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The Guide 2015
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Skingers says: Sunday trading

Skingers says: Sunday trading

Over the last week or so I have been thinking about Sunday trading and the impending changes announced by chancellor George Osborne in his recent Budget. For many years now, it was only smaller stores of less than 3,000sq ft that could stay open all day – and that was fine by independent retailers. They had an advantage over multiple grocers [...]

📅July 24, 2015

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Editor’s comment: The true cost of the living wage

Editor’s comment: The true cost of the living wage

George Osborne’s post-election Budget turned out in the end to contain more than one nasty surprise for convenience retailers. First they were hit with his pet plan to deregulate Sunday trading, then came the double whammy of the new living wage, which left store owners reeling. Analysis by the ACS says the living wage could put more than 24,000 stores at [...]

📅July 24, 2015

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Talking Shop: Playing to your strengths

I recently returned from an ACS study tour around Sheffield. We saw some superb stores, all with excellent customer service. Those run by independent retailers all had one thing in common – every store was bespoke to the community it served. It was obvious the retailers had listened to their customers and were delivering an offer that met their needs. Over the [...]

📅July 15, 2015

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How can the till be more convenient for convenience stores?

How can the till be more convenient for convenience stores?

Last month, Asda followed the other three big grocery chains by opening a smaller format store in the south, as the supermarket convenience battleground intensifies. As a nation, we are shopping little but often, and the convenience store is a vital cog in meeting demand. So how is the sector - and indeed technology - adapting to changing consumer behaviour, asks [...]

📅July 14, 2015

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Examining the ‘connected shopper’

Examining the ‘connected shopper’

With Shoppercentric research finding almost three in every four UK shoppers aged 16+ has a smartphone - and one in three used one to shop in the last month - usage of smartphones when shopping has only increased 9% since 2013, despite the focus on mobile-enabled websites and apps since then. So what has been holding back the much expected great tidal-wave [...]

📅July 13, 2015

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Editor’s comment: Sunday trading

Editor’s comment: Sunday trading

This week’s revelation of plans to repeal the Sunday trading laws came as something of a bolt from the blue for the independent trade. Chancellor George Osborne talks of a “growing appetite” for Sunday shopping – but where’s the evidence? The public has been asked frequently over the past few years whether they want longer opening hours on a Sunday and [...]

📅July 10, 2015

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Skingers says: A cool offering

Skingers says: A cool offering

At long last the summer has arrived and sales of ice-cream have taken off. As ever, there’s the usual raft of new products and new variants coming to market but it’s Unilever’s Magnum that is stealing the show with two new variants supported by a £13m marketing budget, its biggest-ever spend. This year, Magnum has come to market with “sophisticated” Pink [...]

📅July 10, 2015

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The war on price optimisation

The war on price optimisation

Waitrose managing director Mark Price recently predicted that the supermarket price war that has escalated in recent months could start to come to an end later this year – but Symphony EYC’s head of global customer support, Mark Croxton questions how other retailers are going to weather the storm in the meantime. He writes: The challenge for many retailers in developing [...]

📅July 2, 2015

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Skingers says: A taste of success

Skingers says: A taste of success

For a lot of independent retailers, investing in sampling and promotional work of any sort is a no-no. All they see is expenditure, free product going out of the door and no return for them. But when you speak to an enlightened retailer like Vrinder Singh, a member of the Singh retail dynasty in Sheffield, it’s clear to see how much [...]

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Editor’s comment: The power of social media

Editor’s comment: The power of social media

Social media is so omnipresent these days that it is no surprise that a survey of independent retailers by Palmer and Harvey (P&H) shows so many of them can now be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Almost two-thirds of the retailers surveyed now use social media platforms, but the other one-third of shop owners have not yet jumped on [...]

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