chazWelcome to the May Grocery Trader. As we went to press the election was proving the usual treatment for insomnia. After a fleeting glimpse at the leadership debates, this column came away thinking Gordon Brown looked like a grumpy convenience store manager on a bad day, with Cameron and Clegg his lippy assistants, after his job. You wouldn’t shop in a real c-store with any of them running it. On a serious note, whoever wins, one thing’s certain – the next government will be like its predecessors in having to take the retail sector seriously.

If the recession’s been making people feel down, the World Cup will encourage us to relax and enjoy ourselves as we watch the games. Whatever the final score, it’ll be a definite ‘result’ for retailers who keep their fixtures match fit, inspiring shoppers to impulse-buy treats for during the games. Our valiant marketers have been busy in the last few months – there’s football branding on pretty much everything at the moment from salads to beer and confectionery, which certainly adds to the expectant atmosphere. Come on England!

Just as the TVs, laptops, mobiles etc that we’re all going to follow the World Cup on are getting ever smarter, so is the retail technology that grocery traders will be using over the next few weeks to sell shoppers the goodies to get into the big match mood.

Profiled in this issue, J2 Retail Systems is a leading specialist manufacturer of integrated PC-based touchscreen point-of-sale hardware to the retail, hospitality and leisure industries. The J2 story began in 2002, when Moray Boyd, together with three other directors, led a management buy-out from Aspeon Inc. To quote Moray: “My vision was for a proactive, innovative organisation that could challenge the old approach to manufacture. I don’t believe in telling customers how to run their business, but I do believe that sharing knowledge, expertise and experience produces the best solutions.”

The other vital element of a successful Point Of Sale is secure payment. Also featured this month, Ingenico has been delivering the perfect combination of ease-of use and high performance for over 25 years, building a reputation for providing consumer friendly, highly secure and innovative payment solutions that ‘get the job done.’ Now in 2010 Ingenico is delivering the latest generation of security-certified and high performance electronic payment solutions and the widest range of value added services.

Have a successful month, and may the sun shine on you!

Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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