Donald MacInnes: Bargain basement loses its stigma and the big beasts perish

In The Red

In the past few weeks, these inches have borne much regret at the demise of various once-high-profile High Street shopping names. But I should really just dry my eyes and get on with it. There is no sense in any of us weeping whenever someone mentions the joy of getting your Pick 'n' Mix in Woolies when you were a kid.

Anyway, let's be frank about it: aside from the jobs which have been lost (and I would certainly hope that those employees of Woolworths, HMV and Blockbuster manage to find another job very soon), all that the demise of these names means is that natural selection is alive and well in the retail world. Blockbuster is just the poor old elephant which once made the array of Serengeti predators' knees tremble, but which now is just one sore foot away from being a Jumbo burger value meal for the local lion pride.

Bottom line: no one wants to pay over three quid to hire Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy for two nights when they can go to Amazon or Play or any other online retailer and buy the DVD for the same amount, even if it's used, as there's no shame in buying used goods… and more of that later.

Same story with HMV. The group had a hell of a good run, as described in these pages last week, but the only fact that matters now is that people just don't want to buy CDs any more. Spotify and iTunes make the HMV experience seem as archaic as your Gran tasting her first real pineapple at the end of the Second World War.

At the other end of the scale, there are the 99p and £1 shops. I remember when Lewisham in south-east London (where I do a lot of my shopping) had only one such outlet. Now, Lewisham isn't the most salubrious part of the capital, but even here, in the past its sole 99p shop had an air of the tawdry about it. It smelt a bit, the lighting was gloomy and the products had all the usefulness of gammon pants. In fact, I actually bought a three-pack of gammon pants in there once. Never again.

Nowadays, discount shops like this are pretty much everywhere. And the taboo factor in shopping there (especially, I would guess, for the self-aware middle classes) has evaporated into a sweet-smelling cloud of acceptance.

The recession may have brought a lot of misery to a great deal of people, but it has also made Mr and Mrs Range Rover perfectly happy to go slumming it for the sake of a bargain. No shame in being frugal now, is there? Nowadays profligacy seems altogether more embarrassing.

d.macinnes@independent.co.uk

Twitter.com: @DonaldAMacInnes

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

    Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

    £70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

    Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

    £23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

    Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

    £13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific