Welcome to the February Grocery Trader. In this issue we have features on Barbecues and Spring Cleaning, welcome signs that winter is passing and spring is on its way. We also have our first quarterly feature of 2012 on the Back of the Store, focusing on warehousing and logistics equipment and services for the grocery industry’s supply chain.

We have an exclusive profile for you on RGIS, the inventory and stocktaking specialists, who operate in over 40 countries. Here they have been partnering with Sainsbury’s to look after their stocktaking management needs, and helped JS achieve dramatic improvements in the accuracy of their data collection and their product availability. Among the more visible results of the partnership, in 2011 Sainsbury’s was ranked #1 in The Grocer for “Best Product Availability.” It also increased its overall ‘product-to-shelf’ rate, and the greater control of assets translated to improvement in shrinkage.

We also have an in depth interview with ISG, the construction services specialist, who recently broke new ground – literally – with their new store development for Tesco at Seaton in Devon. As reported on the front page of our January issue, ISG’s ingenious scheme was the contractor’s most challenging retail project to date. The new store was built on a site two metres below the flood plain, and required extensive enabling works to raise the ground level to protect any development from the threat of flooding.

As the first of our quarterly features on this crucial subject makes clear, ‘Back of store’ covers everything the shoppers don’t see in the retailer’s supply chain, starting from the distribution centre where the suppliers hand over the goods. We bring you the latest news about the warehouse and logistics products and services available for Britain’s multiple grocers and their supply chains, and customer case studies from key suppliers of equipment and services.

In our other features, winter is now past halfway according to our Barbeque bulletin. In a few short months it’ll be summer and barbecue time once again. Just shut your eyes and smell the charcoal…

And finally, as our Spring Cleaning feature says, spring promises shining sales for household cleaning products, kicking off with our traditional British spring cleaning – a few minutes’ sunshine as winter draws to a close is all it takes to send us rain-raddled Brits on a cleaning spree!

Have a good month.

Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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