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Editor’s comment: Customer service is key

Editor’s comment: Customer service is key

If delegates took only one piece of advice from last week’s Association of Convenience Stores’ (ACS’s) summit in Birmingham, then it was the growing importance of good customer service. There are many challenges facing the independent trade, ranging from the growth of both multiple c-stores and online retailing to possible future legislation affecting the key impulse sectors of tobacco, soft drinks, [...]

📅April 29, 2016

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Skingers says: Prepare now for tobacco industry changes

Skingers says: Prepare now for tobacco industry changes

There’s never a dull moment in the convenience trade and the next big challenge is going to be the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD2) and the introduction of plain pack tobacco on 20 May. There is still a legal challenge to the move but, ultimately, the tobacco industry is resolved to the changes, whenever they come. The law is [...]

📅April 26, 2016

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Talking shop: Retail crime under the spotlight

Talking shop: Retail crime under the spotlight

The recent ACS Crime Survey gave us some shocking figures. Crime against our sector cost £122m last year, with £43m of that coming from shop theft. The cost of crime against each and every retailer is something of which we are all aware, yet seldom speak about. Over recent weeks I have been reading tweets from a retailer whose store had [...]

📅April 18, 2016

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Editor’s comment: EU Tobacco Directive – what will happen?

Editor’s comment: EU Tobacco Directive – what will happen?

The message to retailers from the tobacco trade could not be clearer as the introduction of the EU Tobacco Products Directive comes ever closer. There is no need to panic because little will happen for some time at a retail level after the directive is implemented on 20 May. The directive will eventually mean the end to packs containing fewer than [...]

📅April 15, 2016

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Are convenience stores delivering the top-up mission?

Are convenience stores delivering the top-up mission?

I have experienced first-hand that the way people shop is changing, with many shoppers now seeking the most convenient option that fits in with their busy lifestyles, writes Michael Freedman, senior shopper insight manager at IGD. Last week I met a shopper in Sutton Coldfield called Claire, a mum with a husband and two small children. She was battling to fit [...]

📅April 7, 2016

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Skingers says: Euro opportunities

Skingers says: Euro opportunities

There’s no hiding from the excitement at Mars Chocolate as it reveals its plans to make the most of snacking opportunities when the Euro 2016 football matches are being televised during the summer. Brand manager Greg Kent told me the re-branding of his Mars bars “taps into the excitement, buzz and anticipation ahead of the biggest football tournament this year”. He [...]

📅April 4, 2016

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Editor’s comment: The fight against retail crime

Editor’s comment: The fight against retail crime

The tragic events in Glasgow last week that resulted in the untimely death of newsagent Asad Shah only go to show why many independent retailers feel they are on the frontline as far as crime is concerned. Thousands of shop owners each year have to put up with shoplifting, theft by their own staff, abuse and anti-social behaviour and violent customers. [...]

📅April 1, 2016

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Speed is of the essence and preparation the key

Speed is of the essence and preparation the key

With Easter approaching, high street retailers can expect the annual influx of holiday shoppers to return. Retailers looking to effectively capitalise on the holiday and maximise footfall and sales need to ensure their customer’s journey through to the checkout is as smooth and hassle-free as possible, says James Pepper, technical services director at Vista Retail Support. Though many more customers than [...]

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Customer loyalty: The hardest sell with the biggest return

Customer loyalty: The hardest sell with the biggest return

For the average consumer, regularly switching stores to seek out the best price and service is a natural part of the shopping experience, which makes engaging customers and securing their loyalty increasingly difficult.  Barry Smith, head of sales and marketing at retail data consultancy Ikano Insight, talks about the evolution of loyalty programmes, explaining why they are not just a marketing tool [...]

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Skingers says: The rise of free-from

Skingers says: The rise of free-from

Not so long ago, ‘free-from’ foods were something of a niche sector, the sort of thing you’d expect to find in a health food shop. But not any longer. As more and more consumers take a greater interest in what they are eating – less sugar, less salt, less fat, fewer calories – and more people adopt a gluten-free diet, so [...]

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