front-sep08-small.jpgWelcome to the September Grocery Trader. We hope you have had a relaxing break at some point over the last few weeks. The schools are back, the holiday season is all but over and the summer has died peacefully after a final dismal month, allegedly London’s dampest August since 1917 – though presumably then people were more preoccupied with the Great War than the rain… At least there’s the Christmas rush to look forward to – or is there? As the credit crunch bites, we could be in for a far from merry Christmas. The earnest prayer on the lips of every retailer and supplier must be, please God don’t let this Christmas’s retail sales fizzle out like the summer weather. Most years, grocery traders of all kinds could count on the Christmas celebrations to exert their restorative powers at the nation’s tills and checkouts. Let’s hope we see it happen again this time.

We still believe in Christmas at The Grocery Trader. In this issue we’ve another roundup of some of the latest products to help liven up your stores this festive season. And as the Christmas preparations get under way in the back of the store and in distribution centres, our Warehouse & Logistics Update has the latest news on products and services for this crucial part of the supply chain.

We also have our Breakfast Time feature to help your shoppers start the day properly, and in ‘Back to School’ we offer a last minute revision session on this precious profit opportunity.

Robbery and theft are a perennial problem in retail, whatever the economy is doing, and secure cash handling is always a priority. A highlight of this year’s Retail Solutions show, and the subject of a major interview in this issue, Gunnebo’s SafePay™ is a unique closed cash-handling system that makes it easier, less expensive and much safer to handle cash in the retail environment. Easily integrated into existing EPOS systems, SafePay™ allows retailers to continue accepting cash as payment, without it being exposed in the store or handled by employees. Gunnebo first offered SafePay™ to grocers in their native Scandinavia. Having assimilated the lessons from Sweden, Denmark and Norway, with their different coins and notes, the group’s next step was to go into the Euro Zone and from there to move into the UK, which they are now doing at a pace, with installations currently rolling out in the major supermarkets.
Have a successful month, and happy reading.

Charles Smith

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