Lewes Forum thread

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Provocative yet insightful

On 16 Nov 2013 at 2:32pm justathought wrote:
I would love to see a Wetherspoons, Subway or any other major chain that will bring competition introduced to our town. Drive down prices, eliminate under-preforming businesses and create a improved town. The kind of place where you can get a pint for under 3.50. For some unknown reason however, people on this forum have felt it has been their responsibility to speak for the town, proclaiming that these chains will be detrimental to the town and no-body wants them here.
How about we invite these chains in? leave them to succeed or fail in a free market. If it is true, and nobody wants to purchase their goods for any number of reasons, then the business will simply close up and leave town. Bare in mind that they would have already incurred set up cost that undoubtable contribute to the town. Alternatively, which I believe will be the case, the business will thrive. This will deliver further jobs, create further social satisfaction through diversity and lower prices. Furthermore competitors will have to adapt to the new micro economy, most likely improving quality and/or price. Hence either scenario proves beneficial to the town, with the later contributing the most.
On 16 Nov 2013 at 3:59pm Mike wrote:
Interesting point but as for likely responses around here;
How many Lewesians does it take to change a lightbulb? "Change? In lewes? Never!"
On 16 Nov 2013 at 4:29pm xplorer1 wrote:
justathought - have you considered the possibility that Subway, Witherspoons etc have assessed Lewes' potential for their product and decided that the town isn't big enough to provide enough demand?
I see that Majestic Wines are opening in the old ESCC book store next to Carpetright, so businesses DO come into town if they think they have a chance of turning a profit. So have J Crew, White Stuff and others.
On 16 Nov 2013 at 5:10pm Clifford wrote:
Yes, explorer1, odd hw justathought believes in the 'free market' but can't understand that businesses are not well meaning charities but follow the profit. Still, economics is hardly taught in this country, where people think the national economy operates in the same way as the household economy.
On 16 Nov 2013 at 5:51pm Knoxon Cutts wrote:
How to run an honest economy? See youtube "Bill Still speaks at Bromsgrove 2010" Short and says it all.
On 16 Nov 2013 at 8:21pm Matron wrote:
Lewes isn't a dormitory town, it's a care home, Gods Waiting Room.
On 16 Nov 2013 at 8:44pm De Quincey wrote:
Please pass the Morphine Matron...
On 18 Nov 2013 at 8:55am Belladonna wrote:
Hmmm - there are chains already in the town, hadn't you noticed? I'm certain subway has already assessed that Lewes doesn't have much of the 'grab and go' lunch culture that they require. And I doubt Wetherspoons would find a pub venue large enough or busy enough for the type of drinking and eating culture they promote. Lower beer prices would be welcome of course. But I'm dubious about your claim the chains can promote better quality - IMO they promote a monoculture and disadvantage small traders
On 18 Nov 2013 at 9:40am huw wrote:
Right, where to start?
Firstly with the set up. These national firms are not going to spend money using local companies to get started. They will draft in national building firms and when open use centralised accountants and tender cleaning contracts out to big firms. In this way there is very little benefit for the local population. Some of the high street firms did start off using local cleaners, but in the last few months have started using big firms to save money.
In a free market society everyone should be able to compete on an even playing field. Weatherspoons ha the advantage of a large cash flow and favourable rates when it comes to buying in. The tied pubs of Lewes struggle to make ends meet and, if the customers were spread thinner because of the introduction of a Weatherspoons, they would be the first to fold. The big firm could afford to run at a loss until other places go under and then there is only Weatherspoons left.
They do employ local staff, but zero hour contracts do not give great job security, and those working in other pubs that go under would lose their jobs.
Local suppliers would lose out. As far as I'm aware, Weatherspoons do not use locally sourced foods, drinks etc. So there is no benefit to farmers, grocers, etc.
As for competition. It's a bit David vs Goliath. Say a tied pub buys in Fosters at 1.50/pint, a free house buys it in at 90p/pint Weatherspoons pay even less, say 50-60p/pint. Weatherspoons can sell beer cheaper than a tied pub can buy it in, how do you compete? Yes, music, sports and food get people in local pubs rather than chain establishments, but, in the end, money starts talking and people will drink somewhere where they see they can have a night out on not much more than a tenner.
Sorry for the long winded answer and I suppose I must state that I do have a vested interest in this.
On 18 Nov 2013 at 11:07am Knoxon Cutts wrote:
huw with the real facts of the matter reveals the original post to be provocative but devoid of insight.Do you want to lose Harveys?The big boys think competition is a sin,you know.

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