Tumbleweed City West Midlands

Mainstream media are getting their knickers in a twist this morning over gloomy reports from the retail industry. Predictions of “The death of the High Street” abound.

More Closures Likely In Retail Sector:The festive period has been a gloomy one with Barratts Priceless axing over 1,600 jobs and La Senza and D2 Jeans going into administration. Industry leaders have warned that mass discounting failed to kickstart a recovery … The Guardian

High Street Retailers Being Squeezed To Extinction : More shops will collapse into administration or announce store closures in the next couple of weeks, afters suffering from “profits squeezed to extinction” as well as a fall in sales over Christmas, according to the head of Britain’s retail trade body … Daily Telegraph

All in all it conjures up images of desterted town centre streets lined with derelict and decaying shops. A howling wind stirs up dust devils and drives a few ominoius looking tumbleweeds. Somewhere, some unseen creature whistles eerily, wooo – oo – oo – oo – ooo – wooo – oo – ooo and a distant, lone Church bell tolls a funereal rhythm.

How can Boggart Blog predict the furure in such detail?

Well Accrington town centre has been like that for twenty years.

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The Left Really Have Lost It.

I read on Longrider, that the blog of a leftie blogging outfit called Outside Left has been caling for a boycott of a retailer for selling “sexist” T Shirts bearing the slogan ” “I’m too pretty for homework so my brother has to do it for me.” to irresponsible (and by assoiuation, obviously right wing) parents. These pompous pratts demanded that the T-Shirt be removed from sale or they would tell readers not to shop at that retail chain.

Now the prospect of losing the custom of Left Outsides’ few hundred sandal wearing Oxfam shop clothed readers probably had the company shitting themselves.

But there’s another pointer to leftie stupidity here. Do they really, really think the parents of girls old enough to understand thast slogan have any say in what their daughters wear? Really?

An NVQ In RETAIL

Sezjez has been looking for some gainful employment whilst she decides what she wants to do with her life.
She went down to the local youth employment office, Connexions, and registered, saying she thought she might like to try journalism, the media or PR.

First of all they notified her about a vacancy as an apprentice butcher. Hmmn, obviously thinking about journalists also being called hacks, and the savaging given to our fallen idols by the Screaming Redtops – Hi Tiger, at least now we know how a golfer got the nickname Tiger, GRRRR.

Today another missive arrives, this one for an apprenticeship in Retail, working towards an NVQ in Retail.

An NVQ in RETAIL!

The mind boggles.

I could have an NVQ in retail, I worked in the family business for a couple of years. On my C.V. it says Sales Assistant. I went along, I set out the stock, put up displays, wrote signs, talked to potential customers and tried to persuade them to part with their hard earned cash in exchange for items of gentlemen’s apparel. Took the money, gave the change, all without the aid of an electronic till, logged the sale for stock control purposes, cashed up at the end of the day, closed up, went home. But I didn’t think of doing it like that. It was just the job.
I don’t really think any of that warrants a qualification. It’s called doing a job.
If you’re no good at selling, say you tell the 6 foot 5 inch beanpole that a 38 waist with a 29 leg is absolutely the correct size, even when he’s wrapped the fastened trousers round his body twice and the hem of the legs barely reaches his knees, then you’re not going to make the sale and selling is probably not the career for you.

But it makes you wonder what the modules for an NVQ in Retail might be.

Level 1: Successfully identify a retail establishment.
Successfully identify customers in a retail
establishment.
Identify the sales counter and name three
pieces of equipment you would find on the
counter. NB the cashiers coffee cup isn’t
one of them.

Level 2: Demonstrate the ability to look straight
through customers waiting to be served
whilst continuing your conversation with
another member of staff.
Demonstrate the ability to disappear for at
least half an hour whilst you go to check
the stockroom for that particular size, colour
style.
Demonstrate the ability to judge when the
queue at the till is going to start snaking
out of the door and then announce that it is
time for your lunchbreak.

Level 3: Customer service. Show how you would explain
the problem is entirely the customer’s without
using abusive language.
Show a range of dirty looks that you could
use behind a stroppy customer’s back.
Give a verbal account of everything that
makes a customer a shop-person’s worst fucking
nightmare.