Welcome to the May Grocery Trader. It’s been a long winter – four months gone and it’s only just starting to warm up outside. On the retail front things are still frosty, but at least we’ve been spared for the moment from the nightmare of a triple dip recession. George Osborne insists the economy is healing: we all want to believe the treatment’s working and consumer confidence will soon return. So here’s to the next few months as the sunny days ahead make shoppers more optimistic about spending.

chazCertainly the suppliers are doing their best to drum up business. We’ve been out collecting stories from various UK retail-related trade shows held over the last few weeks, and we report them in these pages.

Here’s a thought – perhaps some punters aren’t spending because they’re confused by promotions? As the story on our front cover suggests, supermarket shoppers are just as likely to buy promoted products that have actually increased in price as cut-price products. That’s according to some eye catching new experimental research by SBXL, one of Europe’s leading shopping behaviour specialists. SBXL’s latest study reveals shoppers are more likely to be tempted by signs promoting special offers than the offer itself. And worse, it seems most shoppers are unable to do the mental arithmetic in-store, and end up missing the best deal or buying something more expensive. Maybe Dara O’Briain’s School of Hard Sums should be compulsory viewing…

Retail IT is a vital area of the store no retailer can neglect. Our main front cover feature comes from Casio Electronics UK, who have just announced the UK release of the new SE-S3000M Electronic Cash Register, one of a range of six new models, all equipped with a large LCD capable of displaying up to 10 lines of data. The SE-S3000M comes loaded with many useful features, including a highly visible operator display, a customer display that can show product names, and a SD memory card slot for data backup and setup.

Another key area you daren’t neglect is the Back of Store. In our second quarterly feature of 2013, we have news about the warehouse and logistics products and services for Britain’s multiple grocers and their supply chains, and customer case studies from key suppliers. We have stories about Berry Systems installing safety barriers at the new Co-op RDC, Schoeller Allibert applying aerospace technology to Returnable Transit Packaging and Union Industries’ High Speed Bulldoors ensuring business is sweet at Rowse Honey. We also hear from Combilift, Crown Materials Handling, Toshiba TEC, Castell Safety and Mitsubishi Forklifts about their innovative solutions for the grocery industry – all good stuff to inspire you to look again at improving your back of store performance.

Have a good month.

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