Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s April issue. Spring’s definitely here at last, as the daffodils by the roadside make clear. But is it the same story for our economy? Let’s hope so.

IMF supremo Christine Lagarde was recently quoted saying economic spring was in the air following Greece’s sovereign debt restructuring. You might wonder what difference Greece staying in the Euro will make to the price shoppers pay for UK-produced groceries, but for now it’s definitely taken the weight off Europe and the world’s economic and financial situation. Let’s hope it translates into renewed economic confidence at the checkouts.

Our scheduled features are Big Night In and Fraud & Loss Prevention. Even in the present environment Big Nights In are still big business, a good reason for retailers and suppliers to celebrate. We will have to wait and see how the anti-binge drinking measures affect drink purchases. Meanwhile for millions of hard pressed Brits, binge-drinking or otherwise, entertaining at home wins hands down over going out to pubs and restaurants, and with people feeling more worried about their finances after the budget, cutting back on eating out is high on their to do list to help ease their financial situation.

Our Fraud & Loss Prevention feature is part of our commitment to covering retail IT-related topics. Fraud & Loss Prevention continues to be a major concern for UK retailers, with the biggest threat on the inside. Increases were seen between 2010 – 2011 in both shoplifting and employee theft. The report revealed the average amount stolen by shoplifters was £81.90, while dishonest employees took an average of £1,341 per head.

Finally, on a lighter note, FOODEX and the other shows at the NEC last month were pretty hard on the feet, but as reported on our front page the returnable transit packaging specialist LINPAC Allibert did their bit to put the fun into functionality on their stand.

The key focus was the breadth of LINPAC’s range of handling and distribution trays and containers for the food industry. But when they weren’t busy discussing the serious issues of value-added logistics support, visitors to the stand were invited to ‘Tweet for a Treat’ as the company launched its brand new Twitter page, taking a photograph of the new Maxinest+ trays on the stand and posting it on Twitter in return for a chocolate bar. Have a break, have a Maxinest+!

Have a relaxing Easter.

Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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