Friday, 4 January 2019

Reader's Letter Of The Day

From The Metro:

Government has its limits...

So Gordon in Sunderland blames the government for the decline of the high street (MetroTalk, Thu) rather than the fact that the digital age has made it cheaper and easier to purchase items online from the comfort of your own home*.

Does he also blame the government for the year-on-year drop in television viewing figures too? I suppose it should be down to the government to get the public to sit and watch television** rather than streaming services for a designated portion of each day so as to compete with the likes of Netflix?

James, Essex

* The figures are quite staggering. According to the ONS, about one-fifth of UK retail spending is online.

** This is not as far fetched as he thinks. From Quotas obligating Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services operating in the European Union to dedicate at least 30% of their on-demand catalogs to local content are set to become enshrined in law soon. That 'protects' domestic film makers rather than TV stations as such, who have their own minimum domestic content quotas in many countries. Unsurprisingly, France has the highest quota in Europe (minimum 60%).


Lola said...

Re the 'death of the high Street [retailers]'. It seems to me that this is really the 'death of high rents' and is ultimately more of a challenge to landlords than retailers. Retailers can move on line. Landlords can't.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, tee hee, good point.

Dinero said...

On LBC phone in last month there was a wholesaler that was saying there is a twenty percent difference in prices paid to him by online retailers and high st retailers. High st being the lower and online the higher.

Lola said...

Dinero. So now we know. 20% (at least) is the rent mark-up for the High Street.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Din, now that is interesting! Thanks.

L, I doubt that retailers pay 20% of their turnover in rent (on average), I'd have thought more like 5%. Maybe 10% at most?

Dinero said...

If the price differential is there it is possible then that online retailers are subsidising high street retailers due to "market forces". It would need some evidence.