Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fletcher Jones, Larvatus Prodeo and my local newsagent close

I was surprised to discover that a closing down sale at Fletcher Jones 2 weeks ago - an iconic Australian clothing company - was for the entire company.  My grandfather treasured his Fletcher Jones Covedene trousers.  I have an FJ suit and some work trousers I purchased two years ago.

I bought a jacket.  The last of its kind.

Fletcher Jones was a staff owned company that used to manufacture clothing locally in Warrnmabool and elsewhere in Victoria.  With companies and brands like this going down I wonder about the future of retail and manufacturing in Australia.

My local newsagent in Middle Camberwell shut its doors too.  Local shops such as this used to be part of the fabric of local communities.  Buy your paper and magazines, stop and have a chat, and buy some pencils and paper for your children.  Not any more.  The owner said he was working 80 hours a week and making no money from the shop.  "Everyone is paying bills and buying on the Internet" he said.  He is keeping the paper distribution round going though.

The Newsagency did not sell.  It just closed.  They used to be valuable businesses due to restrictions on licences.  Not any more.

Then a more recent arrival, the Larvatus Prodeo blog announced it was closing. I was quite active posting on this blog a couple of years ago and often found the interchanges interesting.   There were Labor acolytes and "defenders of the faith".  There were a few Wingnuts intent on flaming everbody and everything.  There were some very eloquent and sensible people.  There were some insufferable tedentious people carping on about trivia.  There were even a few hacks (government?) defending the indefensible - the logging of our native forests - and the use of phosphor weapons against civilians by Israel in Gaza.

I met some great people via the blog.  I think some discourse on the blog had major impacts during the 2007 and 2010 federal elections.   But it seems, all good things must come to an end.

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