Yesterday was the Thirteenth of January and also a Friday. Some might link those facts with the strange economic out turns we also heard about.
In the U.K. morning, one of the biggest supermarket chains reported poor results, which is the latest in a long line of faltering high street and out of town megastore downturns.
And then, by the evening, the global pools of missing money have formed deeper troughs with about nine of the European countries getting a credit down rating. Now it's not just Greece, Ireland and Portugal under inspection, but we are seeing the bigger countries like Italy, Spain and France getting a thumbs down.
All of them have been playing "who blinks first" as they hope the headlines go elsewhere.
Meanwhile the empty can continues to get kicked along the high street.
We know it's a connected world and a global economy. But that doesn't mean that everything has to look and behave the same.
These windswept high streets have been going through multiple phases across the decades. The big chains arrived. Then the multi brands (several shops with different names but all part of the same conglomerate). Then the new mall developments (which is all the same shops in many locations). Then the out of town mega-mall. Then e-shopping.
So now there's plenty of gaps in most town centres and not much unique. I know some local well-heeled areas where the little shops have come back, but its an exception.
Meanwhile the main commerce model moves to dark stores (no customers allowed inside). Instead it's internet ordered, professional shoppers pick the goods and its delivered in a van. Then the customers top up from a local shop with a few unique items.
But we've got to be careful that by doing this we don't wipe the remaining signs of uniqueness away. If I'm in Madrid I expect there to be Jerez adverts rather than just Coke and Apple.
If I'm in Stuttgart I'll expect a few Mercedes adverts but how about some Dinkelacker-Schwabenbraeu too?
It's not just about choice, it's also about personality.