Welcome to the February Grocery Trader, dedicated to helping you maximise the grocery retail opportunity in your business. Talking of opportunities, apparently it turns out to be a misperception that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of elements that signify “danger” and “opportunity.” People often say this, but one Victor H. Mair, a Professor of Chinese Language and Literature at Pennsylvania University, insists they’re mistaken.


There are still plenty of grocery opportunities out there to seize, even in the current crisis. The people at Asda head office definitely think so. As we closed, Asda was the latest UK supermarket to announce ambitious expansion plans. It’s a very welcome sign that grocery is holding its own in the recession much better than other retail sectors – or whole chunks of UK industry, come to that.

Verdict Research go even further with their confident predictions. They say the sector’s robustness is set to provide grocery retailers with the opportunity to buck the trend of the deteriorating wider market and continue to grow through the downturn. That has got to be good news all round.

In this issue you can relieve the strain in your supply chain with our bumper Warehousing and Logistics feature: update yourself on developments in materials handling equipment, warehouse IT, supply chain technology and more.

We’ve also got a preview of the RAC09 Show. Dedicated to best practice in refrigeration and air conditioning, RAC09 returns to the NEC from 24-26 February with ‘Low carbon cooling and heating solutions’ its central theme.

Keeping track of your shopper numbers is vital, and we have a major interview with DILAX, world leaders in people counting technology for over 20 years. DILAX’s people counting systems count human traffic flow precisely and reliably, and allow operators to access recorded counting data. DILAX has a new addition to its portfolio, DILAX OptoCount, a unique technology using cameras to focus on any doorway or floor area and continuously monitor footfall. We speak to Nigel Fountain, MD of DILAX Systems Ltd, the UK and Ireland operation.

Also in this issue, it may be cold outside but we’re looking forward to sunnier days in a few short months, with features on Easter Celebrations and Barbeque Time.

Finally, a big hand for Tesco, who have just agreed with The British Red Cross to support the charity’s emergency response at local, national and global level. The latest chapter in a ten-year plus relationship, the life-saving partnership will ensure the best possible response for communities affected by disaster in the UK and overseas.
Have a successful month.

Charles Smith

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