From the Pabs Archives (6)

September 15, 2010

The New Richard Branson

Rabs Inc (22.01.2006) 

This morning I waited at the bus stop for the 76. Across the road I spotted a man staring at me, a scrawny, grubby weasel of a man who didn’t look unlike Jamiroquai with a beard. His eyes were close together, his jacket was ripped and his torn jean pockets revealed his underwear. He was carrying boxes and he was looking at me.

When a gap came in the road he headed over, placed the boxes on the ground by the bus stop and mumbled very closely to my ear:

‘You want any Stella mate?’

In many situations the answer would have been yes. But at 9 in the morning on the way to work I had to decline his kind offer. Unperturbed, he left his merchandise (3 crates of Stella Artois) at the stop and approached a young lady who had done her best to avoid eye contact. Another rejection. Still he persisted, knocking on shop doors that had not yet opened, stopping passers by and asking them the same question.

Interesting marketing tactics, but it made me wonder if Matt and I are barking up the wrong tree. There we are setting up a place for people to come to drink when maybe we should be taking drink to the people. Bars are a thing of the past. No-one has time for leisure these days; sell it to them on the street. Drink it at the bus stop, on the tube, on the way home from work, whilst queuing at the post office…

In the small, squiffy eyes of our scruffy friend I saw a wily entrepreneur. This man, head of his company was also chief purchaser, marketer, director, distributor and, judging by his breath, head of quality control.

Dalston’s own Richard Branson.


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