Old MacDonald had a farm...

If, like me, you're enjoying a day off then the news that a think-tank has suggested abolishing bank-holidays will perhaps seem unwelcome.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research have suggested that our bank holidays cost the economy £23bn through lost production.

I'm not sure.

When we have a bank holiday you're probably not working. Therefore you're free to spend money. However I know that it isn't this simple. I worked several years in the retail sector. First as a member of store management, then as a small business owner. The difference was considerable.

Department stores are like great big milking parlours, with customers coming into stores with their udders full of cash. There was intense pressure on sales staff to ensure that we milked customers dry at every opportunity.

"Have you spoken to that customer?" "Why didn't you sell them the more expensive item?" grunted the greedy farmer to the parlour maid.

Bank holidays were the worst. In came the usual staff, primed to achieve a record day in the tills. The doors were opened. Some customers had full wallets, ready to spend. Some had no intention of buying at all. Some had no money but every intention of getting into debt. We couldn't differentiate between cows and bulls.

Bank holidays put bulls into china shops.

When I had my own shop, I worked every day of the year, except Christmas Day. As a newsagent I opened when the newspapers were printed. My shop served about 1000 customers per week. There was never any intention of milking customers of all their money. I provided a service that helped local customers. The support that local businesses give to local people should never be under-estimated.

Instead of debating whether we should work longer to milk more money from our 62 million dairy herd, why not consider the benefits of shopping locally on this bank holiday and support your local economy.


  1. I'm gonna have you arrested! You stole my layout!


    1. You didn't even wait around to say that you were okay with it!


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