I got a phone call from Grandma in Cyprus today, just checking I wasn't standing underneath the helicopter that crashed in London this morning. Fortunately it was a couple of miles away...sympathies to the people killed and injured. I feel confident that pretty soon the conspiracy theorists will be out in force as the building it crashed into is just a hop and skip away from MI5...or is it MI6...either way, it's the one that blew up in Skyfall. Before that the only thing of note for me about the building was that a few years ago, when I used to do street roller blading every Friday and Wednesday (15 miles and then a swift pint or two), 250 of us stopped at the traffic lights opposite, and a rather over excited girl came out on a balcony, raised her t-shirt and started flashing her boobs. Odd. We all nearly fell over.
I wasn't much saddened about the end of Jessops this week...it deserved it. Last year we went in to buy a new and pretty expensive camera, but it took us ages to get hold of a shop assistant, who then insisted they didn't have it. As we were about to leave one of his colleagues mentioned they did have it in fact...several. They made the sale, but failed to sell us any extras. Since then I've been in several times for stuff which they either didn't have, or they couldn't be bothered to serve me, or were in a staff meeting and asked me to come back in half an hour. Yes the service was diabolical.
HMV though is somewhere I go into regularly...very regularly indeed to spend my hard earned cash. I still prefer to buy physical CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays...downloads just don't look so good on the shelf, and I still like to read the lyrics on the insert. I may be a dinosaur on that one, but it does seem a shame...perhaps Play.com will revamp their site so I can feel like I'm browsing the shelves.
Closer to home...office in fact, our local bookshop come cafe didn't open its doors after Christmas.
I assume that Robert Dyas can't be long for this world as I suspect it's tottered around seemingly on the brink for ages.
I'm sure other shops will go into the retail spaces, but what worries me most is that they will be more branches of Costa, Starbucks or Nero. Much as I love my coffee, I'd like other places to go into.
For the brave world of online shopping, the real weakness is the delivery company...and this week I've been fighting yet another running battle with DPD who've previously proved their incompetence on many an occasion. I'd ordered a fabulous pair of headphones as my last ones have finally given out. The online tracking site showed that they had been delivered and signed for 'LOA'. In fact no one was home, and LOA stands for 'left on authority' I'm still not sure whose authority...it certainly wasn't mine. Anyway, we eventually found the headphones which had been chucked into the snow in the back garden.
I'm off to support my local shop now...I don't care what they sell, I'm going to buy it.