thenextwave

The hollow city

Posted in advertising, cities by thenextwavefutures on 22 March, 2013

I was doing some blog management, and found this post written but never posted. It seems to touch on some recurring themes of mine.

I developed a mild obsession when in Prague with the huge outdoor advertisement for Nivea at the top of this post. We were staying a short distance from the centre, and the sign was right by the hotel, attracting the attention of drivers as they joined one of the freeways out of the city. (more…)

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Made in Britain? Not so much

Posted in economics, oil by thenextwavefutures on 18 March, 2013

One of the most alarming articles I’ve read this month was by the Cambridge-based economist Ha-Joon Chang. He’s the author of 23 Things You Didn’t Know About Capitalism, and has a sharp eye for how markets and economies work in practice. Anyway, he noted that despite a substantial devaluation of the pound since the financial crisis, both service exports and manufacturing exports had also fallen. This isn’t how devaluation is supposed to work.
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Last man standing (part 2)

Posted in business, digital, retail by thenextwavefutures on 11 March, 2013

In the first part of this post, I looked at the impact of the economy, and its business history, on HMV’s collapse. In this second part, I’m going to turn my attention to changes in the music market, the impact of the internet (there’s two stories here, not one), and the business’ strategic reponse.
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Last man standing (part 1)

Posted in business, economics, finance, retail by thenextwavefutures on 4 March, 2013

HMV_-_Oxford_Street_1The received wisdom about the collapse of the British entertainment chain HMV and its acquisition by the distress specialists Hilco is that it didn’t see the internet coming. And doh! Actually, the truth has a lot more to do with economics and the way finance dominates business. This long post is broken into two parts: part 2 is here.

The immediate cause of HMV’s collapse, of course, was the British recession, which has gone on longer than anyone expected, and the economy is now teetering on the edge of an unprecedented triple dip recession. Here’s the NIESR chart showing comparative GDP since the pre-recession peak for the past six recessions. The black line at the bottom is the current recession, and yes, this chart should be on the wall of every economic policymaker in the UK.

Source: NIESR

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