Summer BBQs ‘Cost £520 On Average’

Businesses making use of retail system services would do well to focus on their summer products at this time, as new research has just revealed that the average Brit will spend £520 on barbecues this year.

According to, one in three people believe summer to be the most expensive season, with the majority hosting four barbecues during the warmer months and spending £100 on each one – although 18 per cent of the population will spend up to £300 hosting a barbecue for family and friends.

On top of holding four barbecues, they’ll also go to four, spending £30 on gifts, drink and food each time. Yet money worries are ever-present it would seem, with 40 per cent concerned that they won’t have enough cash to cover their summer expenditure.

“Summer can easily be an expensive season as we do more activities outside to make the most of the inviting weather, which can drive up costs with barbecues, picnics, days out and visits to amusement parks,” consumer affairs editor with the company Natasha Rachel Smith said.

Retailers can make the most of people’s willingness to spend at this time of year by promoting their barbecue-related products and ensuring that they’re seen. Even businesses that don’t necessarily sell barbecue goods can get in on the act – for example, clothes companies could come up with the perfect outfit for a barbecue and market that instead.

Alternatively, music retailers could come up with the perfect summer playlist to play at a barbecue and use that to market their new range of stereos.

Online Retail Sales ‘Up 9.9% In May’

Digital sales in the retail sector grew by 9.9 per cent in May, the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have revealed – great news for anyone making use of retail IT systems at this time.

However, compared with the previous year the growth is not as accelerated. In 2013, web-based sales of non-food products were up by 17 per cent – which is why May 2015 is lagging behind the yearly average growth of 11.9 per cent.

Director-general of the BRC Helen Dickinson observed that in the last year, the internet has contributed to more growth for non-food sales than in actual physical stores, rewarding the investments that businesses have put into new avenues in the last couple of years.

“Positive consumer confidence was illustrated in May by good growth in big ticket items such as furniture and domestic appliances, particularly online,” she said.

Digital growth in household appliances and furniture was up over its performance in April, it was also found, although because May 2014 saw such strong sales in fashion categories it appeared to suffer this year.

This comes after the BRC found that consumers in the UK are increasingly using their smartphones to make purchases online, especially when it comes to shopping for clothes. In April, it was found that the number of those using their phones to hunt for clothes was up by 54 per cent compared with the same time a year ago. In addition, tablet searches were seen to be up by 11 per cent over the same period.

Preparing For Peak Seasonal Sales

Businesses that use retail system services should make sure they are prepared to deal with seasonal peaks in demand.

The summer sees some peak in demand, for example for travel items, so make sure you are prepared by following these tips.

Stock up

Products that sell well in the summer include, travel medicines for example: antihistamines, sun cream, beach wear and luggage.

In the run up to Christmas you would also need to make sure you have seasonal favourites in, as well as any other well selling stock. The Christmas rush is unpredictable and you need to maximise sales at this time.

Make sure you also have enough petty cash in the till, till-rolls and any branded packaging you use, for example, carrier bags.

Clean up               

In order to function efficiently during peak sales periods you need to make sure that your work space and sales space is as clear as possible. Now is the time to rationalise your stock and clear out those boxes from the back.

You also need to focus on making your sales space as welcoming as possible so that you are an attractive prospect to customers.

Get staff in

You will need extra sales staff over periods of high demand, so make sure that you either have extra staff you can call, or a contingency plan. Some businesses ban holidays during peak period times, and you could consider doing this too. It is best to give your staff some warning that this is what you will be doing.

Read more about preparing for retail peaks in Retail Week

Best Retail Blogs To Follow

Small businesses looking to brush up on industry news should follow these blogs to find out more about industry trends and predictions.

National Retail Federation Blog

Written by the retail group this covers industry news and trends and in depth analysis pieces. It includes interviews with big players and case studies with smaller ones.

New Retail Blog

This blog covers brand, marketing and strategy. Make sure you read this if you are planning a rebrand any time soon, or planning any major projects.

CrossCap’s Retail Marketing Blog

This is another great retail blog for businesses planning on overhauling their marketing strategies or looking to make sure theirs is up to scratch.

This blog is particularly good at focusing on cross-channel marketing.

Retail Customer Experience Blog

An American website but with some universally good advice on customer care. With articles on everything from transparency through to customer loyalty, there is a wealth of advice on this website. They have a wide number of retail experts sharing their knowledge about their industry and what has worked well for them. This is a great site for anyone looking to overhaul strategy.

The Retail Doctor

Bob Phipps is an industry expert and shares his wealth of knowledge on this website. He covers issues from staffing through to expansion and has a particular interest in improving customer care and the customer experience. A number of case studies accompany his blog posts which explain clearly how to achieve best practice in your business.  

Award winning customers

Retail Response is proud to announce that one of our end-to-end support service customers, Beaconsfield Footwear (trading as Hotter Shoes) has been named Manufacturing Company of the Year at the 2015 Insider 'Made in the North West' awards.

Based in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, Hotter Shoes manufactures more shoes per year than any other UK-based footwear company. 

You can read more about this story here.

Congratulations, Hotter! 




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