Many people below the age of 30-something assume that the Pound-Shop Economy may be a new phenomenon and drool at it’s convenience and costs , but how new is that the concept?
I’ve often marvelled at the exponential miracle growth of the ‘Pound-Shop’ economy and the way on earth can they even consider making a profit on most of their items within the store when they have overheads like rent, staff wages, storage, freight, advertising, and i am sure an entire lot more besides.
At least one among these Pound-Shop dynasties features a ‘Trade-Counter’ which offers unbelievable discounts to those with a much bigger wedge of cash burning a hole in their pockets, so how on earth can they ‘afford’ to try to to this?
Then I remembered a remark made to me by the chap who wont to hire out old and battered diesel concrete/cement mixers back within the early 1970’s once I was performing on sites like Lower Early, Great Hollands, Furz Platt and lots of more within the Thames Valley area. I sub-contracted for a main plastering contractor some time past (A.J Moran) – great bloke, very fair, but didn’t pay tons per Sqr Yard because it was some time past . He didn’t charge tons to the developers either, but I’ll revisit to Andy, for now I’ll specialise in Bevan, the concrete mixer King.
Usually 100% reliable, and place it wherever needed on site. He’d enter for a talk and a cup of tea/coffee for a couple of minutes before avoiding , then at some point i assumed
He astounded me by telling me he charged just £7- every week including delivery and pickup.
“Whaaaat? – Only £7- a week? how on earth are you able to afford that” I said. He took another sip and calmly said “Yes, but I’ve now got over 200 of them out there that I only paid at the most a tenner for at various auctions, and typically they’re on site for several weeks before I even have to place them on another site, i do not need to find storage as I’ve always got contractors ‘begging’ me to urge one to them so ‘they’ do all the storage on behalf of me , and as you recognize , i do not rush about at all”. He didn’t either, he was the foremost Laid-Back bloke you’ll ever meet (apart from Andy Moran, our boss).
If he only had 200 mixers at £7- a POP! that was £1,400- every week ( a dang good income some time past within the 1970’s) for driving his old land-rover and trailer about the varied sites, a couple of hours mechanicals each day , and evenings and weekends all to himself
His formula was simple. Charge a price that the larger boys couldn’t match. it had been also the motto of ‘Super od’ (Max Quarterman) who I worked alongside on many-a-site and ‘learned’ the way to make MORE ££££’s than anyone else on the work .
Now as I said earlier, Andy Moran was the most Plastering contractor within the area for several years (along together with his brother Noel) He began just like the remainder of us subbying round the area until Caversham Park got started and he went from subby to a ‘trial’ as a contractor (with several other small-to-medium plastering contractors) where he got the likes of me and lots of others to pump out as many homes as possible every week to stay the most contractors happy. He was an excellent Man-Manager together with his calm, easy-going manner and got the simplest out of most of his own subbies, and as he took a slice off of every man, his coffers grew exponentially also .
He got an honest reputation there for keeping to schedule and ‘variable’ quality?
He took over most of the event eventually and he went from strength-to-strength getting bigger and larger contracts throughout the Thames Valley (and further) due to his reliability .
BUT! as he wont to keep reminding us, we could have ‘runs’ of homes to plaster. We never had to constantly up-sticks and advance to other jobs, and everything was delivered ‘for’ us to only crack-on and earn the cash . (Which most folks did – very successfully).
By the mid-seventies i used to be on extremely good money ‘in my pocket’ because of Andy and his foremen being so reliable and keen to stay us producing the products that successively earned ‘them’ their money also . (So I took a few into work with me at weekends – they never worked so hard altogether their lives )
There were builders and other plastering contractors who were paying ‘more’ than Andy, but because their organization skills weren’t up to much, you could not make the great money with them (A good lesson to be learned THERE it seems) then Andy won in every direction. then did WE!