Tag - economy

Welcome to The Perfect Curve.

There are 3 posts in total.

The collapse of the travel industry during the Covid-19 epidemic

simon gray 2020-08-22, 11:33:12

Looking at STA travel now being a CovidCasualty, alongside other travel industry casualties just before The Event and the ones which are inevitably to come, it does occur to me that travel industry casualties are of somewhat more reaching and significant social consequences than the retail sector’s and the hospitality sector’s casualties.

Arguably over the last few years the hospitality sector had been expanding far in excess of the capacity of the market to sustain that growth anyway — it was a bubble that was inevitably going to burst, and the casualties are arguably more of a market correction than an existential crisis. When All This Is All Over there will still be plenty of pubs and bars, cafés and restaurants, for people to go to, and the ones who survive The Event will do so as businesses which are more sustainable.

Little needs to be said that hasn’t been said at length about the state of the retail sector — people aren’t buying things from shops because shops aren’t selling things people want to buy when people want to buy them. Shops aren’t closing left, right, and centre, it’s just certain shops which are closing left, right, and centre — you can still buy clothes, perfume, food, and tech in shops, you just can’t buy them in many department stores anymore. You can still buy purses and shoulder bags in shops, you just can’t buy purses and shoulder bags in shops where the only distinguishing feature is they’ve got the name [...]

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The High Street is dying. Did The Internet kill it? No, it took its own life

simon gray 2013-01-11, 08:35:28
It was another sad day for our town centres as it was announced, after going into administration a few days earlier, all 187 Jessops photography shops would shut at the end of the day, with the loss of 1,370 jobs.

Back 15 years ago, when I used to be considerably more into stills photography than I am now, Jessops on New Street in Birmingham was my favourite shop; they had knowledgeable staff, catered well for both digital and chemical photography, but best of all, they had a massive front window stacked up with a wide choice of second hand cameras, lenses, and other equipment, at a good choice of price ranges.

Then the New Street branch closed, to be replaced around the corner by the Jessops ‘World Camera Centre’, which curiously with a doubling of floorplate space had a fraction of the stock – and big second-hand front window being replaced by a small second-hand glass case.

More recently over the last year or so, whenever I’ve gone into the Jessops World Camera Centre I’ve found the customer experience incredibly frustrating. The print-it-yourself machines not working, the lack of basic stock available, the immense difficulty of attracting the attention of a shop assistant, and when that attention is finally attracted, the shop assistant not having the faintest idea what I’m talking about (“what’s a flash bracket?”), or the most usual response “oh, we don’t have any in stock right now – we’ll have to order one in”.

And it’s not just Jessops where [...]

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Can the Midlands’ Creative Industries revolutionise the UK economy?

simon gray 2009-11-19, 10:41:33

In the best traditions of lazy journalism where the answer to any headline posed as a question is almost certainly ‘no’, the answer to this question – the title of the Big Debate Birmingham (hosted jointly by the Birmingham Post and Birmingham City University) – is almost certainly ‘no’. Fortunately in the course of the afternoon we didn’t even bother trying to answer ‘yes’ to the question and instead got on with the business of discussing our creative industries in relation to ourselves rather than trying to save the rest of the country.

Five key points which emerged for me were:

The days of the global media corporation are over

In the olden days, the media industry was dominated by just a handful of ‘boulder’companies – such as News International, CNN, Associated Newspapers, Guardian Media Group, the BBC, etc. When Channel 4 launched, and when Eddie Shah launched the Today newspaper they were big, national events, because there were so few other media brands. Today, all new media companies are ‘pebble’ companies – small start-ups, with small costs & consequently small profits. New digital television stations come and go almost unnoticed; for most people literally unnoticed, as most people rarely update the channel lists on their televisions / set top boxes. There will be no more new boulder companies.

The paradox of the media industries in free-fall

The media industries – especially those of journalism and of music – are in free fall; profits for record companies and newspaper [...]

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The code behind this site is a bit of an abandoned project; I originally had lofty ambitions of it being the start of a competitor for Twitter and Facebook, allowing other people to also use it turning it into a bit of a social network. Needless to say I got so far with it and thought who did I think I was! Bits of it don't work as well as I'd like it to work - at some point I'm going to return to it and do a complete rebuild according to modern standards.