135-137 Eastney Rd
Southsea PO4 8DZ
Does anybody have a problem with this post?
I hope not.
Listening to the news today about the Comprehensive Spending Review,* I thought we could all do with a visit to Mr Cheap.
Mr Cheap uses possibly the most straightforward strapline I have ever seen.
It makes an interesting case study when set alongside the strapline of another major high street retailer – John Lewis – who famously uses the line: "Never knowingly undersold."
This has been heralded as one of the most successful straplines in the retail business, but it works by a cunning sleight of hand. "Never undersold" would be straightforward enough, but the "knowingly" adds an almost philosophical, Schrödinger's Cat-style dimension to the claim.
If one does not know one has been undersold, can one be said to have been undersold at all? If a tree falls in a forest with no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? Who exactly is doing the knowing in the case of John Lewis? In a complex corporation, where can knowledge be said to reside? Can one ever truly know anything? What is knowledge? What is truth?
"Mr Cheap is the cheapest" leaves no such wriggle room. It is not a sophisticated claim or a particularly heartening one to see on our high streets, but it is indisputably clear.
I suspect we will see a lot more of it as Mr Cheap expands his empire over the coming year.
* From what I can make out, this term refers to a raft of ideologically driven public sector spending cuts brought in to address an economic crisis whose roots were in the global banking system – however, I may have misunderstood.