Archive for March, 2012

Game in administration

Not exactly the most unexpected of news stories, but the “biggest retail failure since Woolworths” has been announced today

The usual reasons for the business failure have been cited (online competition, international expansion) and once again the question marks hang over a high street chain with heavy overheads competing against an online retailer. I have barely ever played a computer game but do you need to visit a store to chose one?

Either way, perhaps the most interesting quote in the above article is this

However, people familiar with the matter have been left puzzled over why Game’s lenders refused to accept a fully-funded bid from OpCapita last week, which would have prevented it from falling into administration.

I think unsecured creditors will be asking that question quite forcibly. But what voice do they now have? It can of course be argued that any creditor should have been well aware of the risks in advance, but that doesnt lessen the pain…

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For those that may not know, I am on twitter now. Now I don’t say a great deal and will not tell you what i had for breakfast or how bad my hangover is but what i do say or retweet should be of some interest, even within the horribly confined space

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Why chose an Apple?

Soon I am going to sound a little too evangelical but the answer to the question is why the hell not?

I had a small problem with my Apple MAC pro (thought it was going to be worse than it was) and horror of horrors it was a week past warranty date

So i take it into the very busy Kingston store and an appointment was set up in 20 minutes. Fine. This was at 11am. They tested and tested and then found it was a slightly loose internal cable. The charge for this?

£24 to replace and £10 labour. Not bad at all

Did they charge? No. I was one week past warranty date and thats cool with them

And when did this extremely busy store have it ready for me? By 2pm

The store is packed and yet a well known and highly disliked national electronic retailer near me is nearly always empty. When I remind you that their reaction to a break down within warranty was (and these were exact words to me on one occasion) “well you will have to send it back to the manufacturers wont you?”, you will know who i am talking about

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Getting credit….

A couple of posts back, I commented on the World Bank’s ease of business index. Certainly interesting stuff and one index has thrown up quite a few results which may surprise

Its the “Getting credit” table. And would you believe that the UK comes out at the very top? Perhaps some would say that that is a reflection on the too loose controls over recent years but I would certainly disagree. Credit is the lifeblood of any economy and whilst no one can ignore the downside of businesses over extending themselves, enterprise will never succeed without available support

Unsurprisingly many less developed countries have difficult economies within which credit can be obtained (but it is striking that oil rich Venezuela is rock bottom) but which western economies are badly rated?

Luxembourg comes in at 150 on the list. Portugal at 126 and perhaps less surprisingly, Italy at 98. without getting into generalisations, credit is based on trust which may explain italy’s low rating but Luxembourg? Ok its not a vast economy, but what is the story there?

France Sweden and Netherlands are grouped at 48, well below Germany which is interesting and a number of east european states score quite highly

But none as high as the english speaking economies of the west, who dominate the top of the table.

The conclusion? I think a social/cultural study rather than an economic one would explain that

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David Hockney – A bigger picture

Finally made it to the big exhibition of the year and it didn’t disappoint

A much bigger show than i expected and maybe at the end of it you do feel slightly awash with landscapes but heres an example of oen of the many very striking and hauntingly beautiful works

The show is supposedly “sold out” but people were arriving on the queues weren’t too bad (I had booked though)

And for something a lot less pastoral and far more raw, the Freud show at the NPG is another not to be missed

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