Monday, June 19, 2017






My experience buying boots is the perfect example of why retail is declining

I sympathize with the woman's story below.  I have had experiences like this more or less forever.  It's worst of all in Britain but it crops up a lot in Australia too.  Computer shops are the worst -- I have written about them before --  but clothing shops can be bad too.  My most recent experience was from 28 August 2015, when I was trying to buy bespoke shoes.  My feet are a bit swollen due to a medical condition so regular shoes that fit me are hard to find.

So I went in to BFS Pedorthics in 128 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba  -- a specialist in bespoke shoes. Nobody was serving but I found a pair of shoes that suited me on the display and got out my $200+ to pay for them.  But nobody would acknowledge me.  The blonde receptionist was glued to her phone and when I went out the back nobody there wanted to help either.  So I went elsewhere and bought a suitable pair of shoes for $60.00.

So the blonde bitch saved me money but I felt sorry for the owner, a Mr Tye. So I wrote him the following letter:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This morning I made a special trip into your Logan Rd shop in order to buy a special type of shoe I need.  There was no-one to assist me but I did find a pair that seemed right.  They appeared to be over $200 but that was OK.

I could not however find anyone to take my money.  There was a young blonde there but she was glued to her phone and I could not unglue her.  I went out the back but no-one there was willing to help either

May I suggest that you train your workshop staff to handle customers if need be? 

I also think that a customer who walks in should have priority over someone who just picks up a phone but that is for you to decide.  As it is you missed out on my $200+

I was offended by the lack of service that I received

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Was Mr Tye bothered by the fact that his receptionist took $200 out of his pocket?  Who knows?  He never replied.  The blonde probably intercepted the letter before he saw it. But I did what I could for the man anyway.



SOMEWHERE in the corporate headquarters of retailers, meetings are taking place.

Entire executive teams are seated around the boardroom table, laptops open, spreadsheets and sales charts as far as the eyes can see. No doubt the scent of caffeine permeates the air because everyone knows these meetings can be quite tiring.

The first slide comes up on to the wall and shows sales on a steady decline. Some of the stores this retailer operates have had days without making a single sale.

“It makes no sense,” opens the property development manager, “the shop is in an ideal location and the centre is really busy at the moment. There’s loads of passing traffic.”

“We have ample stock and the product range is up to the minute,” adds the planner.

“So why aren’t we selling any shoes?” wonders the sales manager.

It must be highly frustrating for this bunch of suits. They must be wondering why their businesses are not making money, and I know the answer.

Recently I went shopping with the express purpose of buying a pair of boots. I knew what I wanted; colour, style, price point — I had the whole thing sorted.

I was so confident in my pursuit I even wrangled my husband into joining me, there was going to be no endless dilly dallying, no hours spent browsing — just me and my credit card going into a shop and exiting with a pair of short-heeled, brown ankle boots.

The first store we went to didn’t have them. No drama, there is a shop across the way from them that seems to have an extensive collection of winter boots.

The fact that the stores are this close together doesn’t surprise me, I know the head honchos at headquarters like to position their stores in proximity for this very reason — if I don’t like what the first shop offers I am primed and ready for the next shop selling brown boots.

I enter the store and immediately see the boot I like. I also see the sales woman standing at the counter peering at her laptop. I take the shoe off the shelf and look to see what size it is. The saleswoman takes out a highlighter and starts to highlight things that are much more important than customers.

I walk over to her and ask her if she has the boots in my size. My husband asks her if she has a pair of socks that I can try them on with. She says no. It’s the only word she has said to us and we’re not sure if she’s saying no to the socks or the boots.

But then she reluctantly leaves her computer to retrieve the correctly sized boots which she thrusts at me before returning to her desk. I assume the no was for the socks. Clearly she is very busy and far too important to be selling shoes.

In fact she’s far too busy to serve customers. This I know because while I am trying on the boots two more customers enter the shop and she ignores them as well.

I’m not suggesting that the woman employed by the company to sell their products should fawn over me or tell me my feet look perfect in the boots. It’s just that the sale of product under her watch goes some way to paying her salary. Is it too much to expect her to assist the sale in some way?

Maybe she had really important documents to read and highlight, documents that couldn’t wait a single minute. But she lost my sale and the other two customers also walked out empty-handed.

Sadly she’s not alone in her refusal to sell the products she’s employed to shift, in fact she’s just one of the many people I encountered sitting behind their counters that day.

And before you blame Millennials or Generation X or any other group who you’d like to point at, let me assure you that the people refusing to help customers by actively avoiding contact with them, do not belong to one demographic or age group.

This is a retail issue. And with Amazon literally primed to enter the Australian marketplace and completely change the retail landscape surely it’s time for bricks and mortar businesses to step up the service a notch.

Somewhere in the race to be competing online it seems likes these businesses have forgotten to train their staff, or at least to incentivise them to do their jobs.

I eventually went online myself where I didn’t except any service other than an easy-to-load shopping cart. But I can’t help thinking about those people in head office who are wondering why their shoes aren’t being sold in their physical outlets.

It’s simply because no one is selling them.

SOURCE






Deserts 'greening' from rising CO2

It has always been clear that the Sahel has been greening in recent years but the Australian research below confirms that the effect is worldwide

Increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have helped boost green foliage across the world’s arid regions over the past 30 years through a process called CO2 fertilisation, according to CSIRO research.

In findings based on satellite observations, CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), found that this CO2 fertilisation correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa, according to CSIRO research scientist, Dr Randall Donohue.

"In Australia, our native vegetation is superbly adapted to surviving in arid environments and it consequently uses water very efficiently," Dr Donohue said. "Australian vegetation seems quite sensitive to CO2 fertilisation.

This, along with the vast extents of arid landscapes, means Australia featured prominently in our results."

"While a CO2 effect on foliage response has long been speculated, until now it has been difficult to demonstrate," according to Dr Donohue.

"Our work was able to tease-out the CO2 fertilisation effect by using mathematical modelling together with satellite data adjusted to take out the observed effects of other influences such as precipitation, air temperature, the amount of light, and land-use changes."

The fertilisation effect occurs where elevated CO2 enables a leaf during photosynthesis, the process by which green plants convert sunlight into sugar, to extract more carbon from the air or lose less water to the air, or both.

If elevated CO2 causes the water use of individual leaves to drop, plants in arid environments will respond by increasing their total numbers of leaves. These changes in leaf cover can be detected by satellite, particularly in deserts and savannas where the cover is less complete than in wet locations, according to Dr Donohue.

"On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas; however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example," Dr Donohue said.

"Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects."

SOURCE





Climate change zealots need to get real

Peta Credlin

The biggest deniers in the whole climate change debate are those who think we can have affordable power, lower emissions and a reliable network.

We can’t.

And after they almost sleepwalked their way to defeat at the last election, it would appear Coalition MPs have found their voices again on the issue that has defined Australian political debate over the past 15 years or more.

There’s no doubt that any policy that lowers Australia’s CO2 emissions will increase the cost of power and any move away from baseload capacity will make our network more unreliable.

Forget the movie, this is the real “inconvenient truth” that climate change zealots have never wanted to acknowledge. For too long, the views of the Zeitgeist have dominated debate and anyone daring to question any aspect of climate change was branded a sceptic. Scientific fact or not, any issue that’s galvanised the Left to the point of hysteria makes me sceptical that it’s more about the politics than anything else.

Australia contributes 1.4 per cent of global emissions. That’s right — four fifths of bugger all. But for many years we have been told that we must lead the way in reducing global emissions or suffer a loss of international standing for failing to do our bit. I don’t buy this and never have. We’re just the mugs who take these things seriously when so many don’t.

Take Kyoto for example; we didn’t even sign it yet we met the targets. How about the refugee issue? We’re one of only 27 countries in the world that offers resettlement to refugees while 140 odd countries do not.

What’s that again about everyone doing their fair share?

We live in one of the most competitive economic regions in the world. We are also a country rich in natural resources which has delivered us a record-breaking 26 years of economic growth.

We will never beat our neighbours when it comes to cheap labour but Australia’s abundant energy has always been our saving grace. We are the world’s second largest exporter of thermal coal and will soon be the largest exporter of gas. We also have the world’s biggest reserves of uranium. We should be an affordable energy superpower and, 15 years ago, we were; because the power system was run to minimise price and maximise reliability. Affordable power made us highly competitive, delivered industry and jobs, and gave us all a high standard of living.

Since then, green politics has trumped sensible economics and the result is subsidised wind farms and solar panels that make unprofitable the very coal and gas fired power stations that we need for baseload power. It’s a policy induced mess and we’re all paying the price, particularly our small to medium businesses who are doing it tough.

If you’re a well-off greenie with solar panels on the roof, a Prius in the garage and public transport outside your door, you probably don’t mind. In high income electorates feeling good about saving the planet might matter more than keeping the cost of living down.

For everyone else, we want to see a clean environment, good beaches, and our bush protected but we don’t think killing off our industry just to appease the UN gods and various other Lefties makes much sense, particularly when countries like China and India will massively increase, not decrease, their emissions in coming years. Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re economically shooting ourselves in the head.

Right now, China’s emissions are 20 times those of Australia and even if they meet their Paris Agreement commitments, by 2030, China’s emissions will be 50-60 times ours. Seriously? We sell off industry and jobs in a mistaken belief the world that is acting with similar intent but it is clear they’re not, and won’t. Again, remember my refugee example and you get what I mean.

So what about Finkel?

It’s claimed that the Chief Scientist’s report to COAG aims to address the “trilemma” of achieving lower prices, greater security and a 28 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. Wrong. The report is about meeting the emissions reduction aspiration (which it converts into a commitment) at the lowest cost without major interruptions to supply. It’s not about affordable, reliable power; it’s about climate change.

As every household knows, power prices are skyrocketing and more blackouts are looming this summer because of government policy that mandates the use of intermittent (and unreliable) wind and solar power. Currently, the “renewable energy target” is 23 per cent, which means a doubling of wind generation in the next four years.

Yet the response of Finkel is to graft a “clean energy target” onto the existing RET to achieve 42 per cent of our power supply from renewable sources by 2030. In other words, he’s proposing to solve the problems caused by too much wind and solar power by having even more wind and solar power.

Reports out of Tuesday’s marathon party room discussion suggest that the Prime Minister’s colleagues are now in no mood to accept yet another giant step towards yet another Labor Party position. After adopting Labor’s policy on schools (Gonski 2.0) and Labor’s position on budget repair (more spending funded by a bank tax), there’s growing resistance to adopting Labor’s position on climate change (a 42 per cent renewable target versus Bill Shorten’s 50 per cent one).

The Prime Minister has said that the alternative to Finkel is to do nothing and that nothing is not an option. So far, though, the party room is unconvinced and is reluctant to embrace a Labor-lite solution to the power crisis that could just make it worse. They won’t accept Finkel’s report as it is, with many fearing his modelling of lower power prices is about as dependable as Treasury’s modelling for a return to surplus.

Around the world, China, India and Japan are massively investing in next generation coal fired power stations because they’re cleaner than any of the generators we have here and coal is still by far the most cost-effective way to generate reliable baseload power. If other countries can build high-efficiency, low-emission power stations to run on Australian coal, why can’t we? If it’s right for them under international agreements, how can it be wrong for us? And if the banks won’t fund them because they need ‘certainty’ then why doesn’t the government get involved?

Clearly there’s market failure here and a risk to Australia’s energy security, as well as the capacity of our industry to remain competitive. Wasn’t market failure one of the reasons the government is spending $50 billion-plus on the NBN?

It’s no good having fast broadband if you can’t turn it on.

SOURCE






Victoria moves to toughen terror laws

SUSPECTED extremists could face curfews and children as young as 14 could be locked up without charge under proposed reforms to Victoria’s terror laws.

An expert panel led by former Victorian Chief Commissioner Ken Lay and former Supreme Court of Appeal Justice David Harper will review the laws currently available to prevent, investigate, monitor and respond to acts of terror, AAP reports.

In announcing the review on Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews said “nothing is off the table” and it could include curfews and GPS tracking people who have not even been charged.

Mr Andrews admitted some of the moves would not be “popular”.

“If curbing the rights of a small number of people is what’s required to keep Victorians safe then I won’t hesitate to do it,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

The panel will look at what can be done during all stages of the justice system — including pre-charge, pre-sentence, during sentence and post-sentence measures.

It will also provide advice on removing any barriers to Victoria Police in responding to terrorist acts.

Extremists could face curfews or GPS tracking and children as young as 14 could be locked up for two weeks without charge under proposed reforms, the Herald Sun reports.

SOURCE

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here



2 comments:

David Drake said...

RE: The boots and shoe buying experience...of NOT being acknowledged by anyone of the sales staff, I've done the same - taken my business elsewhere.

But when being unacknowledged by anyone working there, especially when I've gone to the work of finding my size, style, etc and WANTED to GIVE THEM MY MONEY, but I was invisible -- I so badly felt like walking out of the shop carrying the merchandise and see how fast they'd acknowledge me. At which point I'd say, "oh - I'm not invisible - ring these up for me now."

Retail service everywhere has declined.

jonjayray said...

I should have thought of that