Retail diary: Retailers need to kick their ‘drug’ habit; Simon Cowell’s sleep inducing calls to Sir Philip Green; and Coco De Mer taps Fifty Shades for Valentine’s Day.
Former Best Buy chief executive Bob Willett exclaimed “we’re on the heroin” during a panel discussion with Lord Stuart Rose and Sir Charles Dunstone at the Delivery Conference.
However, it turned out the startling admission was in reference to the retail industry’s addiction to discounting on Black Friday.
Lord Stuart Rose also likened the situation within the industry to “taking the drug”, while John Roberts from Ao.com warned earlier in the day of the dangers of Black Friday discounting. He said it is “like a drug – the drug of low prices for the rest of the year is a difficult one for people to wean themselves off.”
Here’s hoping someone comes up with a 12-step discount rehab programme for retailers soon.
The Zzzzzz Factor
Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green brought pal Simon Cowell along to launch the retailer’s latest work experience programme at Highgate School.
The pair rarely stop thinking about business and Cowell revealed he sometimes calls Green in the wee small hours to discuss ideas.
But even tireless tycoons can’t always get by on a Lady Thatcher-style sleep regimen. Cowell recalled one such 3am conversation. “I was rambling on and said what do you think?” Cowell remembered. “Then I heard this weird noise – he’d fallen asleep.”
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and this year things could hot up in the nation’s bedrooms.
The Fifty Shades of Grey movie comes out the day before Valentine’s Day and sex toy retailers Coco de Mer and Lovehoney are seeking to cash in on the dramatisation of EL James’ steamy novel.
For between £50 and £100 amorous Brits can buy ‘top quality’ leather blindfolds, paddles, floggers, wrist and ankle cuffs, spreader bars, mouth gags and hog ties.
“This luxury range of leather bondage equipment is inspired by what Christian Grey has in the Red Room of Pain in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie and has been designed with author EL James,” says Lovehoney co-founder Richard Longhurst. “It’s the real deal for anyone who would like to recreate scenes that they are going to see in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.”
The collection is fit for a billionaire, according to Longhurst. Presumably it also fits for the bill for retail’s millionaires.