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EntrepreneurstherealbloodbathwillbeaftertheXmassalesMoneyWeek

四月5th,2019|

Publishedin365bet亚洲足球赛

Theonlinegrocer

JasonGissing,38,(above)hasrecentlyattractedmoreattentionforhispaststudentactivitiesthanforhisonlinegrocery,Ocado。

HewasacontemporaryofGeorgeOsborne’sinthenowinfamousBullingdonClubatOxfordUniversity,buthe’sstoicaboutthepresscoveragehe’sreceived。

“IwassurprisedthatsomethingthatIhadforgottenaboutfromuniversityhadbecomeasinterestingasithastosomanypeople。



StartedfromscratchbyGissingandtwootherex-merchantbankersinaone-roomofficeinVictoria,Ocadowentlivein2002。

It’syettomakeaprofit,butisgrowingat20%ayearandisvaluedat£440m。

Therecessionhasn’tyetputshoppersoffbuying,butGissinghasnoticedachangeinwhattheybuy。

“Ouraveragespendisflattomarginallyuponlastyear”,butsalesofmincemeat,potatoesandriceareupasmorepeoplestayinratherthandineout。

Otherproductsarebecomingpopulartoo。

“Wewerelaughingyesterdaywhenwesawthatcondomsaleswereup60%,butwecan’tdecidewhetherthat’sbecausepeoplearestayinginmoreandtryingtoentertainthemselves,orthattheyjustdon’twantbabies。



Thespecialityfoodsalesman

Hedrivesa1996Peugeot106thatbelongedtohismother-in-law,soGilesHenschel,46,isnotthesortofmantoflashhiscash。

Buthe’slessrestrainedwhentalkingaboutwaystosolvetheeconomiccrisis。

“Putaf***inggagonRobertPestonandtheDailyMail,”saystheformerarmyofficerandfounderofDorset-basedOlivesetal。

“I’mresponsiblefor35people’smortgageshere,soIwantsomestabilityandcalmness。

Butifthebuggersinthepresskeepgoingonthewaytheyareabouttherecessionpeoplewillpanic,anditwillbecomeaself-fulfillingprophesy。



Fromastandingstartin1992,hisfirmnowturnsover£4mayear,makingandsupplyingstuffedandmarinatedolives,oliveoil,andarangeofotheroliveproductssourcedfromaroundtheMediterranean。

Hehasnoplanstocutcornersonquality,believingthatsellingcheapolivesatknock-downpriceswouldbecounter-productive。

“Businessestradingdownarejustcommoditising,andthereisnovalueintheproposition。

Idon’twanttobuyTescobeans。

Iwanttoopensomethingofqualitythatmakesmefeelgood。

”Butnordoesheseehisproductsasaluxurybrand,whichwillbedispensedwithaspeopletightentheirbelts。

“Wejustmakestandardfood。

Noadditivesorpreservatives,justgoodfood。

”Andhe’scertainlynotwaitingfortheGovernmenttomakethingsbetter。

“Iwantsomefirmleadership。

Butattheendoftheday,individualsarethemastersoftheirowndestiny。

Thetailor

Sittingatthecornerofnumber30SavileRow,AndersenShepardhasbeeninthetailoringbusinesssince1906。

Knowninthe1920sand1930sasHollywood’stailor(thefirmkittedoutFredAstaireandGaryCooper,amongothers),thefirmhasthedesignerTomFordasoneofitsmostrecentclients。

Butevenwithawealthyclientbase,timesaretough,saysthecompany’svice-chairman,AndaRowland。

“Nomatterhowloyaltheyare,lawyers,bankersandeveryoneelsejustdon’tfeellikespending,”saysthe38-year-old。

“AlotofpeoplesaveuptobuyaSavilerowsuitandthinkaboutitverycarefully。

Thisisnotanimpulsebuy。

Sowearedefinitelyaffected。

”Forexample,“morepeopleareaskingwhatthepriceofasuitwillbe,whereasinthepasttheywouldbetooembarrassedtodoso”。

RowlandhasseenamarkeddownturnsincethefallofLehmanBrothersatthestartofSeptember。

“Salesaredown10%inOctoberfromthistimelastyear。

IknowforafactthatmanytailorsaretravellingmoretotheUSandAsiatomakemoney。



It’stemptingtostartdiscounting,shesays。

“Butthat’snotwhatwedo。

Andwedon’thavethemarginstodoso。

”Atwo-piecesuitstartsat£2,900,with70%ofthatgoingonmaterialsalone,mostlysourcedfrommillsinScotlandandYorkshire。

“Peoplewanttoknowwheretheirsuitsaremade,almosteverycustomerasksthatquestion。

”Theworkisalsolabourintensive。

“Weworkonverylowmargins,withatleastfourpeopleworkingonyoursuit。

Sopeoplearegettingwhattheypayfor。

You’renotgoingtomakeafortunetailoringsuits。



Thefurnitureretailer

“Ifyou’reapurefurnitureretailer,timesarereallytough,”saysAlexCreswellTurner,40,ofteak-furniturestoreLombok。

Onthecostside,thesharpriseinthedollarhurtsanyoneimportingfurniturefromAsia,hesays。

ButmorepainfulstillhasbeentheslowdownintheBritishhousingmarket。

“Acrossthefurnitureindustry,I’mhearingsalesnumbersofbetween20%and40%downonlastyear”asmortgageapprovalsandhousingsalesplunge。

“TherealbloodbathwillbeinFebruaryandMarch,aftertheChristmassales。



Lombok,whichturnsover£16。

5mayear,isfortunate,inthatmostofitsfurniturecomesfromIndonesiawherewageinflationhasn’tbeenasrampantasinChina。

Plusithas“averyactiveaccessoryside。

Whilelike-for-likefurnituresalesaredown,accessorysalesareup。

Ifyou’renotmoving,acheapwaytomakeoveryourhouseistostartbuyinglamps,cushionsandartforyourwalls,”hesays。

“Accessoriesarenow30%ofthebusiness,withlike-for-likesalesup33%。

”IntermsofwhattheGovernmentcoulddo,hewantscouncilstostophikingbusinessrates。

“OurTottenhamCourtRoadstore[inLondon]hasseenratesrise70%inthepastthreeyears。

Inthemeantime,ourpriceshavestayedthesame。

That’sreallyhurt。

”Butthedownturnhasn’tstoppedhisexpansionplans。

Lombokhasjustopenedits19thstoreinBristol,andissurvivingthestorm“aswellascouldbehoped”。

Headmitstheslumpwas“probablywayoverdue。

Ourgenerationhasneverseenanythinglikeitbefore。

We’rejustgoingtohavetostoplivingondebt。



Thecarclub

AndrewValentine,34,isonebusinessmandoingprettywelloutofthecrisis。

WhenoilpricesbeganrisinginFebruary,hesawa30%riseinthenumberofcustomersusingStreetCar,theself-service,pay-as-you-gocar-hirebusinesshesetupwithBrettAkkerin2002。

Now,withcreditalothardertocomeby,“we’veseenalotofpeopleeithersellingtheircarorjustforegoingbuyingone”andusingStreetCarinstead。

The40,000memberseachpay£49。

50ayearinmembershipfees,then£5。

95anhourforuseofoneoftheircars,parkedatdifferentspotsacrossLondonandfiveothercitiesinBritain。

ThedownturnmightnothaveaffectedStreetCarsofar,butit’shadanimpactonitscustomers。

“We’reseeingthetypesoftriparedifferent。

Fewpeoplearegoingawaytonicehotelsfortheweekend。

Also,ratherthanusingourcarstomovehouse,peopleareusingthemtogotoIkeaandjustdoing[theircurrenthome]up。

Peoplearefindingittough。



Thehotelier

Forgettherecession。

“EverythingItouchisturningtogold,”saysSimonWoodroffe,56,founderoftheYo-Sushirestaurantchain。

“Icountmyblessingseveryday。

”ThesonofabrigadierintheIndianCavalryAssociation,WoodroffesoldamajoritystakeinYo-Sushiin2003for£10mandretainedtherighttoaroyaltyarrangement,widelyreportedtobe1%ofUKsalesforlife。

Notabadlittleearner–saleshit£50mlastyear。

Woodroffehassinceturnedhishandtothehotelbusiness,andhisnewventureYotel,whichprovidesluxuryshort-stayhotelroomsandiscurrentlybasedinHeathrow,GatwickandSchipolairports。

TheaimistoexpandintocitycentresacrossEurope。

“Ioftengotoconferencesandfindpeoplestandingupandsayingtheydid98%occupancylastyear,followedbyaroundofapplause。

ButmeandmypartnerGerardGreenthenputourhandsupandsay,wellwedid250%occupancyatHeathrowandpeoplego‘what?

’。

Becausewe’resellingroomsbyblocksofhours,itbringspeopleintothesameroomtwoorthreetimesaday。



Woodroffeisbullishonprospectsforentrepreneurs。

“Mymumalwayssaidthere’sneveraconvenienttimetohavebabies,”hesays。

“Youcouldalmostsaythesameaboutsettingupabusiness。

Butthisisagreattimetosetupalow-costbusiness。



ThePRman

TheBankofEnglandmightbeslashinginterestrates,butforsomesmallfirmsthecostoflendingisactuallyrising。

Lastmonth,RichardVaux,44,ofFarnham-basedPRfirmCobaltCommunications,gotaletterfromhisbank,Barclays,informinghimthattherateonhisoverdraftwasbeingraisedfrom6。

78%to10。

78%。

Acustomerofthebanksince1997,“asyoucanimagine,Iwasn’tbestpleased”,hesays。

SoVauxpaidoffhalfhisoverdraft,toshowhewastakingaproactiveapproachtohisdebt。

Inreturn,heaskedthemtostoptheratehike。

“Thebankmanagerisagoodguy,I’veknownhimforalongtime。

Butthedecisioncamefromhigherup。

Theysaidno。



SoVauxconvertedsomeoftheoverdrafttoaloan,andmovedaccountstoNatWest。

“Ifyou’reasmallbusinessthereissomethingyoucandoBarclaysarerippingoffsmall-businesscustomersjustwhentheycan’taffordit。

”Asforthebusinessclimate,Cobalt,whichfocusesonPRforITclients,hasalreadycutcosts。

Aboutayearago,itbecamea‘virtual’firm,abetteroptionthan“shellingout£15,000ayearforunder100sqft”ofofficespace,hesays。

He’s“beenthroughonedownturnalready”,havingsetupduringthe1990stechboombutwarns,“2001wasn’tasbadas2008”。