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There Might Be A Village Missing An Idiot Somewhere


Posted At: 05 June 2009 00:00 AM
Related Categories: Media


There are a lot of television programs focussing on the retail and hospitality industries at the moment, and being a little bit cynical, I can’t help but feel it’s not a coincidence.
BBC 2’s Keep It In The Family featured Austin’s department store last night; we have Mary ‘Queen Of Shops’ Portas banging on about all sorts; staff let loose running Sainsbury’s; Gok focussing his Fashion Fix on the high street and last but not least final The Apprentice candidate Yasmina Siadatan as the proud owner and Director of her very own restaurant.

I do have to call into question the decision of a restaurant Director to enter The Apprentice just one year into her company’s history, and moreover the decision of Sir Alan to put her through to the final round. A sceptic (not me, never) might suggest she went on there to get some publicity for her venture…or even, maybe, that she intends to secure the job to aid the financial survival of the fledgling business. After all, she was quite economical with the truth of her restaurants success; I took a quick look at the accounts of Mya Lacarte earlier, and although a profit in your first year is commendable, it was not 4.5% of the turnover as she quoted in Wednesday nights show or even in double (k) figures! And she’s probably feeling some pressure, what with her ma having remortgaged her house to finance the venture and all…

Cynical? Never ever!

Ok yeah I am. I think that all TV scheduling is contrived by the government in a bid to manipulate us into doing what they want! Let me explain…

I know that TV – especially reality TV – has always been a little bit kitchen-heavy, but the phenomenon of focusing on shops and retail, is quite new. There was probably some show that did it many moons ago, but my [still quite] youthful mind can think of nothing before Mary Queen Of Shops, which started in 2007…back when times were more lucrative for salesmen (and women). In the present, though, it’s no secret that we are in a full blown economic (and political, and environmental and whatever else) meltdown, and the hospitality and retail sectors are the two that are particularly suffering…so, a little bit of TV exposure cannot be a bad thing, right?
Maybe its brainwashing, of the subconscious kind (is there a conscious version of brainwashing?); maybe it’s the government's way of pulling us out of the spending rut – show us a shop and we will shop! And maybe that Yasmina caught onto this way before me. Whatever, if that is the case, it’s very clever; I’m sure her restaurant's website hits have gone up, just as I’m sure Mary Portas’ charity shop, Living & Giving, in Westfield will do stonking trade of the back of its TV show. I wonder which industry will get the over exposure treatment next..?

Remember, a SnapShop Performance Membership gives you access to the official financial accounts (from Companies House) for the top UK retailers and restaurants, and all are downloadable (most are also analysed). Performance Membership is just £395 +VAT, and can be purchased here. Alternatively, email me for more information.

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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