"Barbers, beauty salons, shoe repairs, ice cream parlours and coffee shops were among the retail sectors to see increases in shops opening in the first half of 2018, according to retail intelligence business the Local Data Company."Some shops like this are combining their sales, such as the vintage barber at Vagabond's in Stoke-on-Trent who offers a vintage beer option with every haircut. Presumably there's also a nice ginger beer on offer in the chiller, for those who don't drink. What else could be sold to the older gent, that they can't get more easily on eBay on Amazon and through the letter-box, and which wouldn't get the shop in 'change of use' trouble re: the planning and zoning regulations? Walking sticks and suchlike are out of the question. True, you wouldn't want to get a walking stick through the post, but at the same time they take up space, are awkward to display, and would sell only rarely. Collapsible seat-bearing 'flipsticks' might be another matter, since one would on need to have one display-model out front. These enable one to have a sit and a breather when walking, even if no seating is around or it's only a bum-numbing mesh-grid, or the metal-box type now plonked around the centre of Hanley. If not needed for carrying or sitting, they can be slipped into a bag. But such things are not an ongoing regular purchase. Once thirty of your regulars have them, you're not likely to sell many more. Perhaps a curated little rack of difficult-to-find print magazines, with nostalgia value? The small Commando booklet-comics, perhaps. What bloke of a certain age wouldn't be tempted to try one of those, from a rack displaying titles guaranteed by the barber to have a combo of the best art and the best writing. Once they'd read a classic such as The Long Chase, they'd be wanting more. The publishers of Commando might even offer barber shops their own little fold-and-slot stand of classic titles, that could hang on a wall. Each purchased copy would have a voucher inside with a discounted year's subscription and a flyer for The Oldie. The barber would be given a small commission for each subscription taken out, for either title. That might not be for all such barbers, of course, and many will have a clientele more interesting in sports, fishing and gardening. And selling to older men is generally difficult, which is why the high street is so geared to other market segments. But that leaves a gap which is not being catered for, and ideas such as those above show how barbers might 'up their game' in terms of repeat-sales of 'small pleasures', and how these might then be leveraged into bigger purchases such as annual subscriptions.
Friday, 9 November 2018
Tuesday, 6 November 2018
"Introduction of charges for soil, plasterboard and rubble at household waste and recycling centres – saving £120,000."I'm rather surprised to hear that it's been free, until now, but then I've no need to use such tips and thus don't know about such things. I guess this new charge may possibly affect allotment holders, re: getting rid of bags of soil that's been contaminated with something or other that's not toxic but is still unwanted. Though, in reality, you'd probably just build a mound or bank somewhere on the allotments site with the soil, and then turf over it.
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Thursday, 9 August 2018
Friday, 27 July 2018
Thursday, 26 July 2018
Saturday, 21 July 2018
Friday, 20 July 2018
Tuesday, 19 June 2018
Saturday, 12 May 2018
Maplins and PC World were both nice to browse the aisles of, if only to keep up-to-date with what was available in affordable tech and gadgets. But I guess those days are gone, and the best options now for Stokies are:
1) For electronic widgets, sockets and wires too big for the letter-box, eBay's arrangement with the Sainsbury's Argos facilities. This allows the buyer to collect eligible small-packages from Sainsbury's Argos counter in Stoke. Although the time-out on that can be a bit tight, and if you don't get there sharpish after you order then you'll find "it's been sent back, duck".
2) For basic things like a new computer mouse and keyboard, and the occasional January Sale blink-and-it's-gone bargain, the nearest best option is probably the Staples superstore on the eastern edge of Festival Park.
3) For PC owners and courier-phobics, who need something more substantial and delicate (a new hard-drive, monitor or even a new PC), the best local alternative option is probably now Overclockers in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Overclockers are a well-regarded national PC-centric gaming hardware company, with HQ and public counter and display-space on the outskirts of the town. They make some good value gaming PCs, and have just this month taken the plunge into making well-reviewed graphics workstations for home office-based artists, graphic designers and 3D animators.