Tag Archives | Carluccios

As consumers, how much do we mind that certain businesses are closing?

I wrote previously about the (at the time temporary) closure of the Carluccios restaurant on Dawson Street. As I work in the Dublin 2 area, the closure did cause some lunch time conversation.

The overwhelming response at the time was an underwhelming (for Carluccios at least) “meh, so what!”. I believe there was one person (in about ten) that would have been mildly put out if they’d remained closed.

Which sparked a conversation based on the question:

Given the many businesses which have closed down in the past 12-18 months, are there any that you really miss now?

Setting aside the human concern for people losing their jobs and entrepreneurs losing their livelihoods, as consumers, how much will we miss the companies that have closed down in the last 12-18 months.

Giving that some thought myself, there is only one – my barber, which closed down in the past few weeks. And even then, I don’t really miss it that much – it’s appeal was more that it was handy rather than anything more. And yes, my haircuts are at times testimony to such an uncaring attitude.

On the other hand, I can’t say that there are any other businesses that have closed recently that have on me as a consumer, or has caused me to have to change my shopping behaviour.

Which begs the question then – is this recession a worthwhile cull of businesses that people aren’t really all that committed to, that nobody will miss?

Are there any businesses that have closed that you really miss?

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Isn’t it a “buyers market” at the moment for businesses renting property?

I watched with interest the recent Mexican standoff between the Carluccios restaurant and their landlords over the rental for their Dawson street premises.

The restaurant, successful as far as I can tell given their high prices yet regularly fully occupied tables, said that they couldn’t afford the rent (rumoured to be €1900 per day) any more. The landlords on the other hand, paid a fortune for a building at close to the top of the property boom and needed to recoup their investment.

When you think of the number of businesses that are complaining about the high cost of rent in Dublin, particularly in the Grafton Street area, it’s a wonder you don’t see more businesses bring their rent negotiations to such a “who blinks first” showdown.

I would have thought that this is more feasible these days given the array of empty properties available in the area. In fact, one could conclude that it’s actually a renters market at the moment given the selection of empty properties on offer at the moment on what is supposed to be Ireland premier shopping street.

That is of course unless, like many other Irish businesses, these property owners would rather not do business at all than be seen to be dropping their prices, even given the “current economic climate”.

Or maybe now that Carluccios have shown the way, other businesses will start to face up more to their landlords in rent negotiations?

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