Welcome to the Grocery Trader’s September issue. As people return from holiday and the roads clog up once more with traffic, it’s time to get down to business as we start the run in to Christmas. But keep smiling – with the CBI upping its growth forecasts, here’s to a golden autumn for consumer spending.

chazSetting the mood, we’ve got our annual Merchandising & Display feature to help you drive sales. Leading the piece is an introduction from the Shop & Display Equipment Association, first stop for retailers sourcing new fixtures and fittings or visual merchandising. STOP PRESS – The SDEA Directory is usually priced at £10, but the first 50 readers to contact sdea will receive a free copy by quoting this feature.

As term starts, we have another look at the Back to School opportunity. We’ve taken to ‘Scandi’ TV crime dramas in a big way. Now Britain’s younger consumers could be about to go equally wild for Scandinavian sweets.

As revealed in our exclusive interview, Fruit Heroes is the number one lunchbox snack in Denmark where it’s one of the biggest selling home grown brands, with 30 million Fruit Heroes bars consumed last year. Danish children munch an average 40 Fruit Heroes bars every year! Fruit Heroes are launching here through sole distributors Petty, Wood & Co and looking to emulate their Scandinavian success.

In this issue you’ll find all our usual sections, including the Back of Store, with stories about warehousing and logistics for the grocery supply chain. As reported on our front page, Toyota Material Handling’s BT Lifter hand pallet truck range is evolving to meet changing operational needs and respond trends in retail and wholesale. The BT hand pallet truck range has been setting standards in strength, performance and innovation for over 60 years. Now part of Toyota, they are still the best selling trucks of their kind on the market. Today’s BT Lifter range is proven to be the most durable, lasting up to five times as long as other makes in work cycle tests, and offers the lowest lifetime cost.

It’s good news to hear the CBI is raising its forecast for UK economic growth for 2013 to 1.2%. It has also upgraded its 2014 forecast to 2.3%, on predicted increases in disposable income and investment levels. After five tough years things are looking up. It’s a pity our weather forecasters can’t be as confident. As we closed, they were tipping an each way bet – stay stocked with suncreams, we could be in for a warm autumn. But umbrellas could do well too!

Have a good month, and keep dry.

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