Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Black's


#1

While in town this morning I was shocked to see that our local branch is closing. Gill tells me that she heard only yesterday that they were to close many of their stores. Cheltenham is obvioulsy one.

The only good news from this is that they are having a closing-down sale with sensible discounts. You’ll need to be quick, though. The shelves were already starting to look bare.

:frowning:

73, Richard


#2

In reply to G4ERP:
Yes sad indeed Richard. 89 stores are on the way out. See here:

http://www.blacksleisure.co.uk/News/RNS_Announcements/RnsNews.aspx?id=107&rid=10211489

20 years ago, whilst at college, I was lucky enough to have a weekend and summer job in the climbing basement of the Blacks store in central London (Rathbone Place).

What a great job. When I wasn’t away climbing at weekends, I could just talk about climbing and the gear all day.

Happy days… I wonder if anyone here visited me?

73 Marc G0AZS


#3

In reply to G0AZS:

Hi, Marc.

It isn’t the first and won’t be the last high street retailer to go through this turmoil. Shame. As you say, the staff area all so knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

Happily we have another outdoor store in Cheltenham. It’s an independant one and again, staffed by outdoor enthusiasts.

BTW I see I fell into the apostrophe trap in the title!

73, Richard

ps GL with the talk next weekend.


#4

In reply to G4ERP:

I can remember buying a sleeping bag when I was 12 from Blacks in Liverpool. That lasted till my youngest started using it about 3 years ago. Make that 33 years. Hrmph! I also bought a Berhaus “Pole” Jacket when an improverished student. The money spent on that, £60 ISTR, was a sound investment as it kept me warm in my student digs. Even in 1982, £60 wouldn’t have kept the flat warm for long! I still have the Pole jacket and it’s in really quite good condition. It’s made from Dacron Hollofil, tiny nylon fibres which are hollow. So it’s light and warm and also warm when wet. The downside is that it can absorb 15kgs of water. Eventually the fibres capilliary the water into them and the jacket gets heavier and heavier. It’s far too hot to wear when exercising but it’s a great contesting jacket when you’re sat about windswept hills or worse, manning the Armstrong rotator outside the tent/caravan/car. It would also appear to be a collectors item as they seem to command fine prices on eBay. How strange considering how many better jackets there are after 27 years of research and development.

As for Blacks… too many shops chasing too few customers and probably suffering from lots of purchases made through Amazon online. A shame but I believe it’s commonly called progress. No much of a progression when you need to try on items to see if they fit but you can’t 'coz all you have is a picture in a browser window. :frowning:

Andy
MA0FMF


#5

In reply to MM0FMF:

As for Blacks… too many shops chasing too few customers and probably
suffering from lots of purchases made through Amazon online. A shame
but I believe it’s commonly called progress. No much of a progression
when you need to try on items to see if they fit but you can’t 'coz
all you have is a picture in a browser window. :frowning:

Hi, Andy.

I agree - although I’ve been lucky with the few items of clothing I have bought online. The online purchases were not down to cost but lack of the availability locally of some specialist garments. I am quite happy to pay more for the advice and the ability to try something on. You can’t feel a picture.

Progress? I’m not sure it is. I think the balance has swung too far towards online shopping. Let’s hope we eventually end up with a decent balance.

73, Richard


#6

In reply to G4ERP:

I am quite happy to pay more for the advice and the ability to try something
on. You can’t feel a picture.

Snap. That’s why I paid about £12 more for my boots at Tiso rather than buying online after using Tiso to get the size worked out. They gave me good advice and I was happy to pay. The same reason I spent £8 more there when I wanted a new rucksack. The advice and ability to feel the goods costs.

Just back from filling up the car ready for tomorrow’s early start. A couple of hundred metres from home and a deer ran out of the copse saw my car stopped, turned about and ran back into the trees. I almost hit the deer which is bad for the car and not too clever for the deer and Mrs. FMF following in her car saw the deer and was able to avoid running into my car with hers. That could have been quite expensive!

Andy
MA0FMF


#7

In reply to G4ERP:

I am of the understanding that “Millets” is part of the same group. That too is closing down.


#8

In reply to G6DDQ:

Hi.

Some of Millets (without an apostrophe) stores may be closing but ours is to remain. With our purchase in Blacks we received a discount voucher for Millets by away of an enticement to transfer our business. I suspect it won’t get used.

73, Richard


#9

In reply to G4ERP:

I won’t miss Blacks, of the several outdoor shops in Birmingham they have always been the most expensive and I refuse to pay their mark-up!

73

Brian G8ADD


#10

In reply to G0AZS:

I too did this, but it was only 3 years ago and in Llandudno, not London! I suspect that the level of well informed product knowledge among the staff as well as the general ambience of the place was somewhat diminished in my case! I did used to have a few older customers who would wax lyrical about the good old days of Blacks!

Millets is of course, the “downmarket” Blacks, hi. That is to say, they are both a part of Blacks Leisure Group. There will indeed be closures of Millets stores soon. Rumour has it, there is a reporter doing the rounds of Millets stores, posing as an upcoming businessman, attempting to glean information about the closures!

73,

Dave MW0MYA