Always nice to be in London and spend some days working at Emap’s Greater London House, as I did from Monday to Wednesday this week! But again, I returned home with a decent cold… and again, that was mainly due to the environment provided by the nearby Travelfridge Euston hotel, so to avoid repetition I’ve decided that next time I’ll take my Yupik and Inuit outfits, which will allow me to genuinely enjoy the Arctic atmosphere there and probably watch polar bear babies!
On the plane to London, it occurred to me just how bad the airline industry must have been hit by the downturn when there were just two newspapers available for choice at the gate: Frankfurter Rundschau from Germany, and the Daily Mail from the UK. So I went for the Mail and right beneath a story with real scarcity value about Fabio Capello taking a mudbath on a sunny beach, I discovered an article about how the British are doing Christmas shopping already because they’d like to spread the cost of the festive season over as many months as possible. At the end of this article, when discussing the usually very early start of Christmas in retailing, the paper made mention of a certain Movement for the Containment of Christmas, which I had never heard of. Here’s the original text without any further comment:
The Movement for the Containment of Christmas has sent letters to stores telling them not to sell festive until November. Last month the group glued shut the door of a shop run by Mind, the mental health charity. The manager of the shop in Leeds, who asked not to be named, said: ‘A man phoned and said our lock had been glued because we were selling Christmas cards far too early. He said if we pass the shop and we see you are still selling Christmas cards we will glue the lock up until the cards are removed. We have removed our current Christmas cards sales display for the moment. This is a great pity as we have been selling off last year’s stock and making £70 a week for charity.’
Then, retail was in the headlines again because Stephen Cottrell, the Church of England’s Bishop of Reading, kicked up a bit of dust by saying that “we [the Church of England] have become known as just the Marks & Spencer option when in our heart of hearts we know that Jesus would just as likely be in the queue at Asda or Aldi.” Was he trying to say that Aldi is a store for sandal-wearing men with matted beards dressed in plain white linen cloth? Does he not read our analysis which has long shown that Aldi is really visited by the middle classes as well as those that the C of E needs to become more popular with, according to the bishop? From a retail analyst’s perspective, his statement makes just about as much sense as anything coming from my desk about the Church of England.
But what advertising opportunities lie in the idea! This thing below could be Aldi’s new logo. All copyright fees to be transferred to my private bank account in Liechtenstein, please, and do not cc the inland revenue.