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The Guide 2016
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Editor’s comment: Convenience beyond location

Editor’s comment: Convenience beyond location

At first glance, the findings of the new Shopper Stock Take index from Shoppercentric would suggest the post-recession economy is not a good environment in which to be running a small convenience store. Consumers, says managing director Danielle Pinnington, are looking to “quell their impulsivity” and take a more considered approach to their shopping. More than seven in 10 prefer to [...]

📅February 5, 2016

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Talking shop: The opportunities are out there

Talking shop: The opportunities are out there

As I watched the fireworks at New Year, I reflected on 2015 and the opportunities and challenges it brought. I also contemplated 2016, which will equally bring challenges. Undoubtedly, though, 2016 will also bring opportunities for our sector and I believe that for us it will be a great year to be in convenience. Like all independent retailers, I am concerned by [...]

📅January 28, 2016

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Skingers says: Pausing for thought

Skingers says: Pausing for thought

I may be a little bit early with my spring cleaning proposition, but it’s a job that needs to be done. It is so easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day running of a store that you forget to take a step back and take stock of what you are offering the consumer. Most retailers face fierce local competition, be [...]

📅January 26, 2016

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Editor’s comment: The falling cost of fuel

Editor’s comment: The falling cost of fuel

There’s a surprising theme linking together several news stories recently, and that’s the falling cost of fuel. Oil prices have tumbled to their lowest level for nearly 12 years, with crude oil dropping in value by 70% in just 18 months. At the pumps, prices are down to under £1 a litre in some areas – but this is a drop [...]

📅January 22, 2016

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Getting a grip on your energy

Getting a grip on your energy

Smart Energy GB chief executive Sacha Deshmukh explains what the rollout of smart meters means for small businesses in Great Britain and why you should be asking your supplier for one. If I asked what your energy bill was, on average, every month, the chances are you’d reply, “I have no idea”. Most small businesses could tell you how much the lease [...]

📅January 21, 2016

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What next for Morrisons?

What next for Morrisons?

As peak trading figures have rolled out over the past week, we have seen a picture of positivity for grocers, says Ben Latham, director of digital strategy at Summit – but what are the priorities ahead for Morrisons? Tesco’s boss argued that the death of the hypermarket had been prematurely declared as the results rolled in. When Morrisons’ like-for-like sales rose [...]

📅January 20, 2016

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Skingers says: Alcohol-free market to rise

Skingers says: Alcohol-free market to rise

Alcohol-free lager has been around for years, but originally failed to satisfy consumer demand for a great-tasting product. You went alcohol-free only if you had to. Fast forward 20 years and there’s a bigger range of alcohol-free products available, including wine, and an industry directive that says it’s important to offer choice to consumers. Coincidentally, AB InBev has just revealed the results [...]

📅January 11, 2016

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Editor’s comment: A look ahead

Editor’s comment: A look ahead

Perfect storm or perfect opportunity? That’s the big unknown hanging over the independent sector as we move into the new year. On the one hand, as ACS boss James Lowman and a number of leading retailers have pointed out, the trade faces a raft of measures over the next 12 months that could dilute sales, hike up overheads and potentially dump [...]

📅January 8, 2016

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Editor’s comment: Declining newspaper sales and the challenges ahead

Editor’s comment: Declining newspaper sales and the challenges ahead

If you take a step back and look at the long-term trend in printed newspaper sales, you are faced with a pretty shocking picture. At the beginning of 2001, the UK’s daily papers were selling an average of 13.38 million copies per day, while the Sundays were selling nearly 14.59 million, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures. Jump ahead 15 [...]

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Skingers says: Stock up on core chilled lines to meet seasonal demand

Skingers says: Stock up on core chilled lines to meet seasonal demand

Fresh to Store, the van sales operation, is urging independent retailers to make sure they stock up on core chilled items, including those that experience natural sales uplifts during the winter. Trading controller Sharon Dougherty told me she is already seeing a surge in orders for core lines, including a 65% increase in demand for some of the Tropicana lines. Orders [...]

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