Business Opportunities

Ho Ho Ho

Have not put much on the blog about business lately, as not really a lot is happening as far as the mud that I keep throwing, none of it seems to be sticking at the moment, but I will still keep throwing it!

My latest small venture to keep the cash flowing in, was to buy a couple of hundred thousands pounds worth of top quality internal and external Christmas lights, sold half the stock within the trade to other retailers and kept half the stock back, approx £100k worth, hoping to retail at the Bournemouth Christmas Market, but believe it or not , as my would luck would have it, our application was turned down as Bournemouth Council did not feel that my Christmas lights would be relevant to the Bournemouth Christmas Market, I am absolutely amazed, thinking is it me, or am I missing something here?

In my office we thought that this was so ridiculous, my PA Katie decided to have a ring round the newspapers about the story, with the Echo, BBC South Today and BBC Radio Solent all taking the story up, so ho ho you never know with this type of publicity we may end up selling them all online , so could end up a happy Christmas for us after all!

My next post will be about a similar story about bringing the Hooters Franchise to the UK, which I am sure you will read with interest!

BAH, humbug.

They’ve been deemed good enough to decorate the 324-metre-high Eiffel Tower, used to festoon the cafes and speciality shops along Paris’s prestigious Champs Elysees and illuminated Oxford Street.

But similar Christmas lights have been banned from sale at Bournemouth’s Christmas market after council contractors branded them “not relevant.”

Now businessman Daryl Self, who bought in £200,000 worth of Blachere fairy lights in the hope of selling half his stock at the Christmas market, has been left with stacks of unopened boxes in a Christchurch warehouse.

He said: “Unfortunately I’ve discovered that Scrooge is alive and well in Bournemouth. It’s absurd to say that Christmas lights are not relevant to a Christmas market.

“When we applied for a stall, offering cut-price lights, it never occurred to us that we would be turned down.

REFUSED: Daryl Self with the Christmas lights that he is not allowed to sell at the Bournemouth Christmas market as the product was not considered relevant

“We were hoping to have a pitch from November 19 until January 3. I’ve five children, with another one on the way, and it now looks like our house will be transformed into a winter wonderland this Christmas.”

In emailed correspondence to Mr Self on November 18, council contractors S&D Leisure Bournemouth Ltd said: “Unfortunately your application was unsuccessful. It was felt that the product was not relevant to the Bournemouth Xmas Market for 2009.”

Mr Self, who runs Self Trading Ltd on Airfield Way, said: “It’s too late now to sell the lights anywhere else and we’re offering them at half price online in a bid to shift some of them.”

Town centre manager Roger Parker said: “We are working with a market operator new to Bournemouth for this year’s event (S&D Leisure) and are aiming to create a Christmas market directly relevant to a traditional Christmas celebration.

“Our aim is to present a range of goods that are seasonal, hand crafted or are of local origin and which are displayed and presented in an atmospheric way.

“We are also conscious to have products that are complementary to the existing traders on the high street.”

l Readers can obtain an additional 20 per cent off Christmas lights by going to and entering the discount code: ECHO

A trader has been told Christmas lights are not suitable to be sold at a Dorset town’s festive market.

Daryl Self said he could not sell £100,000 of stock after his stall application for Bournemouth Christmas Market was refused.

Mr Self, of Self Trading in Christchurch, said his stock had been branded “not relevant” for the market.

The council said it wanted the market to sell items which “you can’t get in local stores”.

Mr Self said: “We thought there must be a mistake so we asked them to confirm it in writing and they sent us it in writing – that Christmas lights wouldn’t be relevant in a Christmas market.

“Our aim is to present a range of goods that are seasonal, hand crafted or are of local origin.” – Roger Parker, town centre manager.

“For some reason we have been taken out of the frame and we’re not happy at all.

“What is the real reason they are not letting us sell these lights? They are high-end lights and are all approved and certificated.”

Town centre manager Roger Parker said the council was working with a new operator for this year’s market.

He said the aim was to create “traditional Christmas celebration” market.

“What we’re trying to do here is to bring goods in to the town that you can’t get in local stores.

“If I walk around Bournemouth now I could buy Christmas lights.

“It’s the sort of thing that I might be able to access in a clearance bin in a DIY store for example and that’s not what we are trying to create on Bournemouth Square.

“Our aim is to present a range of goods that are seasonal, hand crafted or are of local origin.”

The market will be open in Bournemouth Square and the surrounding streets from Thursday 19 November to Sunday 3 January 2010.