The great consumer explosion that powered the growth of retail business giants such as BHS, C&A, Marks & Spencer, Tesco & Woolworths was original fueled by a shortage of working age men after the war.
Employment was full & it produced a tightness in the labor market making wages rise. Between 1951 & 1964, the average weekly wage more than doubled to £18 & 7 shillings.
Coupled with the ending of hire purchase restrictions in 1958. Which meant shoppers were suddenly able to rush out & buy cars, fridges, furniture & TV’s on credit.
At the time. The them M&S chairman Simon Marks said. “With more abundant supplies at our disposal & the lifting of the restrictions (which for so many years hampered our freedom of action) we have been able to take steps systematically to improve our values over a wide range of goods”.
We didn’t know that it took such a significant event like the war to increase wages to such a point that it fueled the growth of these business retailers, to become the giants of the high street.
Today things have changed some what & a new significant event (the internet) is having the reverse effect on the high street giants. At the same time creating a new breed of technology giants.
It looks like a pattern is emerging & it could be significant events have the biggest impact on growth (or not) potential of organisations.
But, what’s next after the internet. Artificial Intelligence or something else?