What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Less choccy biscuits and more counting the pounds?
Us too, but only were the pounds have effected the retailer… and that’s the bottom line.
So we’ve decided to look back and see what they can learn from all that was in store for them at the end of 2013.
It wasn’t just the turkeys that were hesitant to go out in late November. Shoppers left it until the last two weeks of December before getting into a flap.
This fostered a flurry of deals and one day offers that quickly snowballed into an avalanche of early sales. In a bizarre turn of events, retailers forced themselves into heavy discounts far earlier than they were comfortable with.
As a result, it not only left stores fearing for their projected profits, but also took the wind out of their post-Christmas sales.
This, coupled with external factors, also left many shops with excess stock.
Now we’re not one to moan about good weather, but the fashion retails were less than pleased when a mild start to winter left them knee deep in unsold knitwear.
It’s no secret that M&S also struggled, reporting yesterday that clothing sales were down by 2.1%. This may not seem like very much, but on a multinational scale it rapidly became a million pound problem.
However, some forward-thinking retailers did get the balance right.
Next championed a multi-channel approach, introducing iPads in-store so that if a shopper couldn’t find what they wanted on the rail, they could easily order it online, then and there.
With internet purchases growing by a staggering 19.2%, the fastest increase in four years, it’s clear that most physical stores can’t afford to be constrained by their four walls.
So, what’s the moral of story as Northern Ireland’s economy expected to expand by 1.5% this year, compared to 1% in 2013?
Savvy retailers have the opportunity to buy and sell their competition. But only if they pledge to take time to read the market.
Now that’s a New Year’s resolution we promise to keep.