CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 33 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 17.4.2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 33 – Diary of a Self-Isolator  Friday 17.4.2020 BLOG 19th April 2020

Sports Direct: a COVID-19 cautionary tale?

I read this report about Sports Direct which shows how businesses can get it abysmally wrong and do themselves a lot of damage and especially so in these days of lockdown and Covid-19.

Sports Direct recently attempted to keep its stores open despite the Government’s COVID-19 lockdown – arguing that, with gyms closed and Brits stuck indoors, exercise equipment counts as an essential service. 

YouGov polling reveals that the public overwhelmingly disagrees. Some 95% of Brits believe that sports equipment stores are not key services, and just 3% say that they are.

Sports Direct was clearly on the wrong side of popular opinion, and judging from its hasty reverse-ferret – closing its high street locations and apologising after a public backlash – its senior management knows it.

But beyond the retailer’s abortive attempt to keep its high street stores open, it has been condemned for hiking the online prices of certain products, and for making staff go to work during a public health crisis. YouGov BrandIndex shows that this recent behaviour may have had an adverse effect on consumer perceptions.  

In the first week of lockdown (23/03 – 30/03) the company’s UK Index score – a measure of overall brand health that takes the average of Impression, Quality, Value, Satisfaction, Recommendation, and Reputation – fell from 1.1 to -18.4.

And if Sports Direct’s overall score took a serious hit, it performed even worse across certain individual metrics. Thanks to unflattering headlines, buzz scores suffered in the first week of lockdown, plummeting from -3.9 on the 23rd to -44.0 on the 30th.

Sports Direct’s already low reputation score – in the past 12 months, it hit a peak of -10.0 – also tumbled from -17.8 to -46.3 over this period. What’s more, between the 23rd and the 30th, consideration fell from 22.9 to 14.1, and recommendations went from solidly positive (5.7) to emphatically negative (-30.9).

In the past few years, Sports Direct has been criticised for ‘gulag’-style working practices, misleading marketing, and the mercurial behaviour of its CEO. But while its latest troubles may amount to one more PR scandal among a number of others, they also suggest that consumers are paying attention to company behaviour during this crisis – and that there could be commercial consequences for retailers that fall short of their standards.



Today has just been an easy-going day for us. A day that illustrates how our way of life has changed. We were tipped off that there were delivery slots currently at Tesco online. Mamma moved quickly and got one for Tuesday next week. We are so grateful to the person tipping us off that we are getting a petition together to get her a knighthood. Yes, it has become that important to us and affects our life so much.

We need some spring bedding plants which of course are almost impossible to buy as Garden Centres are not allowed to open. Our local garden centre has been offline whilst maintaining the internet site. It was back in action today, but all the good-looking plants and a lot of composts are sold out. We managed to scrape an order of 10 plants together. The cost is almost £40 which includes £10 delivery charge. And we don’t know when we will get them.

To be honest I do not feel it’s particularly good service and  I do not feel we should have gone with the order, but Mamma was keen to do so.

Important Announcement

Top scientists and manufacturers will work together in a desperate effort to find a Covid-19 vaccine, the government announced this afternoon.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma told today’s Number 10 briefing that a new Vaccine Taskforce will receive government funding from a £14m pot to rapidly progress treatments and vaccines. This follows the government’s £250million pledge to develop a vaccine.

Out of everything that is going on in the world surrounding Covid-19, after stopping the spread, the most important thing is to find a cure and a vaccine. Do that and we can all resume our lives. And please hurry up my life is running out, fast!

Our grandson celebrates his 4th birthday on the day after the next review on lockdown. My daughter wants to buy him a slide. But she’s tried online and everywhere have sold out. Are folk stockpiling slides then. Why has that happened. Did the fact that there was a shortage of toilet paper make everyone switch to buying children’s garden slides as a substitute. Who is and why are they stockpile children’s garden slides? Amazon and Argos should have limited them to one a family.

Today was very cold for sitting outdoors drinking today. Too cold and too busy anchoring a Tesco delivery slot. Still cold this afternoon but as it was sunny we wrapped up warm and braved it.

Two grandsons appeared at our front wall today again. Their reaction is the same as when they stand outside the boundary wall of the gorilla’s enclose at Twycross Zoo. Is it my imagination or are we seeing them more in lockdown than we did before? We do see them 7 days a week, now, we only used to see them 3 days a week in the real world.

TV has been very good: Have I Got News For You, Gogglebox and Friday Night Dinner. Although Friday Night Dinner was a weird episode. To be honest we prefer TV that makes us laugh, it keeps the spirits up.

After the success of Captain Tom Moore raising £20m+ for doing 100 laps of his garden, the flood gates have opened. A 90-year-old woman has set herself the challenge of raising £10,000 for the NHS and a hospice by climbing the equivalent of a Highland mountain on her stairs. Margaret Payne plans to climb the height of Suilven and has worked out it will take 282 trips upstairs to cover the 2,398ft. She started the challenge on Easter Sunday and expects it to take around two months to complete.

And, Inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s remarkable fundraising feat, Rhythwyn Evans is also putting his best foot – and walking stick – forward for a good cause. The former farmer aims to mark his 91st birthday on Saturday by walking 91 times around his bungalow on Tan-y-Graig Farm, Silian, Ceredigion, to raise money for his local health board.





Don’t lose hope. When the sun goes down, the stars come out.


Happiness is…getting an online supermarket delivery slot


I invented a new word!  Plagiarism!


Love is…getting at least one hug a day



DAY 13        18 Times – 162 Feet Cumulative Total 1,881 Feet




  1. Fever Peggy Lee 3:20


                Country                 Confirmed cases  Deaths

1              US                          735,242                 39,089

2              Italy                      175,925                 23,227

3              Spain                     194,416                 20,639

4              France                   109,252                 18,681

5              UK                         115,314                 15,498

6              Belgium                37,183                   5,453

7              Iran                       80,868                   5,031

8              China                    82,735                   4,632

9              Germany              143,724                 4,538

10           Netherlands         31,766                   3,613


UK deaths yesterday 888


Global cases         Updated 19 Apr at 07:16 local

Confirmed            2,329,539              +89,348

Deaths                   160,717                 +6,895

Recovered             595,229                 +26,886




©2020 Phil M Robinson