And Now a Word From Our Sponsors….

For this entry I’m handing over to my partner, Darcy, who has something to say..

Some of you may have seen over the past week the news that specialist retailer Silverscreen DVD has gone into administration with the possible loss of around 550 jobs. For the last two years this has been my place of work and whilst we all have been worried about the future, some of the reasons why the business ended up in the position it has has filled us with amusement. So here are some of the excuses put forward and why I think that they are wrong plus what I believe is the real reason.

1/ Bad management:
No. No way. Silverscreen was a model of retail business, with staff who knew the ins and outs of film as opposed to some stores like HMV who just don’t seem to care about their customers. Stock that reflected the fact that the stores were devoted to film in all its forms and periods. The only fault that was made business wise was the usual one of expanding far too quickly in a volatile market instead of consolidating over a couple of years. In fact, if the business is bought my advice to the new owners would be to cut the stores down to about 35 (from 65), keep most of the business down in the South-East whilst keeping some the stores in the bigger cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Bluewater, Edinburgh and stop all these late night openings. Believe me, they are a waste of time and money. After 5.30, except for Christmas time, nobody is around to make it worthwhile, it’s just an obsession with HMV and Virgin who do open till late.

2/ Piracy:
The net isn’t the big menace that the film studios seem to think that it is. Have you ever tried to download a film from something like Kaaza or E-Donkey? I’m sure that you’ve all seen the UNSKIPPABLE ads at the beginning of DVD’s telling us that piracy is a crime with its incredibly fast download time. Ha! If you manage to find a film on the net that you want its a good bet that’ll it be something completely different or bug ridden and most important take a day or a couple of days to download, and that’s if you’re linked to the net in the first place. Believe it or not only half the country is linked up yet and then dodgy at best. You still are in a bit of a lottery when it comes to the internet and connection. Piracy is still in the good old days of someone taping it in a cinema and then flogging it next day on the open market or going abroad and coming back with a stack of bad watching that you got from a market in Morocco.

3/ Cover mounts:
This is something that has had retail shops in a bit of an uproar of late. Cover mounts are the DVD’s that are given away free with various newspapers and retailers feel that the very fact that they are being given away in such a way devalues DVD’s in the eyes of the public. Some chains have recently started not to deal with distributors who help in such promotions. This reason is somewhat valid but ties into the real reason behind Silverscreen’s collapse, which I’ll come to.

4/ High street and internet competition:
Believe it or not, there is very little difference price-wise between any of the main shops. Unless it’s in a particular sale that copy of Band of Brothers or Buffy or 24 will cost the same no matter where you go. If it is in a sale or studio promotion then yeah, it will be different because guess what folks we’re different businesses. Silverscreen is not HMV just as HMV is not Virgin and our sales are staggered. For instance, Silverscreen had the boxset of Lee Evans in its sale last month, now its back up to full price and HMV have it in their sale ditto with the Band of Brothers. BUT, we all had the same promotion for the Disney BOGOF at the same time as well as the Simpson’s sale this month. All retailers are still at the mercy of the film studios when it comes to the sales and what goes into them. Try telling this to the ordinary public though. Also, there is a lot of small print when it comes to pricing. Silverscreen have Narnia at £14.99, a good price for a new DVD. “But” some member of the clueless public will come in and say “HMV, Virgin, Woolworth’s, and Smiths have got it at £12.99”. Yes, they have, if you buy another DVD or over £30.00 of extra crap, didn’t you read the small print on the promotions? “Oh” say the now obviously blind customer “I didn’t see that”. No, that’s because you were blinded by the £12.99 until you got to the till and then felt stupid. It’s time that the public got a lesson in economics and retail business 101, that to manufacture DVD’s or CD’s is very cheap but to create one is expensive involving rights, royalties and various cuts for the film studios, distributors and finally the shops.

The supermarkets. Ah, the supermarkets. You may think that they’re a cheaper place to buy and guess what? You’d be right, as long as you wanted only the latest releases, but want that BFI copy of Gojira or My Neighbour Totoro? Forget it. Think that if HMV or Virgin disappeared off the face of the Earth tomorrow that your local Tesco or Asda will step into fill the void and get in all those cult anime and martial arts DVD’s? Please, get real. The supermarkets are only interested in films from the last two years, and will only then stock about something in the region of about two hundred titles whereas the main specialist retailers like Silverscreen will stock over 10,000 different titles. They’re supermarkets, people. Which means that they’ll stock a little of everything and take a huge loss on selling cheaper. They can afford it, but you’ll never see smaller markets like Waitrose or Aldi selling DVD’s and there’s a reason. Besides, think about it. Unless you live next door to a supermarket it’ll generally mean you’ll have to travel there by car or bus, and how much will it cost you in petrol or fares if you do so. The saving you believe that you are making would be wiped out by one trip.

The internet

Yep, DVD’s are cheaper on the net. If you go to certain places that is. Play.com is a lot cheaper, but they only get away with it by being based in Jersey which has different tax laws to the rest of Britain. Amazon are also cheaper (but not by much), but its only free delivery if you spend over £20.00 and Amazon in all their years of trading (20 I believe) have yet to make a profit. Can you believe that? A business going that long has yet to make a profit. God knows how they keep going. Ordering that certain item that’s not readily available in this country is great but unless you’re agoraphobic there’s nothing like going into a shop and feeling something solid in your hands (but then I actually like shopping). Plus what I said about the net and connectivity above also applies.

5/ the Film Studios
There’s no denying that the studios have shot themselves in the foot over DVD. They’ve saturated the market with unwanted stock until they’ve had to put it into sales to shift units such as Shrek 2 and The Incredibles Because they’ve had such a bad time at the cinema they’ve started releasing big name titles earlier and earlier and the public have begun to realise this and start not going to the cinema even more (why go and have your evening ruined by a bunch of mouthy, slurping and mobiling chavs). The public have also cottoned onto the fact that because the studios have so much stock that the named titles are going into sales faster. The film companies need to get a better grip of their release dates and create a market of expectancy, remember the days when it would take years for a title to come out? I’m not advocating a return to that but Potter, Narnia and Kong were all in the cinema around Christmas and now they are in the retail shops. That’s too fast a turn around and creating a market of compliancy. Much better for films such as these to have appeared on the shelves around September or Christmas-time

So, in the end what’s the reason why one of the best retail chains in recent years is having problems? Simple really. We’re all CHEAP BASTARDS. Yep. You, me, Sarah. We’re all CHEAP BASTARDS. We’ve lost the value of anything and don’t realise that DVD’s are technology, and guess what? Technology costs. We don’t want to pay what is a decent price for something that costs a fair bit to manufacture. “£15.99 for the latest Harry Potter!” you hear the cry. “I don’t want to pay that. I want to pay £2.99 or nothing. Why’s it so expensive?” Well that’s because you’re all CHEAP BASTARDS! “I can get that for less in my supermarket (not knowing how much it’ll cost you to get there)” “Well why don’t you go there and stop bugging us you FUCKING CHEAP BASTARD!” And I’m not kidding about this. The times I’ve had someone walk out of the store because they couldn’t find any of the £2.99 films we had in the dump bins (too lazy to look) or “its cheaper in HMV” (yeah, because we had it in our sale last month and you were too much of a FUCKING CHEAP BASTARD to get it then and now it moved out of our sale and into HMV’s/ Virgins sale). We’ve learned to wait about three months until we know that a popular title will go into a sale (believe me, Potter, Narnia and Kong will be in sales around September/October), and that’s because we’re all CHEAP BASTARDS. “My DVD player won’t play this DVD or its skips” we’ve heard you wail. Well, that’s because you’re a CHEAP BASTARD who bought a £30.00 DVD player off the market and expect it to do everything. Even now, a multi-region, decent DVD player should cost over £150.00. Expect to pay nothing less. “My DVD won’t play” we still hear you wail. “What machine have you got? “ “A Playstation 2 or Xbox” “Will yeah, you moron. That’s because they are really games consoles, not DVD players. Go out a buy a dedicated DVD player and leave the consoles to your 16 year-old gamer, GTA, guns and niggaz wank fantasies”. And that’s it really. We’re all CHEAP BASTARDS who don’t want to pay the real going rate because we’ve all been conditioned not to demand the best and to pay for it, but to expect it, get it cheap and then moan when it goes wrong and expect someone else to fix it. But HD-DVD is coming soon and then you’ll have to pay whether you like it or not, oh yes, you’ll pay and then wonder why there’s no real competition on the high streets and you can’t get the DVD you want.

Thanks to Sarah for letting me use her blog in this way. All the views put forward here are my own so you can kiss my hairy ass because you’re all CHEAP BASTARDS!

30 thoughts on “And Now a Word From Our Sponsors….”

  1. Sorry to hear about that, Darcy. Fingers crossed the administrators find a buyer for your store. I always quite liked Silverscreen (probably second to Fopp for DVDs imho). I prefer real shops to Amazon/Play anyway, because the postman never deigns to turn up before I go to work and the DVD packages never fit through my door, which means I have to traipse to the sorting office (which although it’s not that far away still means an annoying trip).
    On your main point, the problem is the policies of the studios are designed for instant gratification – release it at full price now, blitz all the advertising hoarding with adverts, have those great big displays in the front of the store, look everyone it’s new it’s here BUY BUY BUY NOW NOW NOW. Then two months later it’s much cheaper. So if you’re prepared to wait, you get it cheaper. And if it’s cheaper, you can buy more of them. Supply and demand. The distributors are at fault for having what seems like permanent rotating sales – it seems every time you go into one of these shops, a third of the stock is on sale in some way. Is it any wonder I go for the ones on sale rather than the ones that aren’t?
    I have no anticipatory desire for HD-DVD/Blue Ray. For a start, the players (and probably discs) will be ridiculously expensive for the first few years. Then of course the extra resolution would be wasted on my TV (and my house is not very big, so I literally don’t have room for one of these super jumbo LCDs. I’d need to move the settee back a couple of metres to be able to see the screen properly. Unfortunately this would put me in the middle of the road…)
    I’ll stop rambling here.

  2. Darcy, I agree with everything you say there.
    I’ve been working with Silverscreen for about 18 months now and its been a great time – they went with staff who know what they’re talking about, not just some till monkey who stands there looking blank when someone asks where the Almodovar films are, and (certainly with us) the team were pretty damn solid.
    All the rubbish that was bandied about regarding free DVDs in newspapers hitting sales always puzzled me – especially when it was with titles that had been 1) deleted or were 2) incredibly obscure. How many sales did they expect to lose on these? Even something like Donnie Darko being given away had me laughing – we got told as a result we would no longer be dealing with the label in question as a result, then about a week later what happens? We manage to secure a great deal on Donnie Darko for only £1.99! Hmm. I seem to remember one of the trade magazines investigating this and concluding that in a lot of cases, sales of titles given away free actually went up afterwards thanks to awareness rising and those who forgot to buy the paper in the first place.
    Supermarkets? Yep, only the big new releases dirt cheap (isn’t Asda doing King Kong for only £9.97 this week?) and sod all in the way of half-decent back catalogue, just the usual crap budget Columbia and Warner stuff thats been £5.99 for as long as anyone can remember. Problem is, a hefty amount of customers come in to buy the big new releases so I’d bet a fair bit of the loss came there. Although in complete agreement with the observation that nigh on everyone who comes in is a cheap bastard. Personally I thought we held up on chart stuff pretty well – God forbid they actually did anything to advertise their price match though.
    The thing that had me dying to go through the back and punch the wall (or indeed, the customer) was the perpetual moan of ‘that’s awfully expensive isn’t it?’ usually (if the customer is over 50) followed up with ‘but its an old film’. Oh how sweet to point out to the tight old fart that the age of the film has fuck all to do with the cost of the DVD and if every penny’s a prisoner then why not piss off to Lidl and stock up on cheap tins of beans instead. Used to reassure myself with the fact that after every cold winter a few more of them would no longer be in to annoy us. How hard is it to understand? DVDs aren’t an essential purchase, they are (if you want to call it that) A LUXURY ITEM. We don’t set the prices, if you want to complain then write to the buggers who produce them in the first place!
    I still think that if Silverscreen had taken a better approach to back catalogue pricing then they’d have done a lot better. Charging full whack for anything not in the current campaign was always going to hurt sales – would have given them that edge over Virgin and HMV. Call me tight if you like but I wouldn’t pay £21.99 for the latest Lee Evans DVD (but then I think he’s shit, I wouldn’t pay £1.99). I don’t know the logistics behind it but I do know its better to make a smaller profit on something that sells more than make sod all (or even a loss) on something that doesn’t sell at all.
    Anyway, good luck finding something else, onwards and upwards as they say! Same goes to everyone else in the same boat.

  3. Taken a little to come back as I wanted things to cool down just a little (the original post was written late at night and I was tired, which probably explains the rambling). A few things have come to light in the last couple of weeks and they tie into some of the comments put across. It seems that the company as a whole will not be sold. The reason for this is that the rents are just too high for buyers (of which there are a few) and it looks like Silverscreen will be sold off piecemeal, with some stores surviving and others shutting. The rents issue is one that I didn’t mention in the original article but should be looked at considering that Silverscreen’s charges in rent totalled £11.5 million for the whole of last year.
    Now that’s a lot of money and I think that it’s fair to say that high rents are one of the reasons that so many businesses fail these days. I’ve no doubt that you’ve all gone through your local town centre or mall and seen quite a few empty units. The reaon? In the end, greedy landlords who are looking for short-term profit instead of long-term retailers and growth. I am under no illusions that unless you are a supermarket chain and use lots of kickbacks with the local council that building malls is an expensive business and will never make a profit, but the cost of that should not be passed onto the retailers. And don’t even get me started on council rates, all I will say is that councils have abdicated their responsibility to make sure that they collect rates from everyone and instead of going after the defaulters go for the easy targets.

    On your main point, the problem is the policies of the studios are designed for instant gratification – release it at full price now, blitz all the advertising hoarding with adverts, have those great big displays in the front of the store, look everyone it’s new it’s here BUY BUY BUY NOW NOW NOW. Then two months later it’s much cheaper. So if you’re prepared to wait, you get it cheaper. And if it’s cheaper, you can buy more of them. Supply and demand. The distributors are at fault for having what seems like permanent rotating sales – it seems every time you go into one of these shops, a third of the stock is on sale in some way. Is it any wonder I go for the ones on sale rather than the ones that aren’t?

    One of the things that I forgot to mention about the film studios is their habit of still releasing films in two ways. The expensive two-disc version with all the extras and the single-disc version with just the film. Now, we’re all lovers of film on this site and most of us will happily watch the extras, but in the end we are a minority (unless you are a film or media (snigger) student). The general public couldn’t really give a toss about how a film was made and don’t see why they should pay extra for something they are not going to watch. Case in point? One of the biggest sellers in the last two months sale has been Batman Returns, but the single-disc version at £6.99 instead of the two-disc one at £21.99. Same goes for Narnia, the single-disc version is outselling the two-disc one, Potter and Kong have no single versions yet, but I know which ones would sell better. And producing these extras costs money. Gone are the days when one researcher would look up everything about the film and the last remaining member of the cast or crew would talk about it for free. The studios have got to decide which format they want and stick to it.
    Sales every month has now become commonplace, but that has always been the way even in the days of video. What has changed is the fast turnaround on some top title dvd’s and that is the fault of the studios producing too much stock.
    The rumour floating around at the moment is that Apax (Silverscreen’s backers) were on the cusp of signing a buyout of the Virgin chain that would have seen them come under the Silverscreen banner. Problem is is that Virgin are in bigger trouble than Silverscreen and fibbed a bit about the amount of their debt, the deal fell through and seeing as Apax didn’t want to keep on backing a small chain (wanting a much bigger one) pulled Silverscreen’s backing. C’est la vie. Expect to see Virgin being bought out by the end of the year or next, and then the CHEAP BASTARDS out there will have even less places to buy their dvd’s.

    I still think that if Silverscreen had taken a better approach to back catalogue pricing then they’d have done a lot better. Charging full whack for anything not in the current campaign was always going to hurt sales – would have given them that edge over Virgin and HMV. Call me tight if you like but I wouldn’t pay £21.99 for the latest Lee Evans DVD (but then I think he’s shit, I wouldn’t pay £1.99). I don’t know the logistics behind it but I do know its better to make a smaller profit on something that sells more than make sod all (or even a loss) on something that doesn’t sell at all.

    We could have been better on the pricing of back catalogue like HMV or Virgin, but in the end Silverscreen just didn’t have the buying power that these two other chains have. I still stand by my comment that price wise we matched the two of them easily, if you look at the prices of World Cinema or Anime or Martial Arts or Music dvd’s we are all the same. This is because the margin on titles like these is very small, and because of 17.5% VAT I mean small, less than a penny in some cases. One of the things that Silverscreen should have done is have big signs in the windows saying “No gimmicks. No £12.99 if you buy another chart dvd (negating any saving you think you may be making), no £12.99 if you buy £30.00 worth of other crap. no £9.97 and making a loss thereby going out of business faster when we don’t have supermarket monopolistic pricing cartels. Just the price you see on the film”.

    The thing that had me dying to go through the back and punch the wall (or indeed, the customer) was the perpetual moan of ‘that’s awfully expensive isn’t it?’ usually (if the customer is over 50) followed up with ‘but its an old film’. Oh how sweet to point out to the tight old fart that the age of the film has fuck all to do with the cost of the DVD and if every penny’s a prisoner then why not piss off to Lidl and stock up on cheap tins of beans instead. Used to reassure myself with the fact that after every cold winter a few more of them would no longer be in to annoy us. How hard is it to understand? DVDs aren’t an essential purchase, they are (if you want to call it that) A LUXURY ITEM. We don’t set the prices, if you want to complain then write to the buggers who produce them in the first place!

    Oh, the customers. I’ve also had the pleasure of tellimg people that the price of a film has nothing to do with age. In fact, the more cultish the film the pricier it will be. One of the best comments is “It’s really old film, came out about two years ago. So it’s really old” OLD! If you consider that old what’s something like Casablanca or Wizard of Oz? Prehistoric?! Does something like that need a fossil record? The looks you get when you say tell them that The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid is not available on dvd. In fact we’ve been asked about so many non-available dvd’s that we know instantly what titles are not in this country.

  4. Business as usual!?
    Apparently we are to continue as though it’s business as usual. Only with ‘Store Closing’ signs in the window, and having to respond to endless customer enquiries. When? Why are you still so expensive? (cheap bastards!) Or from the sympathetic few, will you lose your jobs?
    It would be nice to have an answer to that last one. i don’t know if it’s right to draw parallels with other companies that have passed through Hilco, but … Ciro Citterio: before 98 stores, after 58 : Textstyle World 46 to 36 : Traesko (furniture) 24 to 7. I’m sure circumstances vary hugely, but I can’t help feeling a little uncertain about how long I’ll be an employee of Silverscreen.
    I’ve only been with the company for a few months, but have worked with a great group of people who know their stuff, work hard, and deserve better than being kept in the dark about what may or may not happen.
    Not much fun, hope we all land on our feet.

  5. I work for the company to, for about 2 1/2 years now. Its been good, mostly, to me. Hearing about the companies possibly interested is, well, now so sure. They are huge companie, one esp and I cant see them buying us to be fair.
    The news we keep having sent to us isn’t very helpful, in the store I work in, we are not in the know as to what is happening, as much as the public know even….. I just wish they would yell us one way or another if we are sadly going or not…

  6. Another Silverscreen employee here….just nodding silently to all that’s been written so far. Very well said guys.
    How the fuck we are supposed to be still motivated and optimistic when the majority of our day is now spent sticking up ‘10% off all full priced stock’ stickers etc is beyond me.
    No one in our store believes we will survive this at all. Let’s hope we are all totally wrong and can laugh about this a few months down the line.
    Did anyone hear about the supposed interest of one of the large supermarkets? I don’t think I suit green!

  7. Wow, so many disgruntled employees. It’s nice to know everyone in my store has the same opinion as you guys.
    As soon as I found out we were in administration I updated and printed loads of CV’s in my lunch break, in full view of my manager.
    All the stupid peppy messages we keep getting are getting tiresome, we know we probably will not have jobs in a few weeks, and yet it’s carry on as normal, smile, approach, approach, approach.
    Well dammnit I have a mortgage to pay and I’m wondering if I will actually have any money at the end of this month with which to pay said mortgage.
    Carry on as normal!!! I ask you.

  8. And so the vultures have start landed. We have now started our clearout and like flies around shit, they’ve all come in. Even now they’re not pleased. It’s begun with a 10% off full retail price plus £5.00 off if you spend over £30.00 (a steal from HMV I think there) and will get lower. But are the vultures feeding? More than usual, but they’ve grown a bit bolder and more cheeky. Besides all the oldies now coming in droves like hyenas (and still bitching that that copy of Meet Me in St. Louis STILL isn’t a penny), the mini-karts have arrived and are blocking all their aisles with their fat arses (when there’s nothing wrong with them that a bit of exercise wouldn’t cure) and souped-up mobility wheels. One really pissed me off today. The first season of The Outer Limits is already in the sale at £29.99 (from £49.99), but she wanted the £5.00 off and bitched about it all her way around the shop. “What does a penny matter? ” she asks “you’re going out of business anyway”. Yeah, well. What’s made from this clearout may go to helping pay my wages for the month you CHEAP BASTARD!!
    Even worst though are the bottom-feeders. The ones who are waiting till the very end. We can tell who you are. Think that asking when the last day is going to be doesn’t give you away? Well I hope that everything you wanted is gone by that time and you’re left with the crappiest Prism copies that we couldn’t even give away free as a covermount. You’ll probably moan that they’re still too expensive you FUCKING CHEAP BASTARDS!!
    Seems my comment of CHEAP BASTARDS!! has upset a few people.
    But I still stand by it. And please remember that I also include myself in this. Yeah, I most definitely use my staff discount and I definitely waited for War of the Worlds (2005) and Wizard of Oz to go into the sale before I bought them. But I’ll also buy at full price if I want an item badly enough. In fact I’ve just come back from NYC with a few items and I didn’t balk at paying full for them. You may say that DVD’s are cheaper in the U.S., but not by much and don’t forget that tax is added on when you get to the till. It’s rare that I’ll order anything online as I’m afraid I’m a bit of a want it now person. I probably would make a bit of a saving, but it wouldn’t be much. I also want the latest Dr.Who: Genesis of the Daleks, but seeing as it looks as though Silverscreen won’t be getting them in I’ll have to buy from HMV or Virgin. The only reason I’ve not done so far is that until I’m positive I’ll be paid I’m watching the pennies. Same goes for the latest Studio Ghibli titles. Unlike some CHEAP BASTARDS I’m quite willing to pay in full, does that make me an idiot? Nah, just someone who loves film and realises that it costs.

  9. Well I’m a self confessed cheap bastard, or is that a cheap bastard’s floozy? Ho hum.
    To be honest, I doubt there’s much SilverScreen can do with regards to telling the staff when the axe is going to fall. If they really are trying to save / salvage some of the stores I expect it’ll be a fight to the last minute. Hopefully they’ll pull something out of the hat before the recievers come round and stick their notices on the doors.
    I’ll leave comments open on this post for the forseeable future, as long as it doesn’t become a flame war. 😉

  10. I’m trying to be philosophical about what may or may not happen, but the atmosphere in my store absolutely stinks. People are continually complaining about prices as though they’ll get some kind of special non-advertised ‘whingers discount’. “Since you’ve complained/mentioned Tesco/used the phrase cheaper on the net we’ll give you that box set for 50p…you aggravating ignorant ******” if it’s cheaper at whatever just buy it there, why feel the need to tell us about it? Perhaps it’s partly because of the bank holiday, but customers seem to be more demanding and obnoxious than usual.
    As a customer I’d shop around for the cheapest price for something I wanted, especially bearing in mind how much we’re paid ;), I just wouldn’t complain vocally about prices to staff who may lose their jobs. I can’t say I’m too impressed though with having three concurrent promotions to contend with (orange stickers, 10 off rrp, £5 off if over £30 spent), a muddled and half-arsed way of going about things which is creating headaches and aggravation for us all. Endlessly having to explain why ‘sir’ can’t have his Kong at 50% off may send me up the nearest tall building. The signs we have don’t actually lie, but they are causing confusion.
    The choices are to jump ship now, or wait and see who’s at the helm and whether the old crew are still needed when the time comes. It isn’t easy, and it isn’t much fun, but things could all still work out if the right company comes in.
    Phew, it’s good to have this chance to spill, thanks to Sara for the ranting space.
    Fingers crossed, in the meantime don’t let the customers grind you down.

  11. Ive also been at Silverscreen since the beginning and to start with it was great – incentives by the bucket load christmas vouchers for all the staff, and a real feeling of belonging to a team of sound people who would listen to your ideas and acutally let you carry them out.
    Ive been really proud of the stores i have worked in and feel the service we have given over the years has been second to none.
    Its so sad and hard to belive that this is the same company now.

  12. God there should really have been a place for us all to rant about customers before now 🙂
    I’ve been with the company since Dec 2003. To all those who have posted before, can’t agree more.
    Motivation:
    I consider myself a very hard worker, all the teams I have worked with have been very hard working. But not now, I have lost the will to work, the main reason:
    IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYMORE
    I have no concern if the A-Z’s arn’t perfectly A-Z
    I don’t care if the customers arn’t greeted
    I don’t care for the customers *sorry vultures*
    I the past week I have come so close to telling customers to go forth and multiply, but still no one has pushed just over.
    I’ve started swearing on the shop floor, i don’t even try and hide it.
    Oh dear i’ve found one copy of an ex chart product, thats still at its reduced price, nevermind.
    The Vultures
    “When are you closing down?”
    “Why are you closing down?”
    “Theres a sign in the window that says your closing down!”
    “ARE you closing down?” – hats off to a gentleman at one of our stores who when asked this question looked around at the signs in amazement and then proclaimed with glee “Fucking hell guy’s were closing down!”
    After explaing the situation, these are usual followed with one of the following:
    “Ohh”
    “So do you know when?”
    “What does that mean”
    “Wheres my customer order?”
    “Thats a real shame, I love shopping here”
    “Thats a real shame, whats this gone down too?”
    “You’ve only been here a few months” (new store)
    “Is it jsut this store, or will your bigger/nicer shop in ******** still be there”
    and then way down the bottom you get
    “Well I hope it goes ok for you”
    “Hope you get to keep your job”
    Thats enough rant for now, but i’ll add some more later

  13. I know it’s depressing and irritating being asked those questions again and again, but it’s not really the customers fault for asking them. the big signs around the stores are designed to bring bargain hunters in and a lot of it is only clumsy small talk.
    If you want to blame anyone for the shit that we’re in, the people who ran the business are the ones to look at. Oh, and did you know that Steven Precious has gone on holiday again? How much money is he getting paid to sit around and do nothing, whilst we worry if we’ll get our wages at all next tuesday?
    Thanks for giving us this forum to exchange information and views. being kept in the dark about you’re job isn’t very nice!

  14. Oh, and did you know that Steven Precious has gone on holiday again? How much money is he getting paid to sit around and do nothing, whilst we worry if we’ll get our wages at all next tuesday?

    Don’t get me started on Stephen Precious. I met him once, once was more than enough.
    I remember the good old days when Scott was the RM and TJ was Ops Director

  15. What an excellent read!! Just put this in your head, I was one who set up 60 stores, slept in my car, travelled the motorways, booked into hotels at 2am in the morning, got Nick pissed in Glasgow with RST, found the worst kebab house in the UK (Corfu Kebab House Dundee) and stayed in the famous George Hotel in Crawley…… and I got absolutely fuck all out of it, just thanks from a certain person in group a session for our commitment but we have got to let you go. Hmmm who controlled the cashflow??

  16. Stephen Precious is on holiday???? Slimy little git. I know news has spread around alot of stores but its worth your while typing Stephen Precious and Michelle Walker into google. Turns out Mr Precious sexually harassed Mrs Walker while working for phones4u. It cost them £120,000 and less than a year later he was mysteriously sacked. Maybe Kroll should let this idiot go in case investors find out and see him as a liability. I knew he was one from the moment I saw him in his cheap little suit.

  17. Robsco (good alias :P) : I was gutted to see your name on the list that came from head office, after you popped in just the other day to fix our printer, I hope things work out for you.
    Nick

  18. I’ve got an interview next week with a company called Wholefoods, I will be doing more than less does the same as what I am doing now. Just read the article about Steve Precious who I actual got on with really well. Damon Mannion walked out the door yesterday, leaving MB,Zul and John in charge of IT, unfortunately no direspect to these guys it will be a downward spiral in that department from now.
    It would be quite funny if those three left then it might be a call up for the robmeister where my contractable rates will be quite high, (if I can be arsed), the feelings I have at the moment is like the guy who built up the line of domino’s and it has taken him over a month to set up then a twat who hasn’t got a clue on how to run things comes in and knocks one over and the rest collapse.

  19. Ha SP is on holiday again then? well that isnt anything new. I think he refreshes his tan once a week.
    To be brutal I dont think he’ll have a company to come back to if the gossip on the ‘official unofficial’ silverscreen staff forum is anythng to go by.

  20. Just let you lot know that SP has been at work for the last few weeks, he has one holiday this year and that was a long weekend break and has now been made unemployed along with SC, Rimmer and Coultard.
    I know you all groan about him but I actually agreed with his tactics.
    Silverscreen has surely now become the Titanic so time for survival to begin, get on those lifeboats if there are any left.
    Is this the ‘official unofficial’ forum or is there another one.

  21. Totally hear your points on here and can only agree with most of em. I have been here from the start and am still here (suprisingly). No one (despite what position you are hold within Silverscreen) knows whats happening from day to day. I am in talks with HO every day and they are still as much in the Dark. Whatever happens no one is going to buy us. Get another job asap. My sympathies to all who will suffer from this. I remember being so proud of what i had helped build up along with Robsco, J Skywalker,MAlder, SE, TJ and all the store staff i got to meet along the way. The staff have always been the best thing about Silverscreen!! Best Wishes and Good Luck to you all and may you prosper for the rest of your lives!!!! Peace. Bobby

  22. Well, from Poole to Inverness (never got to Truro)its been a laugh a mile.Great job,great company and as Bobby says most importantly “great people”.Not too many miles left in the ‘old ship Silverscreen’but the memories will go on for years. Robsco, you remember the dodgy kabab but dont mention that 30mins earlier you took me to a dodgy gaybar!!SC some memorable benders i couldnt remember the next day (apart from the table incident in Dundee)and some great ‘just add beer’ arguments about nothing into the early hours with bobby and malder (am i easy to wind up)? I’ve learnt alot from alot of people and my C.V is much better for the last couple o’ years.Thanks to everyone and all the best to you all.
    P.S i still dont like film!! also…..
    Take off your blinkers SP is not to blame.

  23. Dodgy ‘gay bar’, you told me it was a ‘titty bar’ and you wanted to stay for a drink!! And the soggy kebab went flying out of the 7th floor of the marriot or whatever it was and landed on top of a car with a ‘thud’.Malder was the smooth operator in the Truro nightclub and then he watched midnight cricket in the street outside the club. Inverness was the best one, the mighty hatters v’s the wednesday, live on Sky and after the fifth pub the sweaty jocks put it on for us.
    MAlder falling off his chair in the pub in Fareham after a session with the robscostellatopmeister. The language barrier between the cleaners in Aberdeen and myself when I kindly asked them to f*ck off out of my way and nothing beats Nick Sultanas who stayed in Glasgow, went out for a session with RSt and robscostellatopmeister and the joy of watching him trying to eat a chineese with chop sticks!! Classic.

  24. Blimy. The things I didn’t know!
    Sad to read all these emails. I really do feel for you all. Agree that Silverscreens best asset was its staff.

  25. Things that need to be said to customers before we shut:
    1.Its only cheaper in HMV because we’re here why don’t you fuck off there and make the most of it make the most of it
    2.I know it says ask me about Dr Who on my badge but that doesn’t mean I give a shit about the finer electronics of the Tardis
    3.STEVEN SEGAL IS SHIT
    4.We’ve actually been open 10 months but i understand that you wouldn’t have pulled your head out of your arse long enough to notice
    and last but not least…
    5.Are you aware you stink of piss?
    Good luck everyone, They made the buyers redundent today…. we’re going down!

  26. Cannot wait to see if staff survive after Tuesday, will it be ‘sayonara silverscreen, you know where you can shove your fucking dots!’.
    I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting Robsco a couple of years back and once again at street :O I think your ace, I really hope everything works out for the best!

  27. Y’know in all this I’ve not mentioned that working at Silverscreen for the last two years has been some of the best in my working life. In one of the best stores, with a great team and some decent customers who knew their onions. I will miss it. What I will not miss though are the morons, you know the ones I mean and the questions that I have to answer on a daily basis-
    “No. Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris do not get a section all of their own (though they’ve made enough crap to do so). ”
    “No. Musicals do not get their own section. Rodgers and Hammerstein only created about eight in their whole career and that doesn’t warrent a whole section. Look under A-Z”
    “No. The Passion of the Christ will never, ever be released in English and yes, some films,especially those really odd ones that come from other parts of the planet really do need subtitles. Not everywhere speaks English”.
    and finally, really well and truely and really watch my lips when I say this “We do not, never have done and probably never will (maybe) SELL FUCKING COMPUTER OR CONSOLE GAMES!!!!! LOOK AROUND YOU. WE ARE NOT BLOODY HMV OR VIRGIN. WE ARE SILVER FUCKING SCREEN DVD!!!!! DOES THE NAME NOT GIVE YOU A CLUE, YOU SEMI-ILLITERATE DIPSHIT!!!!!

  28. Another Silverscreen worker here….
    Just want to say that I completely agree with everyone has said and I am really sorry to hear about all the redundancies at HO especially of some people’s inparticular. Robsco you were great to work with, not often my store had the pleasure but all the same you’re cool. I have been with Silverscreen 18 months (since my store opened) and although there were ups and downs I’ve had a bloody fantastic time until this happened. Now it just seems we are all working for nothing and for just complete and utter morons who expect us to Dot every frigging DVD there is in store and then they get the f**king colours mixed up on the graphics….. and they think they can run a company that is already is a lot of trouble. Another thing I’m sick of is the Robotic Regional Administrators, I don’t know about anyone elses but every time I see our one I just feel the urge to tell her to go and ruin someone else’s day instead of mine….. they just seem patronising, rude and completely fake….
    “IF I KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON I WOULD TELL YOU BUT I DON’T”
    “IT’S NOT ALL BAD, THERE ARE 16 COMPANIES LOOKING INTO BUYING US… SO THERE’S STILL A CHANCE”…. Why the hell then has no-one bought us yet….. “IT’S STILL EARLY DAYS”……. I give up.
    Would love to know individual’s theories as to what is going to happen and why it happened….can I get the address for the other forum please….
    Hope everyone is cool and that everyone has luck in finding another job.
    Think I’ll be dotting things in my sleep tonight (dot twitch dot dot twitch)….

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