i need to tell you a story about me from when i was a young man. but this story i feel is relevant the current stories of price rises and how some indies are absorbing and some are not.
at the end of the story, my point will become clear.
i lived at the same address all through my university career, 349 london road, Stoke on trent. and it was fucking ace.
within a short stagger was the Wheatseaf (see above) a venue where pretty much every single band ever has played... seriously, look it up... and now its a wetherspoons.
next door to my house was a mens barber run by albert. he cut my hair for free. while i admit i mostly got "lionel Blair" cut it was free so meh.
next door but two was a chemist, ideal for last minute loo paper and rubber johnnies for sex. next door to that was an amazing takeaway and a few doors down was a pub with two snooker tables.
yes, my street at uni was just about perfect.
but it was actually even better than that...
for inbetween the chinese and the pub sat mary's, an off-licence. not AN offy, THE offy. in her tiny 10" square shop was every single alcholic beverage and spirit known to humanity. as well as enough choccy and crisps to make your pancreas go fucking mental.
My dad used to be a publican so i had mobile beer pumps and she would sell us barrells of lager and bitter. my uni parties were legend- yes, DRAFT stella. and john smiths. once the coppers came round, saw the draft beer and wouldn't leave till they had one. nice.
she also sold fags.
this is important.
as you know The Budget is in the afternoon, and 9 times out of ten fags go up. but you could bet your bottom dollar when mary opened at 4pm (she shut at 11- yeah, in 1996 this was a big deal. most shops were shut hours ago... you kids with your 24 hour tesco know fuck all) her cigarettes would be...
DUM DUM DUM DUMMMM...............!
at the NEW price laid out by the budget. now you can be sure she has not been to the wholesalers that day cos only a dunce would do that on budget day. so she had paid and stocked up on the OLD price for the product and was selling them for a new price, meaning until she restocked she was making an extra 15p or whatever a packet...
see what i mean? GW gave all of the indies a "heads up" on the price rise just in time for them to order a fucking container load each.
result? this quarter, a traditional quiet quarter, sales are up like buggery and next quarter profits will be up thanks to the price rise.