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Saturday, February 26, 2005

A New Tube Vending Machine

Umbrella Dispensers

NickC on the main site's message board:

Umbrella vending machines coming to the London Underground"Recently on BBC2's "Dragons Den" (reality business pitch programme) a man went in and tried to sell the idea of umbrella dispensers and asked for investment, anyways he got over �50,000 to set up a company (Technography) which already has the rights to place umbrella dispensing machines in underground stations..

The machines have TV screens in which can give advertising and I think that the umbrellas cost around �2.. What is your opinion on these?

It's great in case you come off a fairly long journey to realise that it has started to rain..

Initially, I thought this was a really shite idea. If you're travelling mostly underground how are you going to know if it's raining? Oh yeah, I know, I know - see wet people getting on the Tube or people with wet umbrellas. Then as with most ideas that I think are initially mad, it grew on me, specially when I did a bit more investigation and found out the following from Umbrolly's website:

"The company will sell its umbrellas for �2 (bargain), compared with the �8-�15 that commuters are used to paying when suddenly confronted with a downpour.

In trials at Fulham and Hammersmith tube stations this year, Technography sold an average of 200 umbrellas a month.

The UK umbrella market is worth more than �87m a year and is benefiting from an increasing number of rainy days.

There were 194 wet days in the UK in 2003, up from 176 in 2000

Add to this that umbrellas are still in the Top 10 items most commonly lost on London Transport and I think Charles Ejogo is onto a winner.

Any other ideas for dispensing machines on the Tube? Apparently books were trialled at some stage but never really took off. Praph's if we get some good ideas we could form a co-operative and go up for the next stage of Dragon's Den.

; Posted by Annie Mole Saturday, February 26, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE