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AN INDEPENDE


AN INDEPEND ENT REMEMBERS


“LET THE S HIM


On the hunt f step back in time wit


1 l wer or a new


983 witness major develo the beginn the internet not how w it today)


ed some opments: nings of (though


we know ), the


mobile (as opposed to car and what Michael Jackso the moonwalk, which w witnessed being perform o


inebriated patr pub as they made their way windows at closing time. Th no personal computers, and .


ons of the Gr


also pre-PC in another way Power selling i


Black k & D k y.


I remember the satisfaction I felt with every single Bl


Decker power


tool that we sold. Cash was flowing so much more fr eely than ever before and it was tough for me to fight the temptation to go mad and fill the whole shop with this stuf f


f. I had to


remember that the profit margins were as tight as a… (here you get And, yes


to fill in a suitable simile). we e doing okay with associated


sales, but even this was not exactly empire-building. Happy times.


Then it happened: people began


asking for Bosch power tools and walking out when we had none to offer. Why? Because they wanted something of


f on two levels (ther e’s pr to captur


Black & Decker example of our needing to stock obably a it


better quality than . This was another


mor e appr means keeping a better alternative e a sale.


opriate term), but


One of the issues concerned with B&D was the inability of orbital


y


sanders to keep hold of the paper ed,


sanding sheets. This, I discover


applied mostly to the gr units that had been imported on the e weak


een-coloured cheap from Canada, wher


spring clips left customers somewhat cheesed of


ff with Black & Decker as a


whole. Not a good move. The local sales manager told me


www.diyweek.net


) phone, n called


we often med by otty Sark past our e


here wer we were


AND SEE W GETS


w supplier and an interesting th part 36 his stories from


BUGGER T WHERE IT ”


tin


un te cu hi


h fr w


tr U


w st


TRY


esting run in with Sticky Syd; our independent hardwareman takes a om the shopfloor


ny town.


I listened with mounting terr nable to understand why he was elling me his plans for world key utting domination. He’d even made ds that


or,r, imself some display boar


e was filling with blanks pinched rom his employer


Unflappable, seen it all befor And, then Syd came back to ask if key-cutting


ry and see where it gets hi e.


we would allow him a


tall in our shop. We had to admire hiis determination but no way did we want to hand over our key business o someone else, though in retrospect, it would have given us more time to oncentrate on other areas, whilst ental


w to


ld h i


that the majority DIY range e o wer ee


used two or thr


for more serious always


the Master


If anyone w the


of the tools in the only meant to be times a year


o r, and


seemed surprised that I didn’t know this.


high


For the less ambi craft r un


h-spec


Decker Professiona only from B&D S


itious, ther


we had it: the r wasn’t meant for a Marvellous! Maybe I shou more committed a Mastercraft tools, were equally appall e o g


seemed the mor set about looking Bosch, hoping for b


Leather cuts Sticky Syd was nationwide chain o that’s goods, not g although ound th


ar


did open a leather village, whose bu


Service Centr e was


ff


wanted something jobs


there was Black &


al range (available es).


range. So, there n of the mill stuff anything serious.


uld have been and taken on the gins


pp


but the mar ling, so I did what obvious step and for a supplier of


better gins. mar manager of a


of leather shops – ,


gear r, by the way y,


his time someone shop in a nearby ulk of sales was


“No wa hand ou over to – thoug it would


o ld


ay did we want to ur y business ke someone else gh, in retrospect, i en s


d have iven us g


more time to concentra on other areas”


te


mainly by male-order (not a typo); it was closed down by the council. Anyhow


line in shoe repairs and key cutting. Syd was tall, beefy y


w, Syd’s place also did a y, with a fluffy


y, ffy


hairstyle that was a cross between a 1970s American soul singer’s and a candy floss. You get the pictur e. day, complete in


by. Sury


He came in one company overall, and told me of his ambition to set up by himself – cutting keys; something we also did, as did another shoe mender close eplaced and


ely he would be r then there’d be four of us at it in one


co al in to


P D I


ncome. But he’d alr


I’m hi


ti


lso bringing in some useful r eady owned up


o stealing his employer’s stock, so usted


m certain we couldn’t have tr is fingers not to stick to ours.


ostscript


During a recent trip to Calderdale, was shocked to find that a local hardwar e shop had ceased trading. Being concerned, I found the shop’s acebook page, with timeline posts ecent closing down


Fa d p


co So es I


co it


escribing the r rocess, amidst a multitude of omments om grateful customers.


fr stablished, long-r


cu od bu


ba ef ba ot p


sh in to


o, what had happened to this well- unning business?


ouncil’s parking char no longer financially viable for ustomers to pop into town for the dd few items (it’s not only the cost, ut the risk of being fined if late


can only guess, so here goes: the ges made


g


ndependents curl up and die and es become decimated.


hop online, bank online, own centr


Please don’t have nightmares. 19 JULY 2019 DIY WEEK 15


ffect had made the four town centr anks close down one after the ther. So, no banks and expensive eason why people local


ack). Over 19 years the knock-on e


arking: another r r, claiming they


were miss-cuts. My boss said: “Let the bugger m”.


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