Posted by: docdenbow | November 17, 2012

Welcome To Wetherspoons The Kwik Save Of The Pub Trade

I’m sure you will have seen in the papers and on the TV that the electrical retailer Comet are immersed in the brown smelly stuff. Very deeply at that. It is looking increasingly unlikely that they will survive and the Comet name will surely be added to the list of famous retailers to bite the dust in recent years. I feel dreadfully sorry for the staff who work in the shops, as home delivery, in head office and in their call centres whose Christmas present is going to be a redundancy notice.

Yet somehow it was inevitable. I’ve seen mentioned that their business was impeded by unfair competition from internet retailers. Comet offering up tales of how they just can’t compete with internet stores like Amazon, Dabs and Ebuyer, to take but three names out of the air. These internet businesses can pile higher and sell cheaper than Comet, so off goes Comet to that discount warehouse in the sky.

Should we mourn the demise of Comet as an institution, a brand in the same way that many of us shed a tear when Woolworth’s closed its’ doors with a sad finality? Well no we shouldn’t. What memories have been embedded into the national psyche by Comet? Hmm, good question, even though I ask it myself. Well, I don’t think any memories of Comet will be left behind, in a year or two the only ones who’ll remember Comet are the staff. MFI went the same way a few years ago, and who misses them?

I think what is truly sad is the simple fact that Comet and stores like them, the big out of town megastores, superstores have effectively destroyed what used to be fine little towns and the plethora of little shops contained in each and every high street until all we’re left with is an endless parade of Charity Shops. Tescos, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, B & Q, Morrisons – the list goes on and on – all have grown and grown undercutting each other, selling everything you can think of from baked beans to household white goods and TV’s all of which has served to drive the “little man” out of business.

It seems that we’re all prepared to sacrifice good service and knowledgeable sales assistants for the sake of price and spotty juvenile “sales consultants” who know less about what they’re selling than I do about infrared astronomy. As a result of us being slaves to saving, all of the towns and cities the length and breadth of this country are fundamentally the same. The same shops selling the same stuff at the same price by the same spotty “sales consultants.” I despair, I really do.

The pub trade is the same. All those little pubs killed stone dead by cheap supermarket beer and Wetherspoons. Wetherspoons where the reality is often, no scrub that not often, always different to the reality. We are supposed to buy into the fine ales idea, the good beer guide style emporium of ale with fine wines for the ladies. (no Belgian chocolates though) What do we actually get? A place where wheezing semi derelicts go because they can get Stella for £2 a pint and they can drink and converse all day with lots of others like themselves. You seen Mr Tim, aiming for the lowest common denominator gets you the lowest common denominator.

Welcome to Wetherspoons the Kwik Save of the pub trade!

Ciao For Now




  1. Wetherspoons saw a niche and filled it, as did all the mega-stores. The world never stops changing, and that is a good thing.


    • It’s just that I get very nostalgic for the “good old days.” I remember when Bilston had a proper High Street and the Court House in Sedgley was a proper pub. Yes the world never does stop changing, but I’m not convinced that it is always for the better.

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