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Subway and big brand shops

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    BumbleBee wrote: »
    Every 'local' sandwich shop I've been to that charges very little for their sandwiches has been grubby and run by eejits.

    You want to get yourself to Baps on Pilgrim Street next time you're in the toon.
    I agree with those who are saying that large multinational companies do erode the individuality of our town centres, but if you lived in my town you would welcome that! I'd much rather eat a Subway sandwich than one prepared by the people who work in my local shopping centre (surely even Kermit would agree, since he has visited my local town centre with me in the past?)

    :lol:

    Wasington's town centre is a faceless shopping centre flanked by Asda and Sainsbury's anyway, so there's no originality to erode;)
    Mr Orange wrote:
    We shouldn't be blackmailed with guilt into paying more, or receiving less just to prop up a small business. If they are truely competitive they will survive. If they are cheaper or better they will survive.

    I agree, poor businesses shouldn't be propped up through a sense of guilt, but that isn't really what I am talking about.

    Newcastle's city centre is quite small, about 1.5 square miles or so. In that space there are eight (count em, eight) branches of Subway. That is saturation, and it is a well known ploy with big corporate entities to do that simply to squeeze out all the smaller competitors. One or two independents can compete with that if they have a loyal customer base, but as a general rule most independents cannot come close to competing with that. The corporations move in, putting the squeeze on existing businesses with special opening offers, and then when the competition has gone the prices get ramped up.

    As result of the actions of Starbucks, of Subway, and Greggs and the rest, Newcastle city centre now has three independent cafes and about three independent sandwich shops (all in sub-prime sales sites, too). Greggs, Starbucks and Subway between them have over 20 branches, and the sale sites they have are all the prime sites around the Monument and the Quayside. At least Greggs are still a local company here (they're from Gosforth) but it isn't good for the city.

    It's easy to ask smaller businesses to compete, but much harder to give them a level playing field on which to do so, when the corporate companies move in with loss-leading branches simply to squeeze everyone else out.

    ETA: You mention clothing. Why does "independent clothing shop" have to mean scabby stall on the market? One of the biggest designer shops in Newcastle is a small chain of three local stores. As for the supermarkets, well, these days it is unavoidable to shop there at least for some things, but what about getting fruit and veg from the markets? In my experience its always fresher and cheaper, and you can guarantee that it is British meat from local farms.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mr Orange wrote: »
    I'm not sure what people expect, i go to these places to get something to eat not embark upon some remarkable daily experience.

    Right, because that's what those of us who don't eat at Subway do... go to our local butcher/baker/butty shop for a cheese savoury remarkable daily experience.

    I don't know about anyone else but I couldn't give a rat's ass if Joe Bloggs thinks Starbucks sells nice coffee or that Subway make fantabulous sandwiches. It's a much bigger issue than that in reality and people who can see that either don't care or don't get it. It's pretty obvious from this thread that we aren't all reading off the hymn sheet - some people are talking about nutrition and some about soggy salad and others about clonetown syndrome. I guess they all come under the under the umbrella of "things to dislike about Subway" ;)

    The big problem as I see it is that, as someone very tellingly said on this thread days ago, is that some people actually seem to see Subway as comforting and familiar and an asset to any town. Rather than a blight on individuality and small, independent business. Obviously what's to blame are some very foolish and misguided planning and regeneration decisions that have allowed Subway to open 7 (8?) branches within Newcastle city centre and in other cities. They've created a monster of a retail infrastructure that is a very hostile and uncertain environment for any small business that doesn't have the backing of being a franchise and having millions of dollars in its pocket to up the ante. People who own small businesses now struggle, people who had maybe considered setting up an indepedent food/retail outlet would have to think very seriously indeed as most of them fail - as a result in no small part of the creeping identikit culture.

    The homogenisation of our high streets isn't just some inevitable, benign product of "progress" or natural competition in my view. It could turn out to have disastrous consequences... irreparable damage to our local economies -- surely we want to keep a sense of a thriving local economy and not just live in the knowledge that profits from any and all of the local branches the worldwide chain fast food outlets and coffee shops in our town drain immediately out of the area to some remote corporate HQ. That's not to even get into the potentially further reaching domino effect on local employment.

    Some people on here have made a good attempt at the defending pre-packaged, processed, onesizefitsall version of food that we are supposed to accept as par for the course these days. But it's never going to fly with me, I guess it just depends where your priorities lie... and mine certainly don't lie with saving 30p at lunchtime, or saving myself a bit of a walk. I think it's quite a sad - and glaring - indictment.

    "This identikit commercial culture isn't just killing diversity. It undermines democracy and attacks our sense of place, belonging and well-being."

    Andrew Simms, Economist.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    ETA: You mention clothing. Why does "independent clothing shop" have to mean scabby stall on the market? One of the biggest designer shops in Newcastle is a small chain of three local stores. As for the supermarkets, well, these days it is unavoidable to shop there at least for some things, but what about getting fruit and veg from the markets? In my experience its always fresher and cheaper, and you can guarantee that it is British meat from local farms.

    Perfectly fair comment, i'm only speaking from my experience, the only clothes shops local to me for as long as i can remember are the market stalls, and a few local stores one of which is full of "funk" and "nuke" instead of "fcuk" and "nike" etc... the other aimed more towards the older gentlemen with flat caps, and the more mature trousers etc...

    That said very recently a number of new independent shops have popped up in the regenerated bottom end of town, (I think this is something many councils are trying to encourage, redeveloping some of the more run down areas, and encouraging local businesses to take up the properties with initial deals for lower rents, knowing that if that area picks up all the property prices will increase, and the rents they can demand be much higher etc...) and these all seem to be pretty popular, most are run by younger people starting up, full of fresh ideas, a slightly more unique feel to their stock, tailored to the people in the area they are working.

    I do agree, if im around town on saturday i'll grab myself some fruit from there instead of the shop (to be honest, i notice little difference in quality, but providing im not going out of my way and paying substantally more i'll happily buy from independent trader)

    One thing to consider is though that, (apologies for my lack of knowledge, im assuming here) Greggs 50 years ago or so, started out with a little bakery, along with a number of other people, in a town with a number of well established bakeries already there... Yet they had something to become popular, enough so to open up another bakery. They had bigger, better known businesses to compete with, trying to squeeze them out of the high street yet they succeded and are now viewed not as the little man up against the big known names, but as the big nasty corporation stifling competition.

    I know my arguements seem a little confused, that's because i have no passionate feelings either way. I'd like to see our towns keep a unique feel to them, looking forward to coming back home to visit the shop you spent your childhood in buying sweets from etc...
    But at the same time I'd like to think people aren't just idiots ripe for manipulation, i wouldn't care if a new McDs opened up and offered me a fillet o fish for 50p etc... they are awful so i wouldn't buy one. If a companies not offering the goods they won't steal the local firms consumer base.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MMMmm I fancy a subway, and the fct it annoys kermit makes it even more tastier!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Most companies did start out with a small base at first, even Starbucks started out with one or two stores, that much is true. Their growth has as much to do with using financial power to drive competitors our of business as much as anything, though, and most companies were formed about 70 years ago, before the trend for corporate homogeny.

    Stagecoach are an excellent example of a company which started out small, and used very dubious business practices to become a huge name. About a quarter of all buses in the country are Stagecoach, and many trains and coaches are too. How they got so big was by bullying everyone else- usually by providing free buses against the local company, and then buying the local company for a pittance when it goes bust. Greggs have done similar things in acquiring local chains, such as Thurston or Birkett's. Starbucks have just used their financial power to pay A1 rents and bully councils into accepting it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be honest, I hate chain stores, they lack class. I hate Starbucks especially because I feel like the trendy sort of person who somehow thinks they're cultured and Americanesque drinking in there. To be honest, it's more the fact that you see Starbucks, Maccys and other trashy chain stores everywhere which pisses me off. Even more so that they're American... People bitch at multiculturalism for erroding our culture, but we're killing it off ourselves by the burgers we have, or the coffee we drink.

    But then London can be so fucking expensive that you gotta compromise I guess? At least when beer is concerned.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    deceelpool wrote: »
    MMMmm I fancy a subway, and the fact it annoys kermit makes it even more tastier!

    :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    deceelpool wrote: »
    MMMmm I fancy a subway, and the fct it annoys kermit makes it even more tastier!
    well it seems i was right about the intelligence of Subway customers...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    Because thy like it. Why do you have a hard time accepting the fact that people don't necessarily like what you like?

    Sorry if this has been said before...this is a reaallly long thread, so not going to go through it all, but think Kermit has a point actually.....some people might like it, but I really think that a lot of people go back to the same old chain places because of a combination of being lazy, being told it's the best sandwich shop EVER (for instance), and seeing 'everyone else' going & thinking it's the best sandwich shop ever too (following the herd).

    Think it's true....herd mentality is killing the high street.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can't agree more, Subway does taste shit compared to the local Deli store where they'll sell you a proper sandwich for a similar price.

    I think peoples reasoning is probably due to convenience and 'plastic' branding that you call it Kermit. I don't think people are unreasonable for eating there but where else is there now? If I walk into town all I see is Subway and Greggs and the customer probably feels they know they can trust what they're given there (due to advertisement) as well as knowing they don't have to bother traipsing around all day to find the 1 and only 'proper' deli store in town. The advertising makes it sound like the better thing to do as well.

    It always makes me laugh how people seem to be so glad when these big brand places open locally to them, so they can eat there all the more. But what happens when that big brand is the only place in town to eat, who has control then? ay?
  • SkiveSkive Posts: 15,283 Skive's The Limit
    I eat Subway because I know I like it. It's as simple as that. I don't find it bland at all. This attitude that corperate = tasteless is complete bollocks.

    And as far as i can see the little shops arn't being affected, if anything I'm seeing more and more of them because people arn't eating pack lunches as much as they used to.

    I enjoy both Subway and food from independant shops. Why does it have to be one or the other?
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    I eat Subway because I know I like it.

    :yes: :yum:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    I eat Subway because I know I like it.

    :yes:

    Mmmmmm meatball marinara sub :D

    I wish a subway would open up near me, i have to go into town when i want one!

    :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And before people say it's a lack of choice - with 10 minutes of work we've got -

    A deli serving omelletes, sandwiches, panini, backed potatoes and salads
    Burger King
    Pret
    Boots
    A massive food section at Marks and Spencer
    A couple of supermarkets
    an all you can eat Chinese buffet
    Yo Sushi!
    Wagammamas
    A pub serving great thai pub
    Brb for cheap lunch time pizza
    A bakery with great sandwhichs, bagels, cakes, noodle and rice dishes to take away
    McDonalds
    A greasy spoon
    A fish and chip shop
    An Emporium bakery
    An all you can eat Indian vegetarian buffet
    A vegetarian all you can eat soy resturant / take away place
    A weatherspoons with cheap lunch time offers
    A Miso chinese resturant
    A high quality Brazilian meat buffet resturant
    Two great quality pizza places and a couple of more expensive and even more delicious places
    Three French resturants
    Three turkish resturants
    Three of four Indian resturants
    A fried chicken takeaway
    4 or 5 Kebab houses
    A Real Burger Company resturant
    The S&M Sausage and Mash cafe
    A couple of eclectic fusion style resturant with great lunch time offers
    Market stalls selling:
    Baked potatoes
    Dim Sum
    Sweetened bread
    Red and Green Thai Curry
    Carribean Goat curry, Paties, Jerk Chicken and rice and peas
    Sasuage and Mash and homemade burgers
    French cheeses with meats in bagettes

    and a whole lot more...

    and people still choose at times to eat Subway because they fancy it, and I don't think any of them object to American culture being part of the other cultures represented in the food on offer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Blimey....someone reaaally wants to fight Subway's corner!!! ;):p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    And before people say it's a lack of choice - with 10 minutes of work we've got -

    A deli serving omelletes, sandwiches, panini, backed potatoes and salads
    Burger King
    Pret
    Boots
    A massive food section at Marks and Spencer
    A couple of supermarkets
    an all you can eat Chinese buffet
    Yo Sushi!
    Wagammamas
    A pub serving great thai pub
    Brb for cheap lunch time pizza
    A bakery with great sandwhichs, bagels, cakes, noodle and rice dishes to take away
    McDonalds
    A greasy spoon
    A fish and chip shop
    An Emporium bakery
    An all you can eat Indian vegetarian buffet
    A vegetarian all you can eat soy resturant / take away place
    A weatherspoons with cheap lunch time offers
    A Miso chinese resturant
    A high quality Brazilian meat buffet resturant
    Two great quality pizza places and a couple of more expensive and even more delicious places
    Three French resturants
    Three turkish resturants
    Three of four Indian resturants
    A fried chicken takeaway
    4 or 5 Kebab houses
    A Real Burger Company resturant
    The S&M Sausage and Mash cafe
    A couple of eclectic fusion style resturant with great lunch time offers
    Market stalls selling:
    Baked potatoes
    Dim Sum
    Sweetened bread
    Red and Green Thai Curry
    Carribean Goat curry, Paties, Jerk Chicken and rice and peas
    Sasuage and Mash and homemade burgers
    French cheeses with meats in bagettes

    and a whole lot more...

    and people still choose at times to eat Subway because they fancy it, and I don't think any of them object to American culture being part of the other cultures represented in the food on offer.

    Oh you have made me hungry now :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bit of a shame really, but recently the bigger food chains are forcing out the original smaller individual businesses. It wont be long until every fast food reastraunt bakery is a subway or greggs.
  • SkiveSkive Posts: 15,283 Skive's The Limit
    Box wrote: »
    It wont be long until every fast food reastraunt bakery is a subway or greggs.

    Rubbish.

    There are more independant places than ever as we now tend to eat out or on the move far more than we used to.

    I don't know many people who have a Subway everyday but I know a lot of people who buy their lunch everyday from a sarnie shop.
    Weekender Offender 
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