The Final Market Comment For The Trade House Magazine

Market Comment

Court Guinness resurrects an old column he used to write in which he takes an opinionated and sometimes irreverent view of what he sees in the market place.

In this issue, his final issue for The Trade house Magazine he looks back on 2019 and looks forwards to the future as a whole and shares his thoughts with us.

This issue was written for the May 2019 edition of The Trade House Magazine which Court Guinness was unable to produce owing to poor health. It  has been amended slightly to remove page references to the magazine.

The period to May 2019 has been exceptionally busy and a lot has happened. I wish I could say the same for the dealmaking markets where progress has been as slow as a channel tunnel boring machine! Brexit of course is to blame and values have been slipping because of the inexcusably poor political situation that we have all been dropped into. Property prices especially have slipped and I have no reason to believe that this will not continue. Will this lead to another recession? Well, I do not hope so but early indicators of an issue are there. When will the sweet spot for deals be? I am not sure but the end of this year looks promising. Also there is not as high a number of deals available as there usually are at this time of year. Like the government I haven’t got a clue about what Brexit will exactly bring us!

When the retail rot ever stop? We are getting to the stage of at least one major retailer a month causing attention grabbing headlines. This is becoming an international issue that impacts on so many. All parties need to come together now to ensure that retail led public realm does not get lost forever. The councils need to play their part and come to the stakeholder engagement party with good ideas, bureaucracy reduced routes to market and a wish to do the right thing by their council tax paying public.

I am both pleased and slightly perturbed by the amount of heavy marketing being undertaken by Franchisors recently and of particular note is the high level of marketing being undertaken by franchisors the care sector. I do wonder if there are enough potential franchisees available at the relevant price points as some of these franchises are being marketed at prices close to £30,000. At a franchise fee of £10,000 or so there is an awful lot of choice in the care franchise market and potential franchisees can afford to be very choosy indeed.

I have not seen a lot of marketing for hot food retail franchisees so far this year compared to previous years and my inbox has seen very few complaints about this sector. My ears too have had very few people whispering in them about the sector.

Pausing for a moment to talk business finance, I have heard of a high number of refusals for business finance for deals and ventures that would normally be considered “a sure bet”. I am not sure what exactly is causing this but it is a small concern.

Let us now move on to the concept of the side hustle. This is now a serious thing, I even heard that the term “slashie” has been invented as in “I am a computer programmer/Uber Driver”.  Personally I think “slashie” conjures up an image of a drug addict slashing their wrists as opposed to a serious fellow or lady with two or more occupations or business interests. There has to be a better name!

On a serious note the concept of the side hustle is one to be commended and one that is showcasing the creativity and ability of side hustle owners and operators and this is to be further commended. Some of the ideas and products that are beginning to come from the sector are truly amazing. I often bang the drum on small business marketing and how poor some of it is but I do have to credit some of the side hustles I have seen for the effort they have put in to marketing. I do honestly believe that this sector will start to change the rest of the small business sector in terms of marketing.

I regret that I am no longer publishing The Trade House Magazine. I will however be writing business content from time to time at and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading this column over at The Trade House Magazine.

Happy dealmaking !

With Warmest Regards

Court Guinness