Welcome to the February Grocery Trader. This month’s reasons to be cheerful include Valentine’s Day on Sunday February 14 and Shrove Tuesday, AKA Pancake Day, two days later. Both are good sales drivers for multiple grocers, with plenty of last minute purchases, so here’s to booming sales around these two days this year, and a speedy economic recovery.
While we all try to guess when that’s coming, one thing for certain is that right now, retailers need the technology to process sales transactions securely. Either that, or find a partner company to help them. Profiled in this issue, Vodat International is the UK retail sector’s fastest growing supplier of telecom solutions and Proactive managed private networks, and provides a complete range of communications technology services to retailers with anything from 10 to 1,000 plus stores.
Vodat International has been providing business solutions to the UK retail sector for over 20 years. Vodat is fully PCI DSS-compliant and has been awarded ISO 27001 accreditation. To date Vodat have installed and currently support network solutions in 50 UK high street retail companies, representing over 5,000 retail sites with over 20,000 supported devices. In the convenience sector Vodat customers include Musgrave, Budgens, Londis, AF Blakemore and Hendersons.
Also in this issue we’ve features on Barbecuing and Warehousing and Logistics. Given our uncertain climate, barbecues here tend to be spontaneous rather than planned. When the sun is out, barbecuing is something we do every day, with six in ten consumers who barbecue doing so during weekdays.
The people in the UK grocery supply chain proved to be real heroes in the recent snow. Behind them is a solid warehouse and logistics infrastructure. In our quarterly Warehouse & Logistics feature, we look at what’s new in the back of the store in supermarkets and distribution centres: warehouse equipment including pallets, warehouse trucks and materials handling; warehouse IT, including barcode and RFID technology; supply chain technology; vehicle safety and security.
Are we on the verge of recovery? Insolvency specialists Baker Tilly aren’t so sure. Their latest Outlook publication predicting economic activity in the year ahead says that despite recently reported GDP growth recovery and positive pre-Christmas trading, consumers will rein in spending again during 2010, in the face of continued recession and high unemployment. Let’s hope they’re wrong!
Have a good month.
Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader