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Waitrose closed

Monday morning I walked into Camden and Waitrose was shuttered.  “Well”, I thought, “there goes the High Street.”

Two months before, I’d met in my near neighbourhood a local friend who worked irregularly (and not through choice) in the commercial property business.  He’d hailed me in the street and launched into a diatribe about how there were no police, there was anarchy on the streets and the world had gone to hell in a handcart.

I told him he was sounding like a grumpy old man and, lacking in the minimum quotient of grey hairs, he had no entitlement to be carrying on like this.
I also opined that there were no police due to the “cuts” that had been going on since goodness knows when and, right now, all the cops were down in S.London where there was so little civil order on the streets that kids were forming themselves into gangs for their own local protection. 
Hence the stabbings etc of kids caught “out of territory” and its contribution to the violent death toll.

I’m full of these fanciful “grumpy old man” ideas.

He then tells me that Waitrose are losing a thousand quid a day.  “Do you know how much that is ??”
Of course I know how much that is, I’m numerate.  I also know people who have near as much to live on in a year, as Waitrose lose in a week.

On this he elaborates, they are losing a lot to theft.  He has an anecdote.
One day he was outside the shop and a guy came out with three laden bags, followed by the security guard.  
The security guard arraigns him and an argument ensues.  The miscreant tells the guard that he can’t accuse him of shoplifting as he’s not five yards from the shop.  I’ll guess this kind of talk is covered in security 101 of the certificate.

The guard continues to press his case and there’s some argy bargy.  It’s eventually resolved by the miscreant shouting  “I never wanted the fucking stuff anyway, have it back.” and throwing a bag of six wine bottles into the front window, followed by the other two bags bearing meat and veg.  Everything is ruined, glass is broken.  The miscreant runs away.

My friend returns to his theme.  “There’s no police, that’s why this is happening.  I’ll tell you how bad it is.  I’m in my flat, there’s a knock on the door, there’s a guy standing there “I’ve got packs of meat for sale.  Five quid a pack.”  It’s a quarter of the price, the sticker’s still on the pack.  I buy four packs off him and throw it in the freezer.  Thankyou very much.”

Not a flicker of irony.

The rumour is that Aldi’s are going to take over the shop.  On the other side of the road is its market competitor Lidl.  The prospect is the cheapest of the cheap slugging it out.
There goes the High Street.
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