MFI and Woolworths

Dr Lobster*
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Thu 27 Nov, 2008 23.51

as some of you who read the newspapers may have noted, two well known high street brands are perilously close to disappearing forever.

however, i for one will not be sad to see mfi disappear, whilst it is sad for all those jobs which will be affected by the chains' collapse, as a brand, it is worthless. who wants to pay 6 grand for a kitchen made out of laminated chipboard with half the bits missing? i have no sympathy for those fecking morons who bereate mfi's service in various news soundbites... mfi has always been crap, what is wrong with people?

woollies on the other hand, i have a certain affection for... the charming christmas advertising campaigns and of course... the pick and mix (shame it wasn't really competitive on either price or service on the things it sold... perhaps the reason for it's downfall).

with no company too big to fall, what high street brand would you like to see the back of ?
Philip Cobbold
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Thu 27 Nov, 2008 23.58

Wilkinsons. It's like stepping in a time warp in there.
Chie
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Fri 28 Nov, 2008 01.58

Devasted to see Woolworths going. I hope someone buys them and keeps the name, while giving the shops a new concept and breathing new life into them.

Wilkinson are actually doing quite well apparently. I shop there about once a month for toileteries, most items are about 30p cheaper than they are in the supermarket and they've always got plenty of buy one get one frees on.

I wouldn't particularly 'like to see the back of' any shops really. There are quite a few naff chains around, but at least they're providing much needed jobs. Shops I predict may not survive the crunch:

New Look
Mark One
Dorothy Perkins
Downtown
Farmfoods
Currys
PC World (wouldn't be sad to see the back of them to be honest)
Somerfield
Comet
Blockbuster
BHS
Matalan
Showcase Cinemas
SCS
Co-op
all new Phil
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Fri 28 Nov, 2008 02.38

Chie wrote:New Look
Mark One
Dorothy Perkins
Downtown
Farmfoods
Currys
PC World (wouldn't be sad to see the back of them to be honest)
Somerfield
Comet
Blockbuster
BHS
Matalan
Showcase Cinemas
SCS
Co-op
Apparently PC World and Currys have reported a sharp drop in profits, I'd put my money on them being the next casualties. Somerfield IIRC have recently been bought by Co-Op, who I think are pretty safe.

Anyone think that a lot of this is more to do with supermarkets trying to sell everything, rather than this credit crunch malarkey? I mean surely Woolworths have suffered big time in particular, they don't sell much that the major supermarket chains haven't starting selling at a cheaper price in the recent past. Same I suppose for MFI, you can now buy furniture in Tesco - why bother going on a trip to MFI when you can just get these things when you do your weekly shopping for a few quid less?

Tesco in particular leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth with how they are so blatent in wanting people to buy *everything* from them. Asda are going the same way too - it's no coincidence that I tend to avoid them in favour of Morrisons and Sainsburys these days.
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lukey
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Fri 28 Nov, 2008 03.43

all new Phil wrote:Anyone think that a lot of this is more to do with supermarkets trying to sell everything, rather than this credit crunch malarkey? I mean surely Woolworths have suffered big time in particular, they don't sell much that the major supermarket chains haven't starting selling at a cheaper price in the recent past.
I think that's it. I cringe a bit whenever I hear every bloody conversation tenuously related back to the 'credit crunch'. Woolies just had a broken business model, and has had one for too many years. It hasn't been able to compete on DVDs/music/games for the best part of a decade, more people are seemingly content with using the likes of Poundland for picking up picture hanging kits and vaguely adhesive super glue leaving Woolworths in a position of complete redundancy. If the stores can be sold on and some sort of tenable format wrung out of them, then great, but I was a wee bit irritated how within minutes of them going into administration, the media seemed to be asking with great indignation why the government hadn't swooped in to save them, because that's just how they roll these days.

All the memories of pick n mix and floor-to-ceiling stacks of easter eggs do not a worthy business make.
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marksi
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Fri 28 Nov, 2008 10.09

Woolworths used to be the place to go to buy your Christmas lights and decorations. But in the last few years the selection has got smaller and poorer as time went on.

I do like Woolworths, I was there a couple of weeks ago and bought a frying pan, some chocolates for Christmas presents and some Play-Doh for my nephew. I hope someone is able to turn it round. I'd miss it.

The supermarket issue is a very valid one. What *doesn't* Tesco sell?

And speaking of PC World, I went in yesterday to buy a hard drive. On their website appeared to be a large selection. In store there were empty shelves and a crap selection of unpriced boxes. When I got home I looked again at the website and found that while there seemed to be a large selection, most were listed as "Collect at store only". Except that none of their stores appeared to have any. So I ordered one from Amazon instead.
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MarkAshley
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Fri 28 Nov, 2008 10.31

marksi wrote:And speaking of PC World, I went in yesterday to buy a hard drive. On their website appeared to be a large selection. In store there were empty shelves and a crap selection of unpriced boxes. When I got home I looked again at the website and found that while there seemed to be a large selection, most were listed as "Collect at store only". Except that none of their stores appeared to have any. So I ordered one from Amazon instead.
http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2006/0 ... _pc_world/
http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2006/0 ... a_pcworld/

Ah yes, the good old hook and switch marketing that PC World is so fond of. I had the same experience a couple of weeks ago, needing a new hard drive. Their website showed an array of drives of all capacities and spindle speeds, SATA PATA or whatever I wanted, again all Collect at Store only. In store, however I could choose between a 500G SATA 7,200rpm drive, or to go home empty handed.


I would have thought though that Currys and PC World are pretty safe bets to stay alive and kicking, particularly with the fantastic new look that Currys.digital has been given (Bluewater's branch is like some futuristic haven for dads on the dreaded family shopping trip). Plus, there's nowhere else on the high street that one can buy PC components at a relatively good price (ie not your independent stores who you are paying for service rather than best value .. at least that's the theory) and there's especially nowhere else I can pick up a spare hard drive or a replacement PSU or a SATA cable at 7.30 at night. Well not until Mr Tesco decides that would be a fun thing to stock anyway.

Wilkinsons I also think has a lot of staying power and a very strong customer base, but I wouldn't be surprised to see places like Saver disappear. And Game too. And at least one coffee chain, but I can't say which.
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Gavin Scott
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Fri 28 Nov, 2008 17.49

Woolies ads still playing out on TV I see. Presumably they're paid for the run and can't cancel.

Shame to lose the brand, but it was looking very shabby for the last few years.
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Andrew Wood
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Fri 28 Nov, 2008 18.13

Anyone think that a lot of this is more to do with supermarkets trying to sell everything, rather than this credit crunch malarkey? I mean surely Woolworths have suffered big time in particular, they don't sell much that the major supermarket chains haven't starting selling at a cheaper price in the recent past.
A small irony is that Tesco and other supermarkets are actually supplied by Woolworths through its EntertainmentUK subsidiary.
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Pete
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Fri 28 Nov, 2008 18.17

EUK being the profitable part of the company hence them trying to flog off the retail side.

Course the shareholders, being idiots, didn't want that to go through so they're now fecked.

Meanwhile I got a rather lovely sofa in MFI for £60 :)
"He has to be larger than bacon"
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Gavin Scott
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Fri 28 Nov, 2008 18.33

Hymagumba wrote:Meanwhile I got a rather lovely sofa in MFI for £60 :)
What?! When?

I, and my bessy mate, are in the market for a nice sofa at much cheapness.
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