Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yeah big whoop

John Lewis opens in Cardiff today and is being hailed as the saviour of the city centre by a toadying BBC and lickspittle politicians. (I suspect they've just cut and paste this news story from some John Lewis press release. It's hardly critical reportage.)

When IKEA opened we had a similar excitement. "Oooh, a new shop, we must go and wonder round like petit bourgois drones. Ooh, we can now buy stuff that other people in other parts of the country can buy and be as well-dressed/chic/styling as them." Or desperately unoriginal. It's the same thing.

Nobody has talked about whether the city can cope with an increase in shoppers (it can't) or what effect this will have on being able to park anywhere near the centre (good luck with that) or even the economic effects on smaller non-chain shops that actually have a soul (sod them, they're not multi-million pound companies).

Until those considerations start getting mentioned in the sycophantic press, excuse me for not getting excited about an overpriced pseudoposh unnecessary department store opening. I'm not a wannabe yuppie or social climber so I don't think I'll find much in there that interests me. Just a hunch.


  1. My brother went last night as it was open till late and I asked him what is it like, and his amazing response was

    Possibly it was to over exciting.

  2. I feels like I'm one of the few people NOT to have been to John Lewis yet. And I have mixed feelings about the shop.
    Firstly, I'm glad they've (nearly) finished butchering the city now, so maybe we can have some semblance of normality in Cardiff now - whatver 'normal' is. It certainly feels as though parts of our city have been out-of-bounds for half a lifetime and I'm keen on being allowed back in, whatever it now looks like. I hope we can all breath a huge sigh of relief.
    Secondly, my mother and my brother both worked for JLP in Southampton (a long time ago now) and they do at least have a reputation for treating their employees very well - certainly better than the average retail-sector shop. So I hope this hasn't changed too much.
    Lastly, I hope that visitors to John Lewis will discover and support the wealth of little independant shops in Cardiff too. I firmly believe that it is the small and independant shops which *really* serve the local economy and also add to the cultural life of Cardiff too.
    I write this as an optimist, but I'm a skeptic too. We'll have to wait and see...