Countrywide PLC currently the largest UK estate-agency chain [ made up of 50 branded high st estate agents] has bought three more high street independent estate agents, including two larger chains in Liverpool, and John Francis based South Wales and Swansea.
Great ? you might say a company expanding business , but what happens when that business model just does not work any more in today's changing property industry. Using spin by inferring that acquisition will maintain employment using an unsustainable / workable business model is rather, fool hardy.
I am anti estate agent , far from it , if you look at purplebricks [PB] online business model, its expanding and employing more people each week , AND it's future is looking rosy. PB has a sustainable employment approach to a real estate industry, that is changing for the better and for the good of the consumer , a win win in both fields.The number of high street estate agents, is also ,on the decline. [ official gov data collated over 15 years]
Add to this the growing number of start-up on-line estate agencies, employing more people , with ex high street estate agent personnel, who have already made the transition [or have joined these start ups].
Country Wide PLC CEO Alison Platt , has never been an estate agent. She has never listed or sold a property,coming from and transport background , leaving school to join British Airways and then joining their trainee management scheme , later going on to work in insurance at Bupa.
So? , have these business acquisitions been made to keep the city and share holders happy ? , the wind seems to be blowing in the opposite direction.
At a time when, businesses are looking to become more efficient and trimming their fat. It makes no business sense, to have physical office presence on the the street .Data from the BFP shows rent is the one of the biggest outlays, for independent retailer outlets ,on the high street
.Block Buster Video Woolworth s and even Virgin Mega stores well known British high street brands that have disappeared at the wrath of buyer behaviour ,those products are now easily sold and bought online via ebay amazon and a whole myriad online shopping outlets.