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Sold Out [Paperback]

Bill Grimsey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: £14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2012
In recent years, campaigns have been galvanised to 'save the High Street'. It seems everyone has a view about how we can revamp our down-at-heel towns and cities. But are they missing the point? Veteran retailer Bill Grimsey argues that it is already too late. The High Street, that we have grown to know and love, is as good as dead already. The indisputable truth is British towns and cities are losing their identity and dying off. Independent stores that were once vital to the fabric of towns are disappearing at a rate of 50 shops a week. Some towns now have as many as 24 per cent of their shops shuttered. The time has now come to work out what happened, learn lessons from our mistakes and find a new way forward to make new and innovative use of our shattered town centres. "Have our shopping preferences created the High Street we now deserve?"

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Sold Out + Best Served Cold: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Malcolm Walker - CEO of Iceland Foods
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Product details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Filament Publishing (1 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190869131X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908691316
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

In Sold Out, Bill Grimsey uses insight gained from 45 years in the forefront of retailing at store giants, which include Tesco, Wickes, Iceland and Focus DIY, to expose the real reasons for the position we find ourselves in today.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into retail 4 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whether your a retail expert or just an interested consumer, you'll be captivated by Bill Grimsey's insight into the past, present and future of British retailing and it's High Streets.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grimsey Grrr! 16 Oct 2012
"We cannot `save' the High Street. Tragic though it is, the High Street is as good as dead already. Whatever we do and however we do it, our town centres will never be the same again. In fact, most High Streets of the future will be unrecognisable from your (and my) fond memories of times gone by. Believe it or not, many may not even have shops in years to come."

Veteran retailer Bill Grimsey comes out fighting in a no-holds barred shake-up of the debate on High Streets and retail regeneration in his feisty and practical book "Sold Out". I love his take on the whole debate. At last, we have someone with inside knowledge (and 45 years experience) sticking his neck out and swimming against the tide of rose-tinted blether, emphasising strongly that nostalgia is not a foundation for building anything and telling it straight that politicians and celebrities ("puppets and clowns") should back off.

If retailing needs a "Big Bang" moment, then this is a hand grenade of a book that should be studied, absorbed and thumbed extensively across the industry until the pages disintegrate. Forget nostalgia, here is a 224-page solid basis for clear thinking and decisive action. Forget Portas Pilots. This is the Grimsey Grrrr!

In my own experience in retail management and, more recently as a writer and blogger, the same truth keeps emerging - customers decide what happens to retailing and retailers. Customers might be manipulated, persuaded and brainwashed by clever marketing, bandwagon spin, Government guilt-trip propaganda et al, but customers are where the cash is and trying to shame or force them into becoming devoted and loyal local community saviours is just pie in the sky.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Downfall of your local shops 28 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bill Grimsey has written an eloquent account of the downfall of the high street. Apathy, chainstore domminance, government interests and online shopping are discussed in a brilliant analysis of why there are empty shops, pound stores and betting shops all along your high street.
The high street is finished and Britain is poorer as a result.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A quick and easy read that identifies all of the significant factors that have contributed to the demise of our high streets.

Thought-provoking in so much as you can't help but look at yourself and question what part you have played in the events leading up to where we are today.

Lots of "food for thought" in relation to solutions and opportunities that are far more realistic and sensible than trying to mirror former glories. The people charged with finding a solution would do well to consider the ideas and suggestions contained in the book.

The book is punctuated with real life examples told in the typically honest and often amusing style that Bill is famous for! An enjoyable book that I would recommend to all consumers, retailers and anyone else that can make a difference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sold out was a sell out 21 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had such high hoes of this book, it felt it was sadly l as lacking. At times I had to check that I hadn't already read a chapter as there was so much repetition. It almost felt like the author had run out of words by the end.
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy parts, and my dislike of banks remains strong, but I was disappointed with the outcome
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A curate's egg. . . 28 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had high expectations of this book following its mention on Radio 4. The author brings his extensive retail experience to bear as he focuses on the fate of our High Streets. He has many fascinating anecdotes from his days heading up large retail chains, and is brutally frank about the shortcomings in managerial thinking.
However in all that lies his weakness. He mentions no experience of what it is like to actually build up and run a small-medium size business single handed and he writes pretty much exclusively from the point of view of the boardroom, which he often mentions. Its true that retail is retail and much of what he says is sound but it did at times seem rather remote to me.
His predictions for the future are excellent-more online shopping and a progressive death of shopping centres after just a few years as they are overtaken by ever newer ones. He also correctly identifies the fact that a conspiracy between consumers(wanting cheaper and cheaper) and retailers (seeking to get business)underlies unhealthy trends in the thinking of many in the UK ("Its my right/Its not my fault").
His closing section when he suggests alternative uses for High Streets were .... well make up your own mind!

All in all a good read - 8/10 for content, 10/10 for effort.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I had to read this book after reading Malcolm Walkers Iceland story. There are after all, always two sides to a story,.

However, while the book has some sensible points, how Bill Grimsey, with a trail of failed retail debris in his wake, can hold himself up in a position of authority about e state of the high street is a joke.

Save your money and don't bother reading this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the High Street struggles
Not only the best description of how we got here, but also a prescription for the future. Bill Grimsey knows his stuff after a lifetime in retail.
Published 6 months ago by DunxE
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Insight
a well thought through book with many insights on the current dilemma of the high street. There are so many polarisations to contend with.
Published 15 months ago by R. Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of retailing in the UK
The book tells the story of what happened to the stores on the High Street and looks at the future of retailing. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Conall Lavery
1.0 out of 5 stars This is Rubbish
Bill grimsey is full of crap how can he write a book called sold out when he caused focus to close down and nearly shut Iceland and wickes
Published 18 months ago by loyal royal
3.0 out of 5 stars the people from who he profits
It is great to see a book written by an alleged super veteran retailer however its a darn shame how focus DIY went insolvent the day after the most busiest day of the DIY retail... Read more
Published 21 months ago by focus diy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great summary...
...of some of the structural, regulatory and economic conditions that are acting to reshape the UK high street. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Bryan Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of great insight for independent retailers
You get the impression from Bill Grimsey, the former boss of Wickes, Iceland and Focus DIY, that all it takes for success is some vision and some guts. He may be right. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Nick Shanagher
5.0 out of 5 stars A good little read for all Retailers
I bought this book to get an insider's view of Retail and I must say that it exceeded all my expectations. Once I picked up, I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mark Winsbury
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