Both sobering and uplifting thoughts collated by Paul Mc
Last Christmas most retailers on the High Street tried to shield consumers from the effects of the fall in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote. Price increases were absorbed by suppliers and retailers and a solid, if not, spectacular trading period went ahead.
This year could be very different.
Price increases are up 3.3% with the biggest growth since 2012 and wages, as we all know, are in no way keeping pace with this.
Rising costs of production is already being blamed for sales and/or profit slowdown by retailers as varied as Halfords, Next, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s.
As an overall indicator, the FTSE-350 General Retailer’s Index is down just under 8% in the last six months.
Plus…the recent interest rate rise will remove an average of £15 a month from the disposable income and anyone with a variable mortgage. There are figures that show the average borrower cuts spending by £10 for every £20 increase in interest payments!
And we have a Budget about to be announced shortly by the Chancellor (with an interesting rumoured new threshold on VAT payments for SME’s)!
Whilst October this year was the worst in more than a decade, the unusually warm weather is being seen as delaying people from getting into their Winter and Christmas spending.
The closure rate of High Street shops is slowing and closures for the first half of 2017 were less than half of that a year ago.
So… It’s worth remembering that our industry has the best presents on any High Street, the gift of music!
How can we help?
We hope that all of the shops that attended our recent Christmas Training Courses are chock-full of initiatives and ideas to rise above all the gloom and to create a spectacular trading period for their business!
Corin and Kerching Retail have created an online platform to take shop floor teams through many of the amazing thoughts and ideas that Corin shared on the day plus stockings full of Christmas selling tips and tricks. The emphasis is of the videos is sales skills, building on from the more physical aspects of retail discussed at the workshops. The videos are ideal for those couldn’t make the sessions, or would simply like to refresh their memory and share with the rest of your team if you did attend the workshops.
The platform is made up of 15 short videos (2-10 minutes per video) that amount to 1 hour 45 minutes of material. They are full of sales tips and tricks and are accessible on computer, laptop, tablets and phones. There is also a test at the end to check your knowledge.
Those who attended the ‘Biggest Christmas Ever’ training sessions would have already received an email with instructions on how to enrol into the online Retail Academy. These brilliant resources are also available to MIA members who were not able to make the events. Please just email firstname.lastname@example.org and Alice will organise for Corin to send you a link to register.
We hope you find the videos and training useful, and we will be running more courses next year to support our shops!