Happy 50th Birthday, National Theatre, and Many Happy Subsidies

I wish the National Theatre a very happy 50th birthday. To me, it is what subsidy is all about. It could have been a staid presenter of the classics of the English stage. Instead it has encouraged new writing and the discovery of non-English work. It has been challenging and experimental. Given the opportunity not… Continue reading Happy 50th Birthday, National Theatre, and Many Happy Subsidies

Amazon: Future Tense

In a previous article, I established that, despite its market domination, Amazon makes little or no profits because the pursuit of low prices has led to very low margins. I asked is there a David out there that can exploit this Goliath‘s weaknesses and what we would lose if we didn‘t have Amazon? Straightaway we… Continue reading Amazon: Future Tense

How Do We Solve A Problem Like Amazon?

Amazon have announced their latest financial results and we‘ve decided to close our Winchester store and concentrate on our online shop. The two are not connected but it’s easy to see from the figures why some people point the finger at Amazon for the success of online retailing and the closure of shops. In 2012… Continue reading How Do We Solve A Problem Like Amazon?

A Christmas Carol

A minor disaster hit the shop this week. I’m not talking about the weather decimating sales or our selling out of faux fur hats and Steiff mini bears. No, much worse, our CD player, after many years’ hammering, finally threw in the towel. It probably couldn’t face playing Bert Kaempfert’s Tijuana Christmas for the zillioneth… Continue reading A Christmas Carol

Free Isn’t Cheap

I wasn’t surprised to read that Which? has concluded ‘free’ banking costs a fortune. The fact is, nothing in the commercial world is really free. If you buy one and get one ‘free’, it may be true that you pay the same if you only purchase one but the price allows for you buying two.… Continue reading Free Isn’t Cheap