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I got Boohoo right twice – will I again?

Boohoo: Smoked like a kipper, or time to buy?


We can see that online has been steadily eating bricks and mortar retail. There’s that spook upwards on Black Friday every year which fades back, but the trend looks like 1% of the market a year.

Then there’s lockdown and that jumps by 10 and then 20% of the entire retail sales of the country. At which point we’ve all got a bet to make. Is this an acceleration of that structural change? Have we fast forwarded two decades? Or is it just some temporary, cyclical thing. You know, all the shops are shut, so, of course – and it will all fade back to that trend?

13 thoughts on “I got Boohoo right twice – will I again?”

  1. There will be a slight return. But the decline will increase in rates then level off.
    City centres are horrible places to go – crowded, busy, parking is super expensive and now the cities are starting even more schemes to deter car drivers from the centre with congestion and clean air zone charging. And public transport is ridiculous expensive. So eventually more stores shut, then more because there’s less reason to go, etc etc.

    There will still be some physical retail, mostly in out of town shopping centres, that actually allow you to park for free instead of discouraging entry. Mostly because it seems to be an activity enjoyed by the womenz.

  2. Chernyy, you’re channelling your inner Yogi Berra: “Nobody goes there any more, it’s too crowded.”

    Using the n=1 sample of my wife, online shopping has given a new importance to the value of a strong brand. She experimented with buying cheap tat from China; but now she only buys from trusted brands (not high-end, just reliable, in an M&S kind of way). When she does venture out to the high street, she invariably comes back disappointed.

  3. Where I used to live they’ve just introduced a congestion charge on the city centre – that only lorries, taxis and buses have to pay! So encouraging people off buses and into private cars – except there’s no car parks in town.
    Added to which, the congestion zone includes the inner ring road, so even if you deliberately avoid the city centre, you’re caught in it.

  4. “City centres are horrible places to go”: my principal grudge with large shops in city centres was always that they were too damned hot. Overheated in winter, underventilated in summer; I suppose there might have been sweet spots in Spring or Autumn but I had no intention of spending time finding out. Anyway, their clothes and shoes were always too bloody small.

    A quick in-and-out at M&S for a BLT was more my thing, plus shopping for food at the outdoor market.

    Retail is one of those things done better in Oz than here. Practical mob, yer Aussies.

  5. “Practical mob, yer Aussies”. Maybe, but they are unfortunately governed by a practical mob of facists, as demonstrated ably over the last two and a half years.

    “What shall we do today? Go into town, spend hours trying to find a parking space (which will invariably be ‘just a short bus ride away’ from the ‘Shopping Village’ and costs the GDP of a small country) traipse around a load of shops full of retards, mums with buggies and old people on mobility scooters, all of whom are determined to get in our way, look for something specific but not find it, then come home, source it online in 30 seconds flat, with delivery tomorrow, or go online in the first place, then spend some time relaxing / pottering about in the garden before going down the pub”?

    Tough one, eh?

  6. The best thing about Aussie shopping is the drive-in offie, where they’ll load a slab of tinnies straight into your ute without you have to get out. Classy.

  7. Drive around out in rural USA, through the small towns. Amazon makes it possible for all of the people in South Dakota to very quickly find and procure a dog warmer, a 1/8″ flabble, pans of oatscraven, counterclockwise fans. Life is easier out there now.

    But there are no longer any retail jobs. Retail jobs have always been the fallback for the unprofessioned.

  8. It’s a small electric heating pad that you place on the floor of the doghouse for cold nights.

    It concerns me that you asked about that, and not the 1/8″ flabble.


  9. Added to which, the congestion zone includes the inner ring road, so even if you deliberately avoid the city centre, you’re caught in it.
    Ain’t Pigou Taxation wonderful?

  10. Um, all fans are counterclockwise, otherwise the blades would come whizzing right off the shaft.

    Not if you use a thread in the other direction…

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