Women’s leggings and coffee pods are in but nightclub fees and re-writable DVDs are out! That’s according to the national inflation basket of consumer items used by the Office for National Statistics to measure changing costs. Here we take a look at some of the products that have been dropped from the list and the companies that went with them as they keeled over like a dinosaur in the ice age!
Charges for developing and processing colour film dropped out of the national inflation basket in 2012 which was the very same year that the world’s biggest film company, Kodak, filed for bankruptcy after finally being beaten into submission by the digital revolution.
Despite being known as the great inventor, having created the Box Brownie camera in 1900, Kodak took its foot off the gas in the 1980s when Japanese innovators began to take over. Ironically it was a Kodak engineer, Steve Sasson, who’d invented the world’s first digital camera in 1975 but a sentimentality for film and a reluctance to smash the company’s golden egg, prevented the firm from developing their findings and making way for the new.
Video cassette recorders and tapes were replaced with DVDs in the national inflation basket of 2007. At its peak, in 2004, Blockbuster consisted of nearly 60,000 employees and over 9,000 stores worldwide.
Unlike independent video rental stores across the company Blockbuster managed the transition from video to DVD smoothly however, it appeared unprepared to have the wind knocked out of its sails (literally!) by Netflix and cable and phone companies that were offering video on demand. To add insult to injury Blockbuster turned down the opportunity to buy the still fledgling Netflix for $50 million in 2000. All the remaining stores in the UK closed in December 2013.
Nightclub entrance fees are another inflation indicator to be dropped. It’s claimed that millennials are no longer going to clubs to find new music but listening to curated playlists on Spotify. The UK’s total portfolio of nightclubs has shrunk by almost half from 3,144 in 2005 to 1,733 in 2015.
After going into administration in 2011 Britain’s largest nightclub operator, Luminar, was rescued by chief executive Peter Marks and a group of leisure industry veterans.
Luminar, which has since posted an 18 per cent rise in annual profit, has just announced its decision to change its name to Deltic in an attempt to distance itself from the past. Not a bad idea at all as nightclub fees have this year been dropped from the national inflation basket which, as Kodak and Blockbuster found, is not good news!