Monday, 8 December 2008

Beer Syndrome Part Four

(By Richard Holway) I’ve been writing about the Beer Syndrome for over a year. You can read the original Oct 07 post - Beer Syndrome Part One - or any of the subsequent posts.

Back in Oct 07, I was pretty much alone in forecasting horrible times ahead. I conjectured that hard pressed consumers would shun going out to the pub, buy six packs of beer from the supermarket and stay in playing with their gadgets – that’s assuming they still had a home…

This forecast has come to pass BIG TIME. Even I didn’t realise quite how bad it would all become. Microsoft reported that November was its best month ever for X-Box sales and the Wii remains the hottest of hot products. See FT 8th Dec 08 – Video gaming defies gloom as consumers opt for fun at home.

Conversely. Britain’s 57,000 pubs are facing the worst trading conditions in living memory. Our friend Jon Moulton of Alchemy warns of carnage to come in the FT today – Alchemy founder’s concern for pubs. In a way, I’m quite grateful to Moulton for taking the heat off me as the ‘UK’s gloomiest person’. The only problem is that Moulton and I are almost always wrong – in that it usually turns out that we are not gloomy enough!

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