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And Finally - Missing baskets, World’s most expensive pie and Loo of the Year Awards


Posted At: 15 December 2011 13:37 PM
Related Categories: And Finally, Social Commentary


Retail quirkies of the month include:

  • Half of the 300 baskets at Morrisons, in Aberystwyth, disappeared when the Welsh government imposed a 5p charge on carrier bags. The 5p charge for all single-use bags is aimed at reducing litter and avoiding unnecessary damage to the environment. Co-Operative confirmed that it had also lost a small number of baskets but there had not been a 'dramatic' loss


  • The world’s most expensive mince pie is on the display for a month at the Marvellous Mince Pie Manufactory in The Exchange shopping centre in Ilford. Valued at £3,000, the mince pie was made using traditional ingredients including the highest-grade platinum leaf, holy water from Lourdes to bind the pastry, vanilla beans and cinnamon from eastern spice markets, and ambergris sugar which is derived from sperm whale secretions – health & safety won’t be very happy with that!


  • Talking of the hospitality industry, JD Wetherspoon has been awarded for having the best toilets at the Loo of the Year Awards 2011 as well as being named the UK Trophy winner in the Corporate Provider category

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Retail Spotlight – Barratts Priceless plunges into administration


Posted At: 09 December 2011 14:17 PM
Related Categories: Administrations, Retail, Retailers, Store Closures


How cruel that quarter rent day is on Christmas day. When tills should be ringing, for some, there may only be the sound of doors slamming shut, including high street footwear retailer Barratts.

Barratts Store Front

Following the recent news of collapse of Barratts Priceless for the second time, FSP has reviewed and updated the retailer records on SnapShop. Below is a summary of the retailer profile and highlights of the administration:

26/01/2009 - Shoe retailer Stylo's Barratts and Priceless Shoes collapsed into administration

19/02/2009 - The Ziff family rescued 160 Barratts and Priceless shops, , the remaining 220 stores were closed

20/03/2009 - Barratts Priceless appointed property agent CB Richard Ellis to renegotiate terms on the 160 stores it bought out of administration

19/03/2010 - Footwear retailer unveiled a new look for its Oxford Street flagship store

18/05/2010 – Barratts launched its first iPhone App and had plans to roll-out click & collect, targeted SMS marketing and promotions

3/12/2010 - Barratts has appointed John Hood, former managing director of footwear retailer Brantano, to the newly created role of brand director

8/12/2011 - The consolidated results for the 18 month period ending 31st July 2010 showed an operating profit after exceptional items of £8.6m from sales of £218.5m

10/02/2011 - Barratts has increased its email conversion rates after an overhaul of its e-commerce strategy

8/12/2011 – Reduced trading, increasing competition threatened Barratts ability to pay December’s quarterly rent bill, leading to collapse of chain thereby putting 3,840 jobs at risk. Given the gloomy economic backdrop, retail analysts are not confident that a buyer for the chain will be found

From the retailer’s own website, “On December 2011, Daniel Francis Butlers, Neville Barry Kahn and Adrian Peter Berry were appointed Joint Administrators and now manage the affairs, business and property of the Companies in Administration. The Joint Administrators act as agents of the Companies and contract without personal liability. The Joint Administrators are authorised by the Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. All licensed insolvency practitioners of Deloitte LLP are licensed in UK”.

With worsening consumer confidence, the run-up to Christmas is bound to bring more pain for the retail sector - how deep that pain will go? could this be avoided?

SnapShop provides information on 2,000+ retail fascias, including the Barratts fascias: Priceless, Shellys, Bacon Shoes

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Coffee Time


Posted At: 02 December 2011 14:35 PM
Related Categories: Retailers


Brains, a Welsh brewing company, is not necessarily the first name that springs to your mind when considering the proliferation of coffee shops on the High Street, but it seems that the good people at Brains have applied their mind to development opportunities and made a wise investment.

Coffee #1 is not necessarily the first name that springs to your mind when considering a cup of coffee on the High Street but believe me, they know their beans. To their regular customers it’s no surprise they won the 2011 Café Society “Best UK Coffee Chain” award. Maybe that’s why Brains decided Coffee #1 was a good investment opportunity. With a reported turnover of £5m and a store opening programme of two or three per year, the Welsh coffee house has expanded since first opening in Cardiff in 2001, to a chain of 15 outlets in Wales and the South-West.

Under the guiding hand of James Shapland, with a lively website, a good presence on the social networking scene, a very loyal customer base, and now the investment of a multi-million pound solid British company, Coffee #1 will be a force to be reckoned with on the UK High Street.

Not being based in the right area of the country, the SnapShop team has not had the pleasure of Coffee #1 yet, but we like what we’ve heard and we know where to go when we’re next out west.

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Simply having a coaxing Christmas time


Posted At: 01 December 2011 15:23 PM
Related Categories: Christmas, Retail, Retail Property, Social Commentary


Ok so it’s been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently – probably a reflection of the amount of time the team here have (not a lot) to be pondering but I couldn’t help but notice how hard shopping centres are trying to increase their footfall.

Moving on from the traditional Lights switch on, Retailer Discount days, Santa’s Grotto choirs and brass bands, here are a few of this year’s new inspiring events:

  • The Oracle in Reading is hosting a Boden pop-up shop until Christmas Eve and for the customers who spend £15 or more inside the centre a free gift wrapping service is available.
  • The Red Bull Formula One team will be attending an event at Midsummer Place in Milton Keynes
  • Life size snow globes at Silverburn
  • One New Change in London is hosting a Dickensian story teller from the Museum of London
  • David Hasslehoff (AKA The Hoff) visiting Cabot Circus, plus there will be an Ice Rink in situ until early January.
  • Real life reindeer in Glasgow’s Princes Square
  • Charity Santa run at White Rose Leeds

It’s enough to put even the coldest of Scrooges in a festive mood (yes I sit with a few, so I should know).

So if retail information is your pressie of choice this month, FSP can be your department store – let us know what you are after and we can supply it.

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