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Published: Jul 05 , 2018
Author: Sam Macbeth

“At least there aren’t so many flags this time” – said my, slightly surly, Scottish colleague. He was referring to the number of St George’s flags flying from car windows on our way to an English course venue – it is, of course, World Cup time. I tried explaining that in years gone by with the various ‘Golden Generations’ the English media had been very adept at whipping up an optimistic frenzy based on us beating sides that were either very unlucky, argued incessantly between themselves (on and off the pitch) or were the lowest of the low in terms of their rankings. Once the England team had lost, this would normally be followed by the inevitable media witch hunt. This has been my experience for the past, nearly 50 years.

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Published: Nov 09 , 2017
Author: Sam Macbeth

The climate of fear for British MP’s seemed to rise to new levels last week – with one BBC reporter stating that the emerging stories of sexual harassment would be bigger than the expenses scandal of a few years ago. Labour MP Clive Lewis is now being investigated after a formal complaint was made against him. Mr. Lewis said, "I don't as a rule at packed Labour party conferences grope people's bottoms when...

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Published: Aug 18 , 2016
Author: Sam Macbeth

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal headlines “Apple’s Hard-Charging Tactics Hurt TV Expansion - In search of its new big thing, possibly TV, Apple has alienated cable providers and networks with an assertive negotiating style; ‘time is on my side’" they are saying Apparently, they’ve been in discussions with various potential media partners since 2009, with no end in sight. During this period, Apple’s demands have included things such as long term frozen monthly rate per viewer, access to selected premium channels, full ‘on demand’ seasons of hit shows, rights to a vast cloud based digital video recorder, and set top box Apple ID sign in. They haven’t quite asked for the kitchen sink yet.

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Open Buying

People are fascinated by Pound Shops. They’ve been around the High Street for over 20 years. Stores like Poundland, Poundstretcher, Poundworld, and others grew their estate and their customer numbers rapidly when Woolworths failed and austerity kicked in at the beginning of 2009. Not all have succeeded. 99p Stores were absorbed into Poundland, and recently Poundworld went into administration. For most, the original premise – that everything in the store is £1 – has had to go as inflation limits the stock range that can be sold profitably at that price point. Most of us...

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