Deathwatch - jobs fears for Grattan and Freeman

Deathwatch has been quiet recently. So quiet in fact, you'd be forgiven for thinking the economy had spun 540 degrees and was heading back towards the well-trodden territory of capitalist pigs and houses worth more than their weight in diamond-encrusted gold.

Not to worry, because word reaches us that the Otto Group, owners of catalogue shops Grattan and Freemans are "restructuring" the business, and that their plans will be "wide-ranging and significant". What the blithering hell does that mean, then? According to the shopworkers union Usdaw, it means that up to 3,800 jobs are at risk.

While it's fair to say that unions are hardly famous for their cheekily optimistic outlook on life, plenty of businesses involved in retail are hitting the wall, so to see a mail order company take a tumble wouldn't be a surprise. The Otto Group is the planet's largest mail order company, employing over 52,000 people worldwide; one of their previous catalogue companies, the US retailer Spiegal went bankrupt in 2003.


  • Cam
    Why not just say 180 degrees? Technically, you can't really spin more the 360 degrees. Interestingly though, if you were inside a pentagon, the internal angles would add up to 540 degress.
  • Mark
    Of course you can spin more than 360 degrees......what a daft comment
  • Dan
    I like the 540 degrees thing. Don't listen to 'em.
  • Will
    You could spin 1 million degrees if you wanted to. You'd be very dizzy though!
  • Mike H.
    I tend to work in Radians, and you can spin as many 'o' them fookers as you chuffin' well like, thnx bae
  • Amanda H.
    Why not spin 1½ Xbox's Instead? Might Cure the RROD?
  • Cam
    Depends how you think. Once you have spun 360 degrees, any new degrees that you spin, are old degress that you have already spun. Thus the total number of degrees spun in one spin are 360. In the context of the above article, spining 540 has no logic, unless you start at 180, spin to 360, stop while something take place, then spin again to 180, stop again, and then go back to 360. Spiining 540 in one go makes little sense given the upper limit of 360. Unless of course, you have a magic circle with 540 degrees. In that case, I am sorry.
  • Seymour B.
    I never quite grasped, why there are 10+ catalogue companies, that sell the exact same thing, same price, same pictures, same crap? Tax Reasons perhaps? Or maybe they just don't like the rain forest. Sorry for changing topic, im off to spin 540degrees on my office chair.
  • andy y.
    How did a school bus driver end up controlling a massive mail order empire?
  • Exactly Sad.
  • Matt
    Yes, very sad, empiredirect own me almost £10 on quidco!

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