Timmy elsewhereNovember 22, 2014 Tim WorstallTimmy Elsewhere6 CommentsAt the ASI: Simon Jenkins gets the planning and supermarket thing wrong again previousHasn’t the world changed?nextLois Lerner’s emails turn up 6 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere” So Much for Subtlety November 23, 2014 at 12:18 am At present, smart planning ought to be thinking ahead of the boom in online shopping. What mistakes might there be in pandering to its gargantuan appetites? What are the implications of every street jammed with home delivery lorries? What of every suburb blighted with distribution centres, supplied by giant hangars littering every motorway? Is it giving people a knighthood that makes them such blithering idiots? I wonder. Gargantuan appetites? Is there any evidence that on line shopping causes people to shop more? I would think not. As a first and gross rule of thumb, people shop as much as they can afford and no more. So we can assume that in fact they will not be buying any more stuff than they would from bricks and mortar shops – unless of course there are massive efficiency savings. But let’s ignore that. What are the implications of every street jammed with home delivery lorries? Well, the Post Office might survive for one thing. Give them something to do apart from junk mail. If people are not buying more, then why would the streets be more crowded? Everything has to get from the local shop to our homes. We can do that in a million individual car trips. Or a lot fewer vans can do it in a lot fewer trips. Which is more likely to reduce traffic jams? Hard to say if many of those car trips will be made anyway (by going to work for instance). What of every suburb blighted with distribution centres, supplied by giant hangars littering every motorway? What of them? Everything we buy has to get to the local shop. Which means someone has to send at least one articulated lorry to every major shopping centre (or what Mr Jenkins might call a distribution centre) at least once a day. Those lorries come from, ta da!, giant hangers that litter every motorway. Is there any reason to think people will be building more such centres if they start to shop on line? Tesco’s might become fewer and smaller while DHL’s will become larger and more common. But it looks a pretty much zero sum game to me. Bloke in Costa Rica November 23, 2014 at 6:39 am Simon Jenkins was a twat long before he got the K. He’s like Will Hutton in being a reliable reverse barometer. If you simply assume that for every statement he makes, the direct opposite is in fact the case, then you won’t go far wrong. The Stigler November 23, 2014 at 12:13 pm SMFS, Good points. If anything, online shopping has been found to reduce supermarket shopping. People are more likely to buy what they want rather than walking through an aisle and just fancying stuff. The problem with Graun lefties is that they’re basically conservatives now. The article about Uber today isn’t a million miles away from supporting the corn laws, that was the cause of its creation. So Much for Subtlety November 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm The Stigler – “If anything, online shopping has been found to reduce supermarket shopping. People are more likely to buy what they want rather than walking through an aisle and just fancying stuff.” Well they hate Tesco, they should be happy. The great thing about on-line shopping is that the distribution centres don’t have to be accessible by car with lots of car parking for the customers like supermarkets are/do. They can be off a convenient freeway, miles out of town. Cheaper that way. Which saves places people actually live from the eye sores that are most modern supermarkets. Jenkins ought to be happy. “The problem with Graun lefties is that they’re basically conservatives now. The article about Uber today isn’t a million miles away from supporting the corn laws, that was the cause of its creation.” Well they support the EU so they are already supporting policies a lot like the Corn Laws. Mark T November 24, 2014 at 3:23 am Perhaps the empty superstores could be converted into new schools? After all they are presumably centrally located for a housing catchment area, with large car parks that could easily become all weather pitches. They are energy efficient, modern build that could easily and cheaply be subdivided into manageable sized classrooms. Perhaps they could become Tesco academies? better returns for shareholders on a sublet and far better value for money than the dreadful PPI scams. Just saying. Roue le Jour November 24, 2014 at 11:28 am Mark T I hoped Gove would give us Tesco academies, fool that I am. The scheme has my vote. Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.