CategorySupermarkets

Variety – The spice of life

October 2018 by Jonathan Owen

Government officials took time off from Brexit negotiations last month to launch two crucial initiatives: A ‘traffic light’ scheme from DEFRA proposing retailers add red, amber or green labels to show if their packaging is recyclable. And a ‘calorie cap’ recommendation to limit the size of takeaway pizzas. A pleasant change to worrying about Brexit no doubt but rather missing the point – the need to reduce consumption. Curbing the volume of unnecessary packaging and banning double sausage and egg McMuffins would be a start. Quite how HMG would implement these proposals is not clear. Maybe Brexit will provide an answer.

It’s all Smoke and Mirrors

September 2018 by Jonathan Owen

In retail today we take many things for granted and forget someone had to invent them. Machine-readable barcodes – the basis of stock control and EPOS – were the brainchild of Alan Haberman in the 1970’s but 40 years before then the late Sylvan Goldman, owner of ‘Humpty Dumpty’ grocery stores in Oklahoma invented the ‘greatest ever development in the history of merchandising’ – the shopping trolley.

Visa and TSB: The challenges of online

June 2018 by Jonathan Owen

Epsom Ladies day, 1st June was extra scary this year. The usual scrummage of hats and high heels at the bars turned nasty when the Visa credit card system crashed. A lot of ladies were less than impressed and bar staff had to be rescued by security.

In Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ Alice takes part in a race with the Red Queen only to discover that despite running constantly she remains in the same place. The Red Queen is not sympathetic: ‘A slow sort of country!’ says the Queen. ‘Here you see it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast!”

Data Harvesting and the GDPR

May 2018 by Jonathan Owen

If you are an ambitious business promoting itself on the internet then you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation which comes into effect on 25thMay. The Customer database you are building is subject to the regs., especially if you ‘process’ the information e.g. categorise Customers so you can target them with special offers.

A bad case of nerves

April 2016 by Jonathan Owen

The Panama Papers, squirming politicians, Sainsbury’s acquisition of Argos, taking your dog to work and the supermarket and Storm Gertrude. Jonathan Owen’s monthly round-up of the news is here.

Bricks ‘n Mortar Blues

February 2016 by Jonathan Owen

Christmas trading results confirmed the inexorable move to online plus another problem for struggling retailers

Happy New Online Year

January 2016 by Jonathan Owen

Poor High Street sales results, competition from the Germans, early sales, drastic high street discounting but record online sales. Where does this leave loss-making ‘discretionary’ services like markets?