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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

    £16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

    SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

    Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea