Tag Archives | recession republic

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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Sale. Discounts. Special Offers. Bargains. Money Off.

In the last couple of weeks there’s been lots of talk about downturns and recessions and businesses finding things tough. We’re being told that they’re offering us all sorts of discounts to entice us to spend our money with them. And of course, for any of us that might still have some disposable income, that’s great news.

I do have one word of caution though. I’ve noticed a lot of newspaper advertising, and some radio adverts too, that are offering consumers bargains and discounts and money off, but not specifying what actually is on offer. It may just be that I’m overly cynical, or that I just have a little understanding of how Irish businesses operate, but I would be very cautious in following up on such vague offers.

Why? Because such vague offers give the businesses involved the opportunity to potentially charge you more depending on when you ring and depending on their current bookings. It does obviously give them the opportunity to change less as well, but when did you ever see an Irish business less when they could get away with charging more.

Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t have a problem with businesses doing business. However, doing business in the way that’s being suggested here isn’t as clear as it could be from the perspective of the consumer.

What should you do? If you do see such unspecific advertising, and you’re drawn to the product or service being offered, by all means give them a call and get as much detail as you can. And then call again at some later point the next day, or a couple of days later. Ask the same questions, and see if you get the same answers and the same offer. You could also compare the alternatives available from other competitors. Once you’ve get full information on availability and pricing, make your decision.

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