Retail sales up in February but falling over three month

 

 

12:48 PM | Daily Mail

Retail sales are falling at the fastest rate since 2010 in a sign that British households are reining in spending as prices rise, pay stagnates and economic uncertainty prevails, official figures suggested today. While sales rose by a better-than-expected 1.4 per cent last month, volumes were down by 1.4 per cent across the three months to February, the fastest decline in seven years, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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UK retail sales lifted by last minute Christmas rush

Retail sales continued to grow at the end of last year as Brits made a late dash for Christmas gifts and festive foods, adding to signs that the economy ended 2016 on a strong note . The British Retail Consortium (BRC) pointed to challenges ahead from rising costs and political uncertainty but said its members went into the new year having enjoyed solid sales growth over the crucial Christmas period.

 

P2PE compliant store services now available from Retail Response

According to the UK Cards Association “being compliant with PCI DSS means that you are doing your very best to keep your customers valuable information safe and secure and out of the hands of people who could use that data in a fraudulent way. Not holding on to data reduces the risk that your customers will be affected by fraud. If you lose card data i.e. suffer a data breach and you are not PCI DSS compliant you could incur Card Scheme fines for the loss of this data and may be liable for the fraud losses incurred against these cards and the operational costs associated with replacing the accounts. PCI DSS is something that you MUST do.”

How Retail Response can help you reduce the burden of compliance

To gain PCI accreditation our secure storage, shipping, installation and support service processes have been audited by an approved QSA and certified for P2PE compliance. Consequently we can help you by providing competent, secure and exceptionally good value P2PE compliant services for payment systems in stores throughout the UK and beyond.

Secure Storage

Our central warehouse has been fitted with additional secure enclosures with controls to ensure that all PED’s are accessible by qualified and authorised staff only. In addition to this constant CCTV surveillance provides further protection from unauthorised access to PED's.

Secure Logistics

Chain of Custody is maintained throughout all PED installation and support service activities. All equipment movements are tracked on our in-house service management system and tamper inspections are carried out at all points in the process.

Secure Deployment

One of our fully trained, directly employed team of engineers will bring the PED's to your store having ensured that there has been no unauthorised external interference or tamper between the equipment leaving our warehouse and collection. Any exceptions are reported and the appropriate action taken. Installation and testing is carried out in accordance with documented processes and our engineer will remain on site until your store manager is completely satisfied that everything is in full working order.

Maintenance

We use the same strict security controls when replacing faulty or damaged PED’s. In store support services are provided 7 days per week 365 days per year if required. All decommissioned PED’s are returned to our central warehouse with full tracking as per the outgoing process. From there they are promptly returned for manufacturer repair.

 

Sportswear sales are set to surpass £6 billion in 2015

Reports this week are suggesting that sportswear is set to be one of the biggest overall sellers in 2015, with sales set to surpass £6 billion. 

With sportswear giants such as Adidas and Reebok teaming up with celebrity ambassadors like Kanye West and Rita Ora, as well as affordable online retailers such as boohoo.com and MissGuided all offering active wear, sports and gym wear has made the successful crossover to urban chic.

Read more about Britain's sportswear craze and the reasons behind it here.

 

Retail Sales 'Up' In Year To July

Businesses should make sure they have someone in place to focus on retail IT systems maintenance this year, as new figures show that sales in the industry have increased in the year to July, with sales in the wholesaling sector exceeding expectations and motor trades sales continuing to increase.

The CBI's Distributive Trades Survey has revealed that 36 per cent of retailers saw sales volumes increase in July in comparison to the previous year, with 30 per cent further expecting volumes to grow in the year to August - although at a slower rate.

CBI distributive trades chairman and Asda's chief customer officer Barry Williams said however that while the UK economy is looking better, businesses are still likely to find conditions challenging and as such they should be monitoring the situation carefully.

"Summer trading is traditionally slower across the retail sector but warm weather can often provide a welcome boost, as we saw towards the end of June and the beginning of this month," he remarked.

This comes as the CBI revealed that the rate of economic growth in the UK strengthened in the three months leading up to July. Its latest growth indicator showed a reading of +20% across the retail, manufacturing and service sectors, compared to +14% in June.

The group put this down to a faster rate of growth in professional services and business, with expectations remaining robust and companies predicting that growth will continue to strengthen in the coming three months.

CBI head of economic analysis Anna Leach did say, however, that the strength of the pound is still causing problems for exporters keen to sell within the EU.

Get Better At Selling

Companies with retail system services will need to make sure they are used to the highest level of efficiency.

Making sure your sales team is well trained in sales means you will make a big return on any tools you give them.

1.       One of the most popular techniques for sales is to ‘make a friend’. This means that you should be picking up on things you can comment on positively with a new customer. Comment on their hair, say that you think it would go well with a particular item of clothing you sell for example. You then need to try to relate to them based on what you have picked up on. This can’t be done by rote, it must be genuine and spontaneous.

2.       Challenge perceptions on value if they offer them. They may for example, be unwilling to shell out a lot for a particular product as they have done so before with little pay off. Show them ways in which your products are different, and be transparent about why they are buying.

3.       Despite that, you should always sell people on value. Make sure that they know that you are offering a good value product but making it clear how you have reached the price you are offering and make sure you let them know you understand how the product will fulfil their requirements.

4.       Cross sell appropriate products and make sure they have everything they need for whatever it is they are buying for. Is it an event or are they buying for home improvements. Let them know everything you can offer them.

Read more tips in Business Know How

 

Businesses Advised To Offer Contactless Payment

Companies looking into retail hardware support might also want to consider ensuring that their bricks and mortar stores provide contactless payment facilities in order to keep up with consumer demand.

According to new research from Lloyds Bank Cardnet, 12 per cent of people do not think that enough retailers currently offer this, while nine per cent think that the spending limit of £20 is too low.

The biggest advantages from a customer perspective for using contactless payment is speed and ease of shopping, although 40 per cent did state that they would not be deterred from spending their money in a shop if contactless payment was not readily available.

A debate does seem to be ongoing regarding the spending limit for contactless, however. While some think that £20 is too low, 57 per cent said they would not want it to be increased to more than £30.

“Whilst certain consumers have currently said that they do not mind shopping with businesses that do not offer this facility, we would anticipate that, as more and more people become comfortable with paying through contactless, and appreciate the ease of it, expectations around retailers offering it will increase,” director of commercial cards and acquiring solutions with Lloyds Banking Group Aidene Walsh said.

By providing contactless payment, you will also enable your customers to make use of Apple Pay, the latest development to come out of the technology giant that allows people to pay for goods and services using their iPad, Apple Watch and iPhone.

Facial Recognition Technology In store ‘Creepy For Most UK Shoppers’

Businesses using retail hardware support that are considering using facial recognition technology in their stores in the UK so as to display product recommendations based on age and gender may want to think again.

This is because new research from RichRelevance has found that seven out of ten shoppers in the UK consider this to be creepy, while 76 per cent feel much the same way when they’re greeted by their names when entering a store because their phones have signalled their entrance.

That said, the personalised shopping experience does have some appeal for consumers in the country. It was found that 72 per cent of those asked thought that personalisation of product recommendations based on shopping habits was ‘cool’, while 63 per cent liked having a personalised map on their smartphones showing them where items were located in store.

RichRelevance’s Diane Kegley said: “Personalisation in the form of facial recognition or personal greeting at store entrance may not be welcome, but we’re seeing a trend of younger consumers who are open to a connected shopping experience—receiving recommendations delivered within their personal space like dressing rooms and smartphones, and allowing in-store tracking if it means getting a better deal.”

This comes after the British Retail Consortium found that digital sales for the retail industry were up by 9.9 per cent in May – suggesting that technology will have an increased role to play for retailers and businesses as the years go on. Focusing on this at this time could well prove beneficial.

School Summer Holidays 'Affecting Home Businesses'

If you run a business from home, possibly making good use of retail system services, you may well see your operations affected by the summer school holidays, with new research revealing that it costs business owners in the UK around £658 million over the six-week break.

Conducted by Direct Line for Business, the study found that 60 per cent of home business owners that have dependent children will take time away from work to spend time with their youngsters, with people investing four working hours each day to make up for the amount of time they are away from the office to look after their kids.

However, while home businesses may face some financial difficulties as a result, the survey also found that many children benefit greatly from being exposed to the world of business. In all, 30 per cent of parents said that their youngsters picked up entrepreneurial skills and 27 per cent of kids learned the value of work.

"Running a business from home requires blood, sweat and sometimes tears. If you add taking care of children to the mix, running a home business becomes ever harder," business manager at Direct Line for Business Jane Guaschi observed.

Balancing work with family during the summer holidays can be difficult but don't try to multitask and work while your kids are around, clamouring for your attention. Focus on one or the other at any one time - and don't be afraid to ask friends or family to help with childcare if you need to concentrate on the business.

FSB & Young Enterprise Team Up To Promote Business Education

The next generation of entrepreneurs is being supported by a collaboration between Young Enterprise and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) – so expect even more fledgling businesses making use of EPOS system services in the future.

Teenagers from Birkenhead, Bristol, East Ham, Edinburgh, Arfon and Chatham, as well as other areas across the country, will be given the opportunity to run their own business in a bid to emphasise the importance of a vocational education to those from more disadvantaged areas.

Small business owners will volunteer their time and experience to serve as mentors for students regarding their companies, with each new business lasting for the academic year.

“This partnership is crucial because businesses are concerned that young people aren't prepared for the world of work. Engaging with employers, education providers and young people is a proven way to remedy this. Research has proven that if a pupil has four or more interactions with a business while at school, they are five times more likely to find themselves in education or training after school,” national chairman of the FSB John Allan said.

Young entrepreneurs just setting out on their own should ensure that they start businesses that are built around their own particular set of talents and strengths if they are to ensure success. Making sure that your heart is in what you’re doing is one sure-fire way of helping to guarantee that your first company gets off the ground quickly – and stays there. You can find more tips for going it alone on the Entrepreneur website.