Community Views : What’s on the boards today….5th Jan 2011

5th January 2011

The Guardian

"HMV is to close 60 stores across the UK after suffering a sharp fall in sales over the crucial Christmas period."

Trilobyte comments: "As others have said, it isn't a blip caused by a bit of bad weather. They have as much chance of surviving in their present form as a typewriter manufacturer did after the advent of the word processor and the PC."

FT Alphaville have also covered this story.

Captain Mannering says: "Snow is not completely unreasonable for them. Sales went to the 1 stop supermarkets rather than skidding around the high streets. Doesn't change the underlying challenges – need to leave the high street, bar a few flagship stores for brand (like Apple et al) and sell the bookshop"

In the Telegraph they are discussing how Next sales have fallen as well:

"Like-for-like sales fell 6.1pc for the period between August and Christmas Eve, Britain's second-biggest fashion chain said, after retail sales in particular were "significantly affected by extreme weather conditions and increased competitor discounting on the high street before Christmas."

The Guardian reported this story last night:

"If 2011 was meant to be the toughest year for the British economy in decades, someone forgot to tell the City. Despite the gloom over the impact of the VAT increase and spending cuts, Britain's leading shares began the new year by powering ahead to close today at their highest level since the 2008 banking crisis."

teigngreen says: "Here we go again……… house prices to rocket again soon? Still the real "risk takers" have to spend their bonuses on something – whilst we pick up the tab with our VAT increases, higher education fees, transport and fuel costs ……….and I think to myself what a wonderful world, oh yeah!!!!!!"

However this morning in City Wire it is a different story:

"Most companies on the FTSE 100 were down slightly this morning with the noise coming from retailers, which took a hit from the recent bad weather, but most of the damage done by commodities firms – miners and oil companies – which make up a significant proportion of the index."

The Daily Telegraph

"Crunching everything from fertility rates to schooling levels and the rule of law, HSBC predicts that the world's economic output will triple again by 2050, provided the major states can avoid conflict – trade wars, or worse – and defeat the Malthusian threat of food and water limits. Growth will rise to 3pc on average, up from 2pc over the last decade."

The readers of the Daily Telegraph seem to disagree with these predictions:

DennisHorne says: "If you joined all these economists end-to-end you wouldn't reach a valid conclusion."

and hives replied: "Very funny! If you joined any two economists together you wouldn't reach agreement."

The Financial Times

"High oil prices threaten to derail the fragile economic recovery among developed nations this year, the leading energy watchdog has warned, putting pressure on the Opec oil cartel to increase production."

Reuters and the Telegraph are also discussing this story.

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