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Vintage Television and Video Vintage television and video equipment, programmes, VCRs etc.

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Old 14th Mar 2018, 2:02 am   #141
usradcoll1
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Default Re: End of an era.

At the time I quit repairing on a regular basis, most sets were relatively new and proved to be really reliable. Most of the time, these newer sets didn't require any real costly repairs. If they did, most owners were reluctant to spend any real money if the set was more than a few years old.
The number of repair shops was on the rapid decline for at least 40 years.
I'll try to come up with more insight a little later.
BTW, I'm another Dave and a fellow cat lover.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 11:56 pm   #142
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Default Re: End of an era.

I went over to visit John today and while I was there I showed him this thread, he found it very interesting. He wanted me to thank all the well wishers.

Cheers,
John Joe.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 7:27 am   #143
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Default Re: End of an era.

There's a whole town which ought to thank John.

David
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 7:30 pm   #144
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Default Re: End of an era.

Unfortunately when local radio shops close, many of the locals ring their hands in disappointment but I call it the 'Woolworth' effect.

Many people were very upset when the much loved Woolworths chain closed it's doors.
The truth was many had not crossed their threshold in four decades.

Use it or loose it!

All the very best to John and I wish him a very happy retirement.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 7:39 pm   #145
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Default Re: End of an era.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
Use it or loose it!
Very true.
There are 2 or 3 local shops, different trades, that provide good service and prices that are not ridiculously high, these are my first place to try, I usually get sorted out.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 1:58 am   #146
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Default Re: End of an era.

Maplin took over where Tandy left off on the high street like Wilco have done after Woolworths gave in.
I am getting the feeling that the management just gets past its "use by" date falling away from what the customer wants and towards what funders in far flung places want.
I am getting the feeling one of the big supermarkets could go in the next few years.
There has been a lot of tension in the supply chain. People might have thought that the "Marmite war" was funny but it has been going on with other suppliers on a smaller scale for a long time.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 6:55 am   #147
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Default Re: End of an era.

Businesses become inward-looking and start ti view the world outside them in terms of their own corporate culture. They lose sight that while George Q Thingummybob may be mister big in their organisation, he isn't of any consequence whatsoever to their customers. The customers see the products and their prices, and they hear tales of how good or bad the service and reliability are.

In this way, companies form a sort of reverse event horizon around themselves. Very little information gets IN. They diverge from the interests of their customers, and before long they don't have enough customers to survive.

What is Maplin for? I don't think anyone outside their organisation saw a real need for them. It's surprising how long they lasted without a raison d'etre. <Insert headless chicken analogy here> I think everyone on this forum had been expecting it for a long time.

Maplin have followed Tandy into oblivion, down exactly the same path. They must have seen it happen. Did someone think 'It can't happen to me'?

Most of the other high-street collapses seemed to have far less warning and to be very fast indeed.

It only takes a fraction of a chain's customers to feel that they get a better deal elsewhere and positive feedback sets in. Lower footfall gives lower turnover, gives less clout, gives higher prices, gives lower still footfall. The eventual implosion is a runaway process, accelerating as it goes. Modern business practices of minimum inventory, maximum return on investment give very short time-constants in the loop.

The supermarket business is likely to lose one chain, but there will be a large surprise factor, and by the time those at the controls notice anything wrong, it will be too late to have any effect. Businesses have made themselves so fast for efficiency and profit reasons that the people at the top can't control them if something big happens.

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Old 17th Mar 2018, 10:34 am   #148
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Default Re: End of an era.

At the dawn of radio, they were expensive pieces of equipment.
Even basic crystal sets were beyond the working man's budget, as the technology improved and mass production started, radio prices came down and sales went up.

Radio sales & repair was big business, from swanky showrooms to small cycle shops, it was certainly a boom period.

The same thing happened when the Television service started in 1936.
After the war when the Television service restarted in 1946, sets were an expensive luxury for the privileged few, but by 1950 prices had come down to affordable levels with sets like the 9" Pye & Bush models being made in large numbers.

The trade was again in a real boom period, it was not uncommon to have four or five retail/repair firms in one town.
The introduction of independent television in 1955 was yet another shot in the arm for the trade.

By 1960 things were not looking so rosy for sales, but the repair business was still brisk.

The 1960's saw the introduction of a third channel on the new 625 line UHF service and the start of colour in 1967, the early 70's saw another boom period thanks to the uptake of colour TV.

Something like 75% of colour sets were rented, so rental outlets like DER & Visionhire were expanding rapidly.
The rental boom continued into the 1980's with the introduction of video recorders, Teletext & Nicam stereo.

By the end of the 90's the rental business had more or less collapsed due to set prices going down & reliability going up, nearly all sets were now imported.

The early 2000's were the beginning of the current throwaway culture.
Just look at how prices have dropped, the first flat screen sets cost over 1,000, now you can buy a 32" set for 120!

Attitudes have certainly changed, no longer do people bother repairing anything, apart from their mobile phone!
Long gone are the days when people valued their sets & were happy to have them repaired.

It is very sad to look back at the death of the British TV industry, the loss of jobs in both the manufacture & repair business.
The once famous and respected brand names are now just a badge stuck on a generic Chinese set with a life expectancy of two or three years
I guess that is why we love restoring vintage sets that were hand made by people, designed to be repaired, made of wood & metal, not made by a robot & encased in plastic!

Mark
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 2:32 pm   #149
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Default Re: End of an era.

I spent the last six weeks in the shop on my days off from work (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) helping to clear it ready to hand back to the landlord. I must have dumped what would have been thousands of pounds worth of stock. Door seals for washing machines, vacuum cleaner bags, parts, etc. The local white goods man who John supplied for years was given the belts and carbons.

These were offered back to the suppliers, who wouldn't even take them back for free. Also offered them to other white goods suppliers, not interested, said they couldn't even move what they had. What does this tell you?

Business wasn't all that bad for John even in the end and had he owned the premises he would have been in a great position, but how long do you keep going? There was 6 years left on the lease and I think he was afraid he would end up on a walking frame shuffling around the shop, so when the offer came he was glad to walk away.

I'm reminded of an article about a man on college street in Dublin who lived over his shop the "Irish yeast company" he was in his early nineties and opened the shop for a few hours everyday. He told the writer he had hardly taken in 100 euro in the last six months, it was just something too do. Google will take you to the article, its quite interesting. I see the place is for sale now, he must be in a home now.

John Joe.
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