"It is time for retail to fight back. It is not the end of retail. It is the end of mediocrity."
These were the words of the director general of the British Retail Consortium, Stephen Robertson, as he addressed June’s BTHA Industry Day.
While the whole event was, once again, superbly put together – with a line-up of speakers which this year included Olympic Gold medallist Jonathan Edwards CBE (who even tweeted ToyNews afterwards) – for me, Robertson stood out as he highlighted the latest retail trends and questioning whether we, as an industry, are really on top of the new channels.
From the rise of purchasing on tablets – which notably peaks on a Sunday, rather than the High Street which sees a high on Saturday and online which is Monday, and how this could affect our messages – to the fact that the High Street is nowhere near finished, despite life being difficult, Robertson certainly gave the room food for thought.
Retail, he said, is a contact sport. Store managers can be the greatest asset – we see this every month in our Mystery Shopper column; the stores which come out on top most often have enthusiastic, chatty, knowledgable and approachable staff.
Robertson finished up by stating: It’s good to be first; it’s better to be good; it’s best to be both. I couldn’t agree more.
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