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Thread: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

  1. #17
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by Top_gun View Post
    Staples also removed Amazon lockers from their UK branches as well. Seems your google search failed you on this occasion!
    Amazon never included in their investor reports any mention of a blanked agreement with them, but the point still holds, whilst my understanding is Staples UK sells less technology than US, they are still a competitor. Most of the higher margin, big ticket items in Staples, Amazon sell. My only information on such agreements is based on Amazon's investor reports (I have a few shares, not much as I've not seen any non-growth return) so they may well be sugar coating their relationship with the older retailers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top_gun View Post
    Anyway, I doubt if the Co-op has any hard evidence to prove that all Amazon locker customers would want to spend money in their stores. I know I wouldn't. Buying the odd can of cola or bottled water is hardly a sustainable business case. If Co-op had any business acumen then they could use the locker floor space to offer a wider range of food and goods for their regular customers.
    I would imagine they try to find out! Not shopping at co-op, I wouldn't know how they lay it out, nor how much rent Amazon pay for the lockers being there.

    However there is little that Co-Op sells that directly competes with Amazon. Much the same way that Waitrose act as a collection point for John Lewis, it means more products are available, more likely to get people in the door. Hell Waitrose give away free coffee now if you just visit. Given that I'm familiar with just how much modelling goes into the placement of a fruit and veg isle, I can say with confidence, the larger retailers will be modelling this, and constantly assessing the value. Tesco for instance offer their Collection service now very aggressively, yet it doesn't appear to be at every large store, unlike Waitrose's offering.

    The fact that these supermarkets are doing this has to be in no small part due to their acknowledgements of the benefits or potential benefits this shopping style brings.
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  2. #18
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    So that is just dishonest as you con possibly be. For a start off they are comparing gross sales, ignoring any Value Added Tax, National Insurance, Rates etc. You can't compare gross revenue and ignore something like VAT, that is special dishonesty.
    VAT is irrelevant - corporations don't pay VT on business related purchases, they are just collectors - it is the end consumer that pays VAT.

    However, I agree with the rest of your coments - CT is paid on net profit, after deduction of allowable expenses, the majority of which are rates, employe expenses and other business expenses. corporations can also offset there CT on profits against previous years trading losses, so looking at one year of trading without looking at the bigger picture is misleading, but hey, never let the truth get in the way of a good soundbite.

    Quote Originally Posted by Top_gun View Post
    If Co-op had any business acumen then they could use the locker floor space to offer a wider range of food and goods for their regular customers.
    I thought it had ben established that the CO-OP board of directors had no business acumen at all, looking at their recent trading losses, and the appointment of the CEO of the CO-OP bank - who had no experience in the business and was discredited. I would hope the CO-OP does charge rent for the Amazon lockers (which are great - I have one near me, and I've used it a couple of times when I've needed something quickly)

    But the solution to preventing companies from incorporating in other jurisdictions (such as Eire) is to reduce the level of CT in the UK - take a little less from more companies and the overall tax take goes up, as well as attracting inward investment and more employment.

    As for the high street argument - that has evolved continuously from when many older high streets were residential homes, later converted into shops. The out-of-town supermarkets have changed the face of the high street, and it will continue to evolve. To try and freeze the high street in a time warp is as futile as the luddites smashing industrial machinery, or farm workers rebelling against mechanised farm machinery, or cars replacing horse-drawn carriages.
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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    Oh LOL, people like the GMB I just can't begin to trust on anything like this. This is for instance a quote from their page:


    So that is just dishonest as you con possibly be. For a start off they are comparing gross sales, ignoring any Value Added Tax, National Insurance, Rates etc. You can't compare gross revenue and ignore something like VAT, that is special dishonesty.

    ....
    Actually, you not only can but should ignore VAT.

    For a start, Amazon (or any other registered business, ignoring tjose on the peripheral running margin schemes) doesn't pay VAT. The consumer does. The business, Amazon in this case, is merely an unpaid tax collector.

    Secondly, gross sales is a P&L account item. VAT is accounted for on the balance sheet, as a floating debt or credit balance, because it represents either a short-term debt owed to the firm by customers, or by the firm to HMRC. In either case, it is neither a source of revenue to the firm, nor an expense it has to bear.

    I'd certainly agree with the thrust of your comments on the nature of the argument made about both the GMB and Hodge, but VAT isn't a suitable point to include.

    As for the broader point, what the GMB (and Hodge) always seem to fail to either understand, or if they do, acknowledge, is that a simplistic comparison between gross sales and corporation tax paid is invalid because, not only might it represent tax avoidance, but it might also represent absolutely valid business results. Or some combination of the two. It is overly simplistic, and amenable to distorting a true picture.

    What always irritates me, though, is those politicians (like Hodge) harping on about how companies should pay their "fair" share of taxes, while blithely ignoring the simple fact that those self-same politicians are the ones that created the rules under which thise companies operate.

    If Hodge, et.al., don't like the way tax rules are being implemented, then government ought to change the damn rules, not cry like infant school kids in a playground fight that these nasty, big corporations aren-t playing (or paying) "fair".

    I wonder how many of those politicians look at their payslip, and think "nah, I'm not paying enough PAYE and NI, I'll donate some more to HMRC? I wonder how many fail to max out their ISA allowances, and leave the money sitting in a standard taxable savings account, instead?

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    VAT is irrelevant - corporations don't pay VT on business related purchases, they are just collectors - it is the end consumer that pays VAT.

    However, I agree with the rest of your coments - CT is paid on net profit, after deduction of allowable expenses, the majority of which are rates, employe expenses and other business expenses. corporations can also offset there CT on profits against previous years trading losses, so looking at one year of trading without looking at the bigger picture is misleading, but hey, never let the truth get in the way of a good soundbite.
    Personally I couldn't care less about the arguments on how corporation tax is calculated. It doesn't change my view on the bigger picture which is about making vibrant communities and social capital. Companies like Amazon, Tescos, etc all suck money out of communities and provide race to the bottom jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    As for the high street argument - that has evolved continuously from when many older high streets were residential homes, later converted into shops. The out-of-town supermarkets have changed the face of the high street, and it will continue to evolve. To try and freeze the high street in a time warp is as futile as the luddites smashing industrial machinery, or farm workers rebelling against mechanised farm machinery, or cars replacing horse-drawn carriages.
    No one is calling for a freeze on the high street. In fact the opposite is happening if you factor in the work by Mary Portas. Nor do I view big out of town supermarkets as progress. Sure they offer convenience for those with cars which pollutes the world but I do question the quality of their food. Fortunately I have a local fishmonger well regarded by Jay Rayner who regularly appears on BBC masterchef and a local young talented butcher with credentials from the Ginger Pig, Borough market fame. I often show a smug smile to the Waitrose come lately fans! Shopping at Waitrose is a step down in view of my high standards.

    Now back to Amazon. I recently checked my Amazon account and discovered that I've only spent between £5 and £6 on a single item since 2011. Now I usually use Amazon as a retailer of last resort as often you can get better products at cheaper prices elsewhere. However, I was after a particular brand of spanner with a satin chrome finish but none of the local shops, I've tried several, couldn't order this particular product as it was below minimum order level. Clearly, there is no level playing field between small and large retailers.

    As a customer I want to have a diversity of retailers. A market dominated by Amazon is certainly not progress for me. PeterB, you may like Clone towns but they're a complete turn off and backwards for me.

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by Top_gun View Post
    .... I often show a smug smile to the Waitrose come lately fans! Shopping at Waitrose is a step down in view of my high standards.

    ....
    Sadly, it's hard to get everything from small, high quality local suppliers. And if you're going to shop at a supermarket at all, Waitrose is better than most.

    I too get a lot of stuff from carefully selected sources. Beef comes from a farm shop, attached to a farm raising Aberdeen Angus cattle. And that farm shop has bidirectional trade with similar operations in other areas, like a Devon farm that specialises in dry-cure bacon. And most of our other meats come from a local butcher that in turn buys direct from farms in the area. Our beef was raised about 5 miles from our house, and pork and lamb less than that.

    Nonetheless, it's hard, and time-consuming, to avoid supermarkets completely. I wish small, good-quality local shops were as commonplace today as the were several decades ago, when the challenge wasn't finding such shops, but picking between the competition. But supermarkets did for that, and now, finding those gems is a challenge. And in the absence, Waitrose is better than most supermarkets.

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    And Waitrose is part of John lewis, where the employees are also shareholders in the business.
    http://www.waitrose.com/home/inspira..._waitrose.html
    http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/work.html
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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    And it was Andy Street, CEO of John Lewis, who pointed out that Amazon's tax avoidance 'will drive UK companies out of business'.

    John Lewis has always been a great place to shop. My stainless steel pots and white porcelain dish are still going strong from the 90s. The Dixon store group, in contrast, is like the Tory party. They know the price of everything....

    I used to shop regularly at Waitrose until four years ago when it was for people in the know and not for the newly converted fans from M&S. I knew it was time to move on once I saw the marketing material included Heston and Delia Smith.

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by Top_gun View Post
    And it was Andy Street, CEO of John Lewis, who pointed out that Amazon's tax avoidance 'will drive UK companies out of business'.

    John Lewis has always been a great place to shop. My stainless steel pots and white porcelain dish are still going strong from the 90s. The Dixon store group, in contrast, is like the Tory party. They know the price of everything....

    I used to shop regularly at Waitrose until four years ago when it was for people in the know and not for the newly converted fans from M&S. I knew it was time to move on once I saw the marketing material included Heston and Delia Smith.
    Ah well, nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Or did you just enjoy the feeling of elitism that evaporated when Waitrose became more popular?
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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by Top_gun View Post
    And it was Andy Street, CEO of John Lewis, who pointed out that Amazon's tax avoidance 'will drive UK companies out of business'.

    ....
    That may be true, but the problem is, Amazon, or rather the directors of Amazon, aren't undue any duty to maximise either UK government tax revenues, by paying tax they aren't legally obliged to, or to protect UK companies and keep them in business. They are, however, under a legal duty to abide by relevant laws, and second and very critically, to act in the best interests of Amazon.

    So the question is .... what do the directors consider to be in the best interests of Amazon, within the bounds of it being legal? How do they evaluate, perhaps, the reputational damage from "aggressive" tax avoidance, compared to the company benefit in, for example, using those billions to grow the company instead of paying UK tax or helping prevent competitors from going out of business?

    Governments, and especially prima donnas like Margaret Hodge like to pontificate about paying "fair" tax, or "full" tax, yet it is those same governments that set the tax rules, that create the tax code, that establish the double taxation agreements, and the whinge about it when companies like Amazon follow those codes, laws, regulations and treaties.

    So, they should change them.

    I'd love to see Amazon, Google, Starbacks and so on paying a LOT more UK tax. I'd absolutely support Andy Street's contention of what may happen .... though I'd bet my pension there are a fair few British companies doing exactly the same thing to other countries, including to the UD.

    What I don't do is blame Amazon, etc. I put the blame right where it belongs .... with those that set up the rules that allowed it to happen. In large part, that is Gordon "Iron Chancellor" Brown, as being the one running the Treasury while the tax code doubled in size, for a whopping 11 years. Osborne has promised to deal with it, and the jury is out on whether that happens or not. If it doesn't, add him to the list of those to blame. And ditto their respective governments.

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Ah well, nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Or did you just enjoy the feeling of elitism that evaporated when Waitrose became more popular?
    Perhaps the latter though I prefer the same feeling through my knowledge of fashion knowing I can dress far better than someone with far more money. Like I said I saw the signs (marketing) and the thought of rubbing shoulders with former m&s customers was enough to make me shiver.

    The last time I shopped in Waitrose was July last year. One of the managers at the Greenwich branch said I wasn't allowed to bring in my folding bike into the store next time. Usually, it's not a problem bringing my bike into most supermarkets but this guy even refused to accept that I was a loyal Waitrose customer, despite naming a long list of visited branches, and so not bought any stuff since. The newly opened Greenwich branch itself had a limited meat/fish counter and no bakery. Their layout was not in the mould of traditional Waitrose stores and saw this as a another sign that perhaps Waitrose group is becoming more of an ASDA/Tesco type supermarket rather than a purveyor of fine food.

    I've shopped at Aldi/Lidl during the last four years and the quality of comparative goods are better than what you get in Waitrose but far cheaper as well. The staff at ALDI are really really good though LIDL's staff are about the same level as Tescos which means poor.

    I'm now thinking to write a letter to Waitrose by thanking the manager for his inability to recognise customer loyalty and me saving lots of money by not shopping at his branch. Waitrose's call centre has kept a record of my verbal complaint of last year's incident.

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    There has, in my view, been a deterioration in both Waitrose and John Lewis in recent years. In part, it's down to staffing levels being cut. I'm sure it's also in part down to recession-led product selection, as typified by the "essentials" range in Waitrose.

    I also think it's a mistake to under-estimate Aldi and Lidl. They're often seen as "budget"stores, but that misses the product quality of a lot of their stuff, which is higher than many people might think. What they don't have, yet, is the brand recognition of major supermarkets.

    As for the folding bike, I think being treated like that would result in me taking mych the same attitude. In fact, I haven't bought anything in Tesco for not dissimilar reasons, and Tesco also have (or had) a record of my complaint about a duty manager, and promised go "investigate" and get back to me. I'm still waiting, about 10 years later, to hear back, and they're still waiting, and will continue to wait, to get any more custom from me.

    Nose and face? Maybe. But if I get treated that way, why would I wish to continue to shop there? It's not as if there aren't alternatives. Waitrose is my closest store, being about 5 mins by car, and 15 by foot. But I have two Tesco, one Sainsbury, and Asda superstore, and Aldi all within not much more than 5 mins by car, though Morrisons and Lidl are more like 15 mins by car .... as is my favourite farm shop. An an extremely good, if expensive, greengrocer.

    Nevertheless, even if quality and CS has dipped a bit at Waitrose, my view is that product quality on many items is better than major supermarkets.

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    TL;DR - How is our tax system ever going to be 'fair'?

    Just a quick comment to stir things up, but it amuses me that the politicians talk about a 'fair tax' regime. How is it fair that some people pay no tax, some pay 10% (if labour get to power), some pay 20%, some pay 40% and some pay 45-50%? How is that a fair tax system? To me, fair means that everyone is on a level playing field.

    Controversial? Yes. Fair? Yes. Eveyone pays the same proportion of their earnings in tax.

    Unfortunately, in the current climate, 'fair' really means that the rich pay proportionately more tax than the poor.

    And before you start flaming a new poster for this, I actually think that those who earn more [i[should[/i] pay more in tax. It is how you would do it that makes it complicated. If our tax system was fair, there would be no loopholes for the rich to exploit (and actually pay less tax in total than the lower paid workers), everyone would pay the same rate of tax and the government and workers would be better off.

    The current system is so complicated that even the government doesn't understand how it works.

    Now, back on topic...

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shielder View Post
    Now, back on topic...
    I gave up when someone proclaimed their fashion to be superior than others, whilst in the exact same post mentioning a folding bicycle.

    Which is a shame because the semantics of taxing businesses always amuse me.
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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shielder View Post
    TL;DR - How is our tax system ever going to be 'fair'?

    Just a quick comment to stir things up, but it amuses me that the politicians talk about a 'fair tax' regime. How is it fair that some people pay no tax, some pay 10% (if labour get to power), some pay 20%, some pay 40% and some pay 45-50%? How is that a fair tax system? To me, fair means that everyone is on a level playing field.

    Controversial? Yes. Fair? Yes. Eveyone pays the same proportion of their earnings in tax.

    Unfortunately, in the current climate, 'fair' really means that the rich pay proportionately more tax than the poor.

    And before you start flaming a new poster for this, I actually think that those who earn more [i[should[/i] pay more in tax. It is how you would do it that makes it complicated. If our tax system was fair, there would be no loopholes for the rich to exploit (and actually pay less tax in total than the lower paid workers), everyone would pay the same rate of tax and the government and workers would be better off.

    The current system is so complicated that even the government doesn't understand how it works.

    Now, back on topic...
    The trouble is that is you want "fair" taxes, you have to define what you mean by "fair".

    Suppose you have a tiny disposable income left over after paying unavoidable bills, like mortgage/rent, water/gas/electric, etc. I, on the other hand, just (hypothetically, unfortunately) just trousered my latest multi-million pound bankers bonus, ordered the new Aston Martin because I'm bored with the colour of the one I bought this time last year, and besides, I can't drive on last year's plate, can I?

    Now, we're both paying 30% of our income in tax. Is that fair? If it goes up to 40%, I curse, decide to fly 1st class fir my hols not private jet, for a while, and write a cheque. You scrabble about trying to decide whether to keep the kids fed or warm, and can't even remember what a holiday is, let alone when you last had one.

    The theoretically fair notion of everyone paying the same falls flat on it's face, because the marginal benefit of extra income is not linear as you go up the income scale. An increase in tax rates gor you might mean disaster, but for me, the disaster is having to sell either the Renoir or Chagall hanging on my loo wall.

    The question then becomes how yo design a "fair" progressive system, based on ability to pay .... while, at the same time, encouraging what government want and needs to encourage, like business investment, and honouring international treaties and dealing with international competition in tax regimes.

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shielder View Post
    TL;DR - How is our tax system ever going to be 'fair'?
    First, you have to make pay more fairer in order to make tax more fairer. The Tories have a political agenda to turn this country into a low pay economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    I gave up when someone proclaimed their fashion to be superior than others, whilst in the exact same post mentioning a folding bicycle.

    Which is a shame because the semantics of taxing businesses always amuse me.
    Folding and small wheel bikes are seen as very cool in Japan.

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    Re: News - Union pressures Co-op to remove all Amazon lockers

    A very interesting discussion. I don't pretend to know all the ins and outs of the Amazon/GMB affair but a quick question to the commentators here. As Conservatives always view unions exclusively as bad and barriers/threats to business which is always exclusively good, why do they not simply outlaw all trade unions? Wouldn't they have the support of most people who want to work (and run/own businesses), and also destroy the foundations of their main political opposition?

    Not trolling, I'm genuinely interested in people's answers.

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