Welcome to the November issue of The Grocery Trader. If you believe the hype, we’re heading up to the biggest sales day in British history, with punters tipped to spend £1 billion on line. Black Friday on 27 November is supposedly the day we all do our Christmas shopping online at the same time and payments systems freeze. Are you ready?
As our front page lead story reminds us, after the Black Friday hysteria, back in the real world the multiple retailers’ e-fulfilment systems will simply get on with the job of making sure the goods get to the right place like always. As the lead article from Honeywell makes clear, the surging growth of e-commerce increases consumer choice and flexibility, but also challenges retail distribution centres to keep pace with consumers’ ever higher expectations for faster, more accurate delivery. Nearly nine in 10 DC operators expect to adopt new mobile devices and voice technology in the next five years to meet that need, according to a survey by Honeywell and YouGov.
With Christmas round the corner, our other front cover story is also a seasonal one. Digital food thermometer supplier ETI has been working with celebrity chef Nick Nairn to reassure home cooks and help them cook their Christmas turkey to perfection, with the minimum fuss. By using the fast response temperature probe of a Thermapen food thermometer they can know in three seconds whether the turkey breast meat is cooking too fast or the legs need a bit longer, and adjust the temperature accordingly – or use foil to cover the breast.
Also in this issue we have features on Healthy Living, Table Talk, looking at Soups and Sauces, and our last look of 2015 at the Back of Store, warehousing and logistics equipment and solutions for this crucial part of the multiple grocery outlet. And in case you didn’t get to the recent Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London, don’t miss ‘Something Special,’ a look at some of the suppliers making the running in this important category.
Going back to our front cover and Honeywell’s survey of IT decision-makers across the US, UK, France and Germany, adoption of mobile IT solutions is rising, driven by the need for increased order fulfillment accuracy and improved customer service.
Honeywell’s survey revealed that nearly two-thirds of distribution centres currently support omnichannel distribution, and have the data capture and asset tracking systems to fulfill orders. With DCs losing on average over £250,000 every year on picking errors, even without Black Friday, retailers are looking for a technology edge to improve accuracy and reduce costs. With the solutions currently available, seasonal peaks in demand will still come, but they needn’t be such a drama.