days are numbered as the key to it is quick access for customers but they’ve also got a fair few retail-park stores so having the ability to have your stuff delivered to somewhere you can easily drive to the door to could prove pretty popular.

    The Sainsburys buy out means that distribution ties in with the rest of their stores too, so when I need to order short notice deliveries and can’t wait around at home for them I’m able to pick them up from the customer service desk at the sainsbos (although they don’t thank me for it as its usually something heavy!). Although other couriers have tie-ins with shops for collection and drop off Argos’s distribution and store are based around handling much larger goods than most parcel companies and shops can deal with.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    hooli – Member

    Argos is one that baffle me, every time I walk past one I am always surprised that they are still in business.

    If you want to truly appreciate Argos, go to a city centre one on Christmas Eve, it’s like the end times.

    But actually i find them pretty good- decent prices, good update of stock, easy pickup or delivery… They were pretty well placed to get into online sales with fast delivery.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
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    Argos is ace, no question returns IME and as said, click n collect suits me better than delivery.

    redmex
    Member

    Im sure i read somewhere whsmiff were doing pretty good financially , i much preferred john mingeys who seemed to be bought over by wh
    As a young teen making up your own papers at 6.30 am a couple of times along with the Peoples Friend , Dandy or Beano a copy of Mayfair must have accidentally found its way into my bag and then ended its years in a hedge

    thecaptain
    Member

    There are some ghost shops locally like the 2nd hand book shop that an old lady sits in with no heating and no customers all day. I assume the overheads are low and she has a pension of some sort for actually living off. Another 2nd hand junk (‘antique’) store that just shut actually.

    in Japan our landlady had a restaurant a few doors down from us in a backstreets residential area that had about 10 seats and once in a blue moon had a dinner party of famous guests, sumo and politicians and the like. Rumoured to be yakuza money laundering. She gave us dinner once when we’d just renewed the rental. But again, she had the building sitting there and probably minimal outgoings so could run it as a hobby.

    Ayr is nothing but ghost shops though. Last time I went into Debenhams the only people there were the shop assistants…

    Jamie
    Member

    Argos is ace, no question returns IME and as said, click n collect suits me better than delivery.

    I believe their returns process has been shook up a bit since being taken over by Sainburys. Basically if anything has been switched on, or they believe it has, they won’t take it back.

    Obvs you can probably get round this, but just relaying what one of the managers told me the other month.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
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    Sainsburys is voodoo. How do they hold an entire catalogue of stock in their store room?

    All the chat about low overheads, how does this work with business rates? A shop still needs to pay rates doesn’t it, even if they are not making money? And rates are not cheap

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Argos is one that baffle me

    It’s the Iceland of non perishable goods.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
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    Too late to edit but I meant Argos not Sainsburys. How do they fit all the stock in to their store rooms?

    Premier Icon stu170
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    anyone know Mackay’s in Aberdeen? im 34 and its been there all my life- unlike me who left Aberdeen 5 years ago. An incredibly weird clothing emporium. Those who know, know..

    there’s one in Louth Lincolnshire, me and the wife said exactly the same thing just last week, we’ve never seen another one

    squirrelking
    Member

    Ayr is nothing but ghost shops though. Last time I went into Debenhams the only people there were the shop assistants…

    Actually yeah, Ayr has an entire town centre this topic could apply to. Kyle Centre especially can’t be on anything but it’s last legs by now. Thankfully they have razed the Forum, time will tell if it will make a difference.

    Entirely the fault of the council. They threw everything into Heathfield then twisted the knife by building Ayr Central. Place is a joke. I remember the high street being packed from the bridges, up to the Wellington Cafe and back round to Burns Statue Square. Now it looks like something from the Walking Dead barring that little **** shopping arcade off the Sandgate (Alloway Street?).

    cheers_drive
    Member

    Argos is one that baffle me, every time I walk past one I am always surprised that they are still in business.

    I thought they were going to go under during the credit crunch as the catalogue appeared dated compared to online. The fact is though they have small low rent stores in convenient locations and low staff count unlike the out of town sheds that are now failing, they’ve adapted to online sales very well. The purchase by Sainsburys has made them more convenient, I now show at argos more than amazon, they pay their taxes too.

    For years Ive assumed that whsmiths were going to go under due to how shabby the stores look.
    Our local cost cutters looks like a early 90s Russian show with rows of empty shelves and old magazines, I can only assume the postoffice in it keeps the whole thing going.

    pat12
    Member

    Vodafone

    They could be good but they can’t be bothered

    tjagain
    Member

    Argos in Edinburgh is right in a prime location that must be very expensive

    bajsyckel
    Member

    Corson Hardware in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. Ostensibly a common or garden hardware shop, now more frequently figures as the locale for an elaborately staged role-play game in which one party (playing the part of “a customer”) attempts to buy an item (indeed any item) from the shop, whilst the other (assuming the role of “Corson”) must find means of refusing. For those interested more detail on the rules, scoring and so on here.

    Rich_s
    Member

    Estate agencies must be a good answer for this.

    Also been in some restaurants near here, enticed in by some Groupon the missus found. Walk in to be confronted by a… “smell” . Places are usually empty, everything could do with a wipe down and the toilets are *shudder *. Don’t care how nice the food is if they can’t get the hygiene right.

    timber
    Member

    Heir to what would have been Morgan’s in Cardiff is living it up as Post Office manager in the Antarctic.
    Well, he was the last time we saw Tudor at a forestry meeting before he went out to start.

    Three_Fish
    Member

    a copy of Mayfair must have accidentally found its way into my bag and then ended its years in a hedge

    A great bit of hedgepron backstory, redmex. The role of determined paperboys was probably generally under appreciated by those out of ‘the know’.

    wilburt
    Member

    Theres a DIY/Hardware store near me its really well known but incredibly poorly organised.
    I think I could quadruple their income without too much investment.

    chewkw
    Member

    I prefer Argos over Amazon anytime as their price is reasonable with good accessibility.

    At Newcastle Quayside there are several Indian Restaurants that have remain opened for years but always empty with no customers. Weird. 😯

    newrobdob
    Member

    When I worked for Homebase a while back (9yrs) they were bought by Home Retail Grouo who owned Argos. We started using Argos Delivery services and back office stuff. Managers I knew went to Argos stores and were amazed at how well they were run at very busy times, their logistics behind that shop counter are stunning.

    When I was still there I found out Argos were the biggest furniture retailer in the UK. All from a catalogue and website. Simply amazing.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    Actually yeah, Ayr has an entire town centre this topic could apply to. Kyle Centre especially can’t be on anything but it’s last legs by now. Thankfully they have razed the Forum, time will tell if it will make a difference.

    Entirely the fault of the council. They threw everything into Heathfield then twisted the knife by building Ayr Central. Place is a joke. I remember the high street being packed from the bridges, up to the Wellington Cafe and back round to Burns Statue Square. Now it looks like something from the Walking Dead barring that little **** shopping arcade off the Sandgate (Alloway Street?).

    A perfect storm of clueless elected councillors who don’t really understand how a ‘town’ works, Charging folk to park in town and yet free parking at Heathfield, taking cars away from the town centre, and the big elephant in the room IMO – Silverburn and the upgraded A77. I can be there in 25 minutes, granted I hate the place, but to some it’s a day out, bizarrely.

    There is also the issue of rates and some bizarre payments that owners get for having empty shops, I recall reading about it before, vacation rates or summit, in some cases they receive more than they would renting out the shop.

    pk13
    Member

    we don’t do ghost shops just empty one with school kids artworks in the windows to make them look open.
    and it’s tanning salons that get run for money cleaning duties.
    on the other side of the coin in the next town we have a bakers/cafe that’s so busy mainly because it’s a time warp of the 70s and it’s everyone’s dirty secret breads good too. it’s nickname is dirty Harrys

    BurnBob
    Member

    I’m struggling to see how Prestwick has the best transport links of any airport in Scotland. Go on enlighten me.

    It has a train station, a bus stop, a taxi rank and it is next to a road.

    You could probably also get there in a boat if you really tried.

    Or a plane.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    I’m struggling to see how Prestwick has the best transport links of any airport in Scotland. Go on enlighten me.

    I did say ‘possibly’, but anyway – rail link direct to Glasgow and Edinburgh, which neither Glasgow or Edinburgh has, unless you count the tram as a train. Road links as good as either of those two airports as well, Can’t compare to Aberdeen as I have no experience of that tbh.

    Not saying it’s ‘better’ per se, but that it is on a par IMO, certainly not far enough behind to explain it’s decline.

    MTB-Idle
    Member

    Reminds me of the American banker in Mexico apocryphal story…

    An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

    The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

    The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

    The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

    The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

    To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

    “But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

    The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

    “Millions – then what?”

    The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

    squirrelking
    Member

    I’m struggling to see how Prestwick has the best transport links of any airport in Scotland. Go on enlighten me.

    It probably takes as long to get into Glasgow city centre from Prestwick as it does from Glasgow. Only it doesn’t involve 2 seperate journeys as per Glasgow or Edinburgh since it has it’s own connected station. There are trains through as far as North Berwick so Prestwick automatically wins at straight through journeys to both cites (weirdly). GARL is long dead and the new vision seems to be watered down crap, Edinburgh has the Gateway but that’s still a(n expensive) tram ride away and only serves the east coast unless you make another change.

    Driving, yeah slower but it’s still pretty much straight onto the A77 and away you go.

    If you know of anything better then feel free to pitch in.

    franksinatra wrote:

    How do they fit all the stock in to their store rooms?

    Place near us is a bit like a self service version of an electrical goods only Argos. You’d be amazed how much stuff you can get on a shelfing system when it goes up 5 or 6 metres, there’s exactly *nothing* on display and the aisle is only wide enough for a forklift. The TV aisle probably has 1200+ TVs in the space that someone like John Lewis displays a couple of dozen. You can get a shit load in when you stack it high and deep with the absolute bare minimum of access space.

    And on the money laundering thing, i used to stay in a small hotel during the summer as part of a team rider deal. I reckon the only time the hotel was busy in the entire summer was the night the tour stopped in the next town over. Same for the restaurant.
    Yet the office regularly had several hundred thousand francs on the desk in the office.

    I know the team was crooked as hell. But i suspect the cash in hand we were paid was a drop in the ocean compared to what was being “arranged” through the hotel and restaurant.

    CountZero
    Member

    The WHS in Chippenham seems to be busy any random time I go in there, but it honestly has little competition in town, while there are a number of shops, like Wilco and the two small supermarkets Tesco and Waitrose do a few magazines, and there’s a Waterstones for a good range of books, but WHS does lots of mags, pens, stationery, books and art stuff that just isn’t available unless you go to Bath twelve miles away.

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