Happy New Year, and welcome to The Grocery Trader’s January 2012 issue. We’ve got an exclusive interview with TC Cleaning Services, one of the UK’s top cleaning service providers, who celebrate 50 years in business this year. And we hear too from Symphony Environmental, the environmental technology company who have developed solutions to two pressing problems related to modern plastic materials – the accumulation of plastic in the environment as litter for decades after its useful life, and the spread of microbial infection through plastic objects touched by multiple users. And we’ve also got our Big Night In feature, plus all our regular sections.

TC Cleaning Services is one of the UK’s top cleaning service providers, with grocery clients including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Budgen’s, cleaning 1,500 retail sites nationwide and employing nearly 5,000 staff. To capitalise on their strength in the multiple grocery sector, last February TC appointed Mick Beck as Operations Director, previously General Store Manager at Asda and before that Area Manager for Tesco in South West London.

Symphony Environmental’s d2w controlled-life plastic technology turns ordinary plastic at the end of its useful life into oxo-biodegradable material, and can be used in a wide range of plastic products. The Times and Sunday Times use it in the film they wrap their papers in, and bakeries use it in their bread bags. Symphony’s d2p anti-microbial product prevents bacterial growth on plastic products and can be added to all kinds of plastic items, from deli counter gloves to shopping basket and trolley handles, door handles and toilet facilities. Symphony recently appointed Sean Cattell as Sales Manager for the UK and Ireland, with the remit to target the widest possible audience and develop the business. So expect to hear more from them over the coming months.

New Year is traditionally a time for optimism. There are distinct grounds for positive thinking in retail this time, according to the accountants BDO. In their Retail Forecast 2012 they single out the major supermarkets’ continuing strength, and the ongoing growth of online shopping and surging sales of consumer technology products. The supermarkets take a major share of both. BDO also look forward to the summer, with the two-day Bank Holiday for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in early June and the Olympic Fortnight at the end of July, which will both drive shoppers to their local superstore to buy goodies to celebrate these occasions.

Happy reading, and a successful 2012.

Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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