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Skingers says: Low-alcohol drinks

Skingers says: Low-alcohol drinks

The news that Blue Nun has expanded its low-alcohol range of wine-based drinks is a timely reminder to me just how important such products are to consumers and to the market. Years ago, there was very little choice of product and what was available left much to be desired when it came to taste. Kaliber alcohol-free lager and Eisberg alcohol-free wine come [...]

📅December 1, 2014

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Editor’s comment: The tobacco display ban

Editor’s comment: The tobacco display ban

Retailers up and down the country are busy making preparations for Christmas, but once the festive season draws to a close it will be time to start planning in earnest for one of the biggest changes to hit small stores in recent years – the introduction in April 2015 of the tobacco display ban. The ban will have a big impact [...]

📅November 28, 2014

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Could wearables provide the ‘big four’ with a seasonal pick-me-up?

Could wearables provide the ‘big four’ with a seasonal pick-me-up?

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons have been coming under increasing pressure from smaller competitors, with Sainsbury's representing the only one of the big four grocers to increase its market share over the past year, says Steven Babb, international vice president of ISACA. He writes: As we approach the most critical period in the year for the supermarkets (and retailers in general), [...]

📅November 20, 2014

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Christmas spending: Why many shoppers are retaining a cautious approach

Christmas spending: Why many shoppers are retaining a cautious approach

If retailers and brand owners are hoping that shoppers are going to splash out on an extravagant Christmas in 2014 to give themselves a big slap on the back for surviving the tough times, they’re likely to be sorely disappointed, says Penny Ericson, director at independent shopper research agency Shoppercentric. She writes: Fewer than one in 10 of the shoppers we [...]

📅November 20, 2014

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Editor’s comment: Turbulent times for the grocery market

Editor’s comment: Turbulent times for the grocery market

These are turbulent times for the UK grocery market, what with falling like-for-like sales at many of the major multiples and Tesco’s accounting difficulties. The supermarket giant’s financial straits have led to it boarding up a couple of new superstores that were ready to open, while it is also having to rein back on refurbishment plans for Tesco Express. All of this, [...]

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Skingers says: Flavoured spirit trends

Skingers says: Flavoured spirit trends

When I started in the drinks trade many years ago, the spirit categories were all neatly defined, there was very little in the way of flavoured variants and lower-proof products. Vodka was vodka and gin was gin. But things change and now we are well accustomed to seeing flavour variants of all the key brands and limited editions of special blends [...]

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Editor’s comment: Brand focus

Editor’s comment: Brand focus

Aldi has made plenty of capital over the past couple of years with its “I like this brand...” adverts extolling the virtues – and of course value – of its own-label products at the expense of leading names such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup, PG Tips, Weetabix, Lindt chocolate and Magnum ice-cream. But could this approach also open the door for independent [...]

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Skingers says: Rewarding success in retail

Skingers says: Rewarding success in retail

Last week I was invited to Bestway’s Retail Development Awards gala dinner at the Grosvenor House hotel in London when the cash and carry firm’s entrepreneurial retailers were rewarded for the work they had put into improving store standards. Earlier this year, Bestway hosted three seminars – one in Scotland, one in southern England and one in Leeds. On each occasion, [...]

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Suppliers need to recognise changing shopper behaviour or risk being left behind

Suppliers need to recognise changing shopper behaviour or risk being left behind

Bridgethorne co-founder John Nevens says comments by Waitrose MD Mark Price on changing shopper habits should send a warning to suppliers that they need to rapidly understand the implications of such habits or risk being left behind, as the grocery sector continues to change. He writes: Mark Price’s comments hit the nail right on the head. He says that the pressure [...]

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Editor’s Comment: Blurring the boundaries between pharmacy and convenience

Editor’s Comment: Blurring the boundaries between pharmacy and convenience

When I first heard the news that Bestway was to spend £620m buying up 700 pharmacies from the troubled Co-operative Group, I must admit I thought little of it, at least from an independent retail perspective. After all, Bestway’s empire also includes White Pearl, the rice importer, a $262m cement manufacturing business and the second-largest private bank in Pakistan – none [...]

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