The Chancellor George Osborne outlined The Budget for the upcoming tax year yesterday. What parts of it affect retail and in particular the High Street?
Well, in my view, it's a budget of small measures to inch us further along the road to recovery. The 1p cut in beer duty, the halving of tax on bingo and the revamp of the savings and pension rules will bring some people back to the High Street, which can only be good news. As they have a beer, play bingo and sort out their finances, they will spend time in cafes and spend money in shops. This knock-on effect will be marginal but will help.
There is also the slight boost for some retailers themselves in the incentives offered for expoirting and investment-
Next reports rise in annual profits
The biggest rise was in the Next Directory part of it's business and I believe that many High Street retailers can learn from their Click & Collect and in-store ordering systems particularly. These two areas a great offering, where you can offer your entire catalogue to customers of even your smallest stores and have them there waiting for your customer to collect. It works well with many retailers (I particularly like the offerings of Boots and the big supermarkets with this) and can boost your trading platform.
You can offer an online or in-store experience for a customer, for items that you may have to source from a supplier, may have in another of your outlets or may have stored away from your shop front. You can have the great conversation with your customer, sell them the required items, and then have the item or items ready for that customer to collect at a later date.
Your returns policy needs to be a little more flexible with this approach but the benefits to both parties and the customer loyalty it generates is more than enough compensation for this.
This can be linked to a recent report that family financial optimism was rising-
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