01-front1Happy New Year! Welcome to the January 2010 Grocery Trader.  Our New Year’s resolution is to stay healthy and keep smiling for the next 12 months, and we wish you the same. Writing just before Christmas, it seems no one in authority had predicted the intensity of the December snowfalls. So on that basis we can’t expect anyone to forecast with any accuracy what will happen in 2010. Especially regarding the recovery of the economy or the date and outcome of the general election, due some time in the next few months.

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But we can expect the UK multiple grocery industry to keep doing what it’s so good at – working with producers, suppliers and manufacturers to keep shoppers happy all year round with the best in food and drink and non-food products.This trust goes deep. More people put faith in our top retailers in preference to politicians, when it comes to charting our economic recovery, according to research consultancy Leapfrog. In a survey the views of the chairmen of Tesco, Marks & Spencer and BHS outweighed those of any political leader. Together the retail chiefs scooped 19 per cent of the votes, ahead of David Cameron 18%) and Gordon Brown (16%). Sir Terry Leahy was more trusted than Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, with 10% versus 7%.

The research also showed nearly three times as many people (38%) considered supermarkets and retailers were doing more to help families during the recession than the government (13%,) The survey’s other key points were fairly predictable – the vast majority don’t plan to alter their thrifty shopping behaviour once the UK is out of recession. 8 in ten consumers were either not planning to alter their shopping behaviour at all (36%), or intend to remain bargain hunters (46%) after the recovery. We’re a stubborn bunch!

In this issue we’ve three exciting features – Baby & Kids, Big Night In and Ethnic Food & Drink. “Drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” seems to be most Brits’ response to the stresses and strains of life. Certainly we can expect the drinking and merriment to keep going in 2010, as Brits continue to enjoy themselves come what may. Likewise people go on having children and bringing them up even good times and bad, and parents will go on spending money on their babies and kids, which is good news for the UK multiple grocery sector.

Happy reading
Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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