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The (Possibly Literal) Death of the High Street


UK unemployment rate by September 2020 will be...  

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  1. 1. UK unemployment rate by September 2020 will be...



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Posted (edited)

Walking around my local area yesterday, 3 months of lockdown has permanently killed at least a third of all businesses with a street visible presence. I saw the following with "permanently closed", "business evicted for non-payment of rent", "permanently shut at this location" and similar notices posted:

- A small gym that's been in the neighbourhood for as long as I've lived here.

- 2 tax preparation companies (I suspect they're still going but realised there was no good reason to have a shop front)

- At least half of all restaurants within 10 block radius. Maybe 20 in total.

- My barber (had said he was going to retire soon, looks like he pulled the trigger).

- Multiple small boutique type places. Honestly never understood how they kept going before, but this has done for them.

- Several martial arts training places. 

- Music school - it had rehearsal and teaching rooms that people could rent out for lessons and the like. 

- At least two charity shops.

- A long standing locally owned DIY store. It was a bit crappy to be fair, but seemed stable.

- A really nice hobby store (sold all sorts of weird stuff) that I used to love to browse with BlueCat junior when he was younger.

I spotted a few more signs related to businesses above shop fronts too, but it's not entirely clear what they did. Once the dust settles, this place is going to look like some old fucker who's had half his teeth knocked out.

On the upside:

- All the (beautiful) pubs seemed to have survived so far.

- The independent delis and grocery stores are all still going.

- The local triad controlled money laundering restaurant has had all its windows smashed several times over (guess they forgot to pay the protection money).

Edited by spunko
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Posted (edited)

Our future is Nando’s and Sports Direct.

I must admit the bit that shocked me was the charity shops shutting, as aren’t they usually the ones to move into otherwise unrentable retail units for peanuts simply to keep the building insurance valid?  Theyre usually what moves in when everything else has fucked off.

 

ETA ah, Canada. different game. Thanks Spunko. 

Edited by Melchett
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7 minutes ago, spunko said:

I doubt charity shops will close here - is the situation different in Canada? No rates, no staff costs, free junk arriving every day.

I think there is some property tax rebate for charity shops here but it's not 100%. The ones that have shut always looked marginal to me and the, much larger and better run, Salvation Army place seems to be more or less unaffected. One possibility is that 1-800-got-junk folks have mostly been shut and I know that they recycle a lot of the stuff they pick up through charity shops. Add that to the mostly 70+ year old staff staying away and maybe it tipped them over the edge.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, spunko said:

What I find most interesting is articles like this:

'We want people back in jobs,' say the PM and Chancellor... but from St John Ambulance to Eurochange, we reveal how furloughed staff now face the axe

  • This is Money reported last week that furloughed staff were being laid off
  • This is despite the furlough scheme being designed to keep people in work

 

The most highly-rated comment doesn't seem to understand that not all businesses operate their own money tree orchard:

Screenshot_2020-05-31 From furlough to redundancy St John Ambulance among those axing jobs.png

 

Does anyone really think small businesses can pay their staff wages after 4-6 months of no earnings? If so, how? This head in sand attitude to small businesses and how they operate I find rather strange.

"Yes, sure, we haven't made a penny in 6 months, our cash reserves are depleted as we've had to carry on paying all other costs, let's just continue paying you the same monthly salary as we did in Februrary...."

People think governments and companies have unlimited pots of money as they just see superficially and they mostly have never thought about anything other than being a employee. 

Many people are going to be surprised when the scheme ends and they lose their jobs 

 

Edited by ad_ceng
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3 minutes ago, ad_ceng said:

People think governments and companies have unlimited pots of money as they just see superficially and they mostly have never thought about anything other than being a employee. 

This is true and reflects a more general lack of understanding of finances. People see someone with a big house and expensive car for example and don't understand that, in most cases, the house is heavily mortgaged and the car is, effectively, rented.

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12 minutes ago, ad_ceng said:

People think governments and companies have unlimited pots of money as they just see superficially and they mostly have never thought about anything other than being a employee. 

Many people are going to be surprised when the scheme ends and they lose their jobs 

 

Indeed, but they all seem to understand redundancy payouts. I reckon quite a few of them in the public sector are angling for one. Strange times we live in.

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49 minutes ago, TheBlueCat said:

Walking around my local area yesterday, 3 months of lockdown has permanently killed at least a third of all businesses with a street visible presence. I saw the following with "permanently closed", "business evicted for non-payment of rent", "permanently shut at this location" and similar notices posted:

- A small gym that's been in the neighbourhood for as long as I've lived here.

- 2 tax preparation companies (I suspect they're still going but realised there was no good reason to have a shop front)

- At least half of all restaurants within 10 block radius. Maybe 20 in total.

- My barber (had said he was going to retire soon, looks like he pulled the trigger).

- Multiple small boutique type places. Honestly never understood how they kept going before, but this has done for them.

- Several martial arts training places. 

- Music school - it had rehearsal and teaching rooms that people could rent out for lessons and the like. 

- At least two charity shops.

- A long standing locally owned DIY store. It was a bit crappy to be fair, but seemed stable.

- A really nice hobby store (sold all sorts of weird stuff) that I used to love to browse with BlueCat junior when he was younger.

I spotted a few more signs related to businesses above shop fronts too, but it's not entirely clear what they did. Once the dust settles, this place is going to look like some old fucker who's had half his teeth knocked out.

On the upside:

- All the (beautiful) pubs seemed to have survived so far.

- The independent delis and grocery stores are all still going.

- The local triad controlled money laundering restaurant has had all its windows smashed several times over (guess they forgot to pay the protection money).

Providing the businesses do not require massive amounts of investment in plant and equipment then they will reappear if there is sufficient demand for their goods and services post pandemic though maybe under different ownership. The ones that go permanently probably would not have survived a normal recession anyway.

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43 minutes ago, Virgil Caine said:

Providing the businesses do not require massive amounts of investment in plant and equipment then they will reappear if there is sufficient demand for their goods and services post pandemic though maybe under different ownership. The ones that go permanently probably would not have survived a normal recession anyway.

Maybe for some of them. Based on previous trends though, my guess is that we're going to have permanent blocks of empty shops until either rents come down or the buildings are demolished and turned into apartment blocks (unlikely as this is a conservation area).

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Posted (edited)

I think the only reason we're not seeing this at the moment too is the furlough money.

So if that ends in October, give it say 6 months after for the reality to set in and we'll see where we really are.

I live near what used to be a cinema. City centre area of a capital city. There is a street that runs from the cinema down to what used to be a big post office on the corner (Shaftsbury Square for the Belfast folk).

The post office closed a couple years ago and is now the "Istanbul Market", complete with Halal sign.

The cinema was shut down recently and bought by an IT company. The IT company now say they don't want to build their headquarters there any more because of the coming recession so are just gonna knock the cinema down. So no cinema any more. No post office. Several huge empty buildings in the street that connects the two.

Empty buildings highlighted in red. The building site in between the bottom 2 is now a very expensive student accommodation block which was mainly used by rich Asian students. So fuck knows when that'll be open again.

The two streets that fork off that as you go south are mostly halal-esque businesses (some of which I'm convinced are money laundering as there's never a customer in them), and a bunch of charity shops.

That's the economy.

image.png.b6393c82a8fedc63cd33310c788bb10e.png

Edited by JoeDavola
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, spunko said:

What I find most interesting is articles like this:

'We want people back in jobs,' say the PM and Chancellor... but from St John Ambulance to Eurochange, we reveal how furloughed staff now face the axe

  • This is Money reported last week that furloughed staff were being laid off
  • This is despite the furlough scheme being designed to keep people in work

 

The most highly-rated comment doesn't seem to understand that not all businesses operate their own money tree orchard:

Screenshot_2020-05-31 From furlough to redundancy St John Ambulance among those axing jobs.png

 

Does anyone really think small businesses can pay their staff wages after 4-6 months of no earnings? If so, how? This head in sand attitude to small businesses and how they operate I find rather strange.

"Yes, sure, we haven't made a penny in 6 months, our cash reserves are depleted as we've had to carry on paying all other costs, let's just continue paying you the same monthly salary as we did in Februrary...."

"Welcome back Sharon!"

 

Article: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-8366091/Furlough-redundancy-St-John-Ambulance-job-cuts.html

Furloughing allowed staff to postpone redundancies, and staff at risk of redundancy were asking the boss to be furloughed instead. I don't see it as companies using furlough to screw staff, but rather using furlough to benefit staff. 6 months of 80% salary rather than employment support. The end result was always going to be massive job losses.

Smart furloughed staff will be using this time to find a new secure position before they have 6m competitors, but most are enjoying an extended paid holiday.

Edited by snaga
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7 minutes ago, SillyBilly said:

have spent weeks at home on the piss and none will have even applied for another job I bet. 

exactly, when furlough ends, millions are in for a shock and possible civil unrest, someone mentioned extending furloughing to get us past the summer weather so when the rug is pulled, people wont be on the streets.

Close call as if furlough had ended this month, and the weather, long evenings, and inspiration from Minnesota,  the demand for petrol bombs could have revived the oil price :)

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, SillyBilly said:

"please apply for jobs elsewhere and don't use the time getting wankered in the garden".

You may be jesting (perhaps not), but the street where my parents live is doing just that.

Middle class-ish street, most people seem furloughed at the moment, and they're having 8 hour long alcohol-fuelled street parties. (which wasn't something they ever did beforehand but it started cause they're all on this surprise holiday)

They're the happiest they've ever been, it's party time. Nobody seems to even consider that they might not have a job to go back to after all this.

They're treating it as if they've all suddenly won the lottery/gotten early retirement.

Edited by JoeDavola
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