Saturday, 17 January 2015

RojRog Log - Entry 6

My friend Roger lives in West Wales - I first met him in 1975 at Exeter University, I was studying accounting and he was studying french. He is, these days, one of my art collaborators and was a co-DJ for my final degree work, Resonate/Generate. Over the next two months he will be commenting on and reviewing from afar my latest show, Bright Old Things at Selfridges.

Shoplifters of the World Unite 

Artist : Rog, how did the photoshoot go? What did the VM girls have to say about Fishguard's unique high street offerings?

Cheers, Roj

Roger :  Sorry I’ve been quiet - I had an unexpected call from your friends Belinda and Amanda, but who said they were fascinated by the novel approach to VM (Virtual Merchandising to all the ignoramuses, or ignorami, out there) taken by both Betta Buys and Motor Tackle - Fresh Vegetables. So they dropped into Fishguard to take a look for themselves. 

They joined us at BAPS for a skinny latte, and I think Belinda was quite taken by Alan Bennett, though I’m not sure it was mutual. Lord S was clearly quite taken by Amanda and I know for a fact that it was definitely not mutual. Though both the girls quite liked Dylan T, they felt that he smelled a bit. Lord S said that Dylan was a smelly lightweight and should be fired, but Alan B said it wasn’t really surprising he smelled, was it, as he’s been dead for about 60 years and by the way does anyone want that last custard cream?

Anyway we all had a long chat about the two shops. Belinda and Amanda (B&A) weren’t sure about Betta Buys’ window and sign but were quite interested in their pricing strategy. Alan B suggested Selfridges might do a one off Betta Buys day after the BOT show and price everything in the store at £1 or less. A said she was sure this would do wonders for the number of shoppers but it might be a tad tricky in terms of profitability. Grayson said that didn’t matter, as selling a Mont Blanc pen with an ink pot filled with liquid gold (cost: £43,000) for 99p was a wonderful artistic statement about the……something. Can’t remember what he said exactly, but it was something to do with art.

Next door there’s BIG news from Motor Tackle - Fresh Vegetables. Apparently they’ve been really successful in cornering the market for the vast number of shoppers who come to Fishguard needing only a couple of parsnips, a new reel for their fishing rod and some chainsaw oil. So we popped in for a chat with the owners, Merv the Motor and Dai the Tackle. They explained that their diversification strategy was working so well that they want to take it a step further with a couple of new products. We caught them just as they were putting the finishing touches to their new shop sign: “Motor Tackle - Fresh Vegetables, Mobility Scooters and E-cigarettes”. 

The girls thought this was a certain winner and became even more excited when Dai explained that their new store at Blaenau Ffestiniog in Snowdonia was doing incredibly well since it had branched out. It’s called “Motor Tackle – Fresh Vegetables, Climbing Gear, Ropes, Harnesses, Leather Boots, Webbing and Anne Summers”. Now that’s synergy, said Lord S.

As we were leaving the shop, B&A persuaded me to do a tour of all the other Motor Tackle/Betta Buys (MT/BB) outlets in Wales with them, to see what they could learn about this highly novel approach to VM and market positioning. At that point however there was a bit of a ruck when Lord S tried to make his feelings for Amanda  a bit clearer and Alan B invited Dai to show him his tackle. Grayson – who was wearing his Little Bo Peep outfit again – waded in, swinging his crook. Windows were smashed, cauliflowers thrown, Dylan shouted “Oh isn’t life a terrible thing, thank God” and was knocked unconscious by somebody wielding a cucumber. Then the police arrived. Oh dear.

Once we’re out of the cells, I’ll be off with B&A for our MT/BB VM and pricing strategy tour, so toodle-pip for now.

Chairs, Rog 


  1. I absolutely LOVE this. Immortality.

    1. Rog ( the other one ) had doubts as to whether anyone else would find this funny - I said if we make just one other person smile ...

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