Posts Tagged ‘chart’

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Woolworths Worth Fuck All

November 30, 2008

Right then.

You might have noticed in my first real post yesterday that I introduced the piece talking about Terrorism in Mumbai, and then proceeded to completely ignore it. Well I’m going to do that again.
Woolworths, in the UK has gone into administration. (Don’t look for the link between Terrorism and Woolworths, I couldn’t be arsed to manipulate a limp dick of an excuse for one, and instead just dived straight in).

So administration. Why? Well, this is what has happened to Woolworth shares over the past two years.

Quite obviously, the ship was and is fucked then. And this is not without good reason. Woolworths must be one of the most pointless stores still in existence. It is usually however one of the largest shops on any high street, competing with large high end department stores, Marks & Spencers and of course Tesco’s. Yet, Woolworths is not in any of these leagues; it doesn’t sell small amounts of big expensive things, or vast amounts of small cheap things, it just sells a disappointing amount of wank.

This is the age-old Woolworths trading plan, with flaws helpfully pointed out:

Pick N Mix.

The pioneer of Pick N Mix was Woolies. You get a bag, fill it with whatever you want and then someone weighs it, and you pay. A remarkable scam, because no full grown adult, let alone an eight year old child knows how much a ‘lbs’ is, simply by the measurement of holding it in your hand.

So instead you get people going up to pay for their pick n mix before being told “That’s four hundred and eighteen pounds, sixy five pence please”, because they have failed to understand the concept of staying away from high density confectionery. Suckers.

On a related note, suckers, or gobstoppers are actually one of the worst value to density pick n mix performers.

Anyway, Pick N Mix then, is not a bad business venture, despite the fact most of it tastes like a mixture between dirt and rubber, but these days, you can grab yourself pick n mix everywhere – supermarkets, cinemas, Woolworths. Hang on.

Anyway, my point is, that Woolworths no longer have a monopoly on the whole pick n mix thing, and even so, you really don’t need stores that fucking huge to store sweets in. So what do they do with the rest of the space?

Kids Clothes

Oh dear. Do you remember when you were a kid, and you have that glorious stage of life of not being overly self aware. So your mother puts you in denim britches and matching socks, pulled up to the new, so you look like a dwarfish amateur golfer, but you just continue to toddle through your daily activities, unaware of the complete tit that you are.

However, there reaches a point, which is still relatively young, where simple, uneducated you realises that something is incredibly shitty. “Noooo, I don’t wanna wear it! I wanna wear Batman! BATMAN!”. I’m pretty sure I had this conversation with my mother as a child at least fourteen hundred times.

Anyway, the sort of clothes that even the simplistic and underdeveloped brain of a child can identify as being completely disgusting are the same type that Woolworths sell. And I use sell in the loosest term.

Over recent years, with supermarkets and of course Primark devouring the infant clothing market between them, not only are the nations children better dressed, but another nail was added to the Woolies coffin.

CDs and DVDs, Games and Books

Awesome. Everyone likes music and films right?  And video-games, that’ll really get the kids in. And books for the oldies. Great stuff. You could be onto a winner here then Woolies. So how did you fuck this one up.

1) Only stocking stuff that mindless idiots will purchase.

Woolworths idea of stocking music is simple. If it’s not currently in the Top 40, then obviously no-one likes it. And therefore will not buy it.

This is a serious flaw. Firstly, whilst the Top 40 chart may well indicate the best selling 40 cd’s (for example), compared to the remaining MILLIONS of cds on sale, it totals only a very small percentage in total music sales for any one week.

Therefore, Woolworths managed to wipe out 95% of the market in one retarded move.

2) Of course people will pay a premium for the Woolies brand!

In another genius masterstroke, Woolies priced themselves at a premium of about 10% to places like HMV, which offered much wider selections. Add the Internet to the mix, and Woolworths very quickly become a place you wouldn’t even bother doing a price comparison on, because you know they are not going to be cheap. They did discounts however – but only on shit that they spent at least a year trying to flog at £14.99. Once they realise after twelve months that they’ve only sold two copies, and one of them got returned, they cut the price to 99p and manage to sell another two copies – but only to groups of kids who just wanted the disc to play Frisbee. The madness between fluctuating between being a ripoff and being dirt-cheap means one thing – no-one actually buys anything, and will just buy stuff at sensible prices elsewhere.

No. Actually worth fuck all.

No. Actually worth fuck all.

Shite

Shite! Probably the only thing that has kept woolies afloat in recent years has been the ability of rational and sane economic actors to buy absolute shite with their hard earned cash. It’s one of those economic phenomena that economists don’t like to talk about, but Woolies is the perfect case. Some of their top-end shite, includes lava lamps, crappy and expensive children’s toys made by small Asian children, mini fridges that cost £14 a second to run off household electricity and those really fucking annoying Christmas decorations like dancing Santa’s, singing Christmas trees and wanking snowmen (maybe not the last one).

Woolworths Cafe

If you’ve ever wondered where those grumpy old-fashioned school dinner ladies now work, then wonder no more. The Cafe was an idea introduced to get Woolworths to be an integral part of a days shopping. Spend a good hour getting lost amongst everything and then have lunch! Unfortunately, it turned out this would only work if your lovely day out intended to end up at A&E.
So there you have it. The failure of Woolworths is not because of the recession, or because of terrorism, or because of Tesco’s but because its shit. End of.

CS

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