UK Retail Economy - how are you finding it?

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by antropy, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

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    And we have some more news today:

    "Airbus warns of 3,700 jobs at risk"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43321712

    "New Look rescue deal puts 980 jobs at risk"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43317334

    "John Lewis staff bonus cut again as profits fall"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43328806

    The John Lewis article offers some insight:

    - Sales 2% up
    - Profit 22% down
    - Cause is weak £ raising costs and eating in to margins.

    And the outlook:

    "We expect trading to be volatile in 2018-19, with continuing economic uncertainty and no let up in competitive intensity. We therefore anticipate further pressure on profits,"

    "conditions of the High Street are very tricky at the moment," said Richard Lim, chief executive of analysts Retail Economics.

    "John Lewis would be looking very closely at its costs and at ways of potentially bringing these down."
     
    Posted: Mar 8, 2018 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #21
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    And John Lewis focus quite a bit on ecommerce.
     
    Posted: Mar 8, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #22
  3. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

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    Posted: Mar 8, 2018 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #23
  4. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    Well I will emphasise everything I have said already

    On the high/town street you aint seen nothing yet
    Those leases end or the store owner goes bankrupt - I am talking smaller stuff here - and that is it

    Ecommerce is going to have a tough time for the smaller people and you have to say why buy from us and not from elsewhere - that is bigger and more trusted and has everything in place

    And the people that have managed to start/grow by helping new and longer term sellers are going to get hammered in their wake
    As are those that support the retail industry

    The good/clever/lucky/adapters will survive/develop
    The rest are going to get squeezed - so it depends on where they are now as to whether they will succeed
     
    Posted: Mar 10, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #24
  5. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    In other words, business proceeds as normal.
     
    Posted: Mar 10, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #25
  6. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    If that is how you read it then yes

    So it depends on how you define normal
     
    Posted: Mar 10, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #26
  7. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Change is normal. Businesses going under and businesses opening is normal. The high streets of my childhood are different. The high streets of when I was a couple of decades younger are different. Including shops moving to bigger premises and shops moving out of town.

    Just heard on the news a few minutes ago that councils are looking to increase car park charges - which may have an impact on the shops, both good and bad.

    People have been saying ecommerce is going to be tough for the smaller people since before I started doing ecommerce sales. As they don't tell me what they are doing wrong I cannot copy them.
     
    Posted: Mar 10, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #27
  8. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    Well by your definition of normal then yes as normal

    But it is different from mine and certainly far less useful for myself

    I suspect few businesses would benefit by working with your definition - it is essentially pointless - because as you say things change

    Er things change - okay that is useful lets work with that

    It is how things are changing that matters

    Er things change - now how and why are things changing - what do we see if we look down the road - can we and how can we react/adapt - what do we need to think about - how fast is that rate of change etc etc
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #28
  9. marcus_bond

    marcus_bond UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 5
    Yes, the retail/ecomm sector in the UK is under a great deal of pressure at the moment, and the low productivity growth we've had for 10 years I suspect is coming to an end, as interest rates rise and as they decide to remove the stimulus.

    I gathered from the Treasury Committee hearing on the 21st Feb, that wage growth was now around 3+% behind the BOE's original pre-referendum target, and that this gap would continue to grow over the year until wage growth was some 5+% lower than pre-referendum target by the end of 2018. The BOE also indicated we were at the peak of this adjustment at the time of the hearing. So I'm hoping that we get a bit of moderate wage growth again sometime during 2019. They seemed to say investment could bounce back quite strongly once the details of our future trading relationship with the EU was sorted. So that looks like some potentially very good news in the future.

    I saw that google is due to release it's App Maker and a Google SQL database free to all G-Suite Business accounts. I guess that's good for us, but may be bad for developers. I can see everything, but the the very front end of our website disappearing behind google's secure infrastructure very soon. Google seems to be trumpeting that bespoke software developments that might have taken a developer 3-4 weeks and cost a company 30k, can now be done in an afternoon for around 0.5k.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    Posted: Mar 11, 2018 By: marcus_bond Member since: Nov 12, 2017
    #29
  10. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    The best person to do business planning for your business may well be you.
    You know what you do, you can figure out what change is happening now and what may happen within a timescale based on government, economic, trade, customer and council plans.

    Change will happen, things do not stay the same. You should know that from what will have been happening where you have been. Start with that and plan accordingly.

    I could plan things for you but would take some months and I'd be charging you probably £10k+. I've a few projects taking my time up already that aren't going to get moved around. Like starting to grow lettuce 4 weeks before there's a shortage in the shops next spring. If I decide to do that commercially. :)

    You see, I don't simply blame things, I don't moan about things, I don't claim that things are tough for ecommerce sellers - as an ecommerce seller I simply deal with things, plan for things and grow my business. Not failed to grow an ecommerce business year on year yet and have no intention of doing so in the future.
    Good planning plus not being able to follow what other people tell me I should be doing because they don't give details of how I should be having a tough time. :)
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #30
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    The 4.4% pay rise next month for millions of people I daresay will have an impact.
    Whether there is a growth in productivity, whether productivity goes down even - more open to question.
    Think my wife is looking at probably somewhere around 2% pay rise or so, then again she's not yet on minimum wage and probably won't be for a couple of years yet. Then she'll start getting the big pay rises.
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #31
  12. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,542 265
    Well you need not worry about me wanting any help from you - because in my mind you do not get it - things change is a pointless statement
    Putting your head in the sand and moaning away is also pointless

    (Out of curiosity where have I been moaning ?)

    I agree with the start of your statement on plan and get on with it and look for those opportunities

    But then sometimes even planning cannot change the tide and sometimes you cannot react in time or sometimes you are not in a position to adapt

    PS - Growing ecommerce businesses when there is massive growth is not a hard thing - but also depending on what you are doing as well
    Your attitude should keep you at it for a good while yet

    I like your confidence - but let it not be your failing by ignoring what you see changing around you at to high a level

    But hey I suspect because you plan that you actually think about how things are changing and so how you should react - unless you do it at random

    Good luck with the lettuces but remember Peter Rabbit and plan for him and his mates
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #32
  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Thanks for that, rabbits don't usually make it into the spare bedroom. The cats and the dog prevent them. Also means thieves cannot nick the plants.

    And yes I look at what is happening and what I expect to happen based on information and plan accordingly. I'm working to a plan with an end goal. Plans change and are updated regularly.

    Perhaps we will simply disagree on a few things. Daresay there are other points on which we agree.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #33
  14. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

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    So the Chancellor thinks the economy is all going very well:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43380212

    But others aren't so sure:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43383586

    All the news on the Chencellor's statement in once place from the BBC:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cl72r5pyqent/chancellors-spring-statement

    So perhaps I was wrong that all those bad news stories about major companies going bust, making massive job cuts, closing stores etc. were a sign of hard times ahead?

    Or perhaps saying "UK economy at turning point" (meaning it's going to get much better) is going to come back to haunt Mr Hammond!
     
    Posted: Mar 14, 2018 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #34
  15. deniser

    deniser UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Smaller margins caused by the low pound is one major factor. The other is discounting. Discounting has reached ridiculous proportions and it's possible to get a discount off virtually everything now if you buy the item online. This further erodes the margins.

    We like John Lewis, trading online, have sales up and profits down because of the eroded margins caused by the GBP. We don't do discounting so are losing sales. Luckily we are in a position where we can sit it out for the time being.
     
    Posted: Mar 14, 2018 By: deniser Member since: Jun 3, 2008
    #35
  16. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Or indeed the stores going bust means the buyers will use the other stores selling those items making those companies more secure for staff jobs. Maybe even expanding. :)

    Seriously we always get companies overextending themselves, having costs that are too high, having reduced sales so looking to cut costs.

    Heard yesterday that Claires in the US (those who have wives / sisters / daughters likely know the shop in the UK) the hair / earring accessories shop is filing for bankruptcy (which over there isn't the same as over here).
    Toys r us did the same thing a few months back. So whether that will knock on here in the same way...
    http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/13/claires-accessories-could-be-filing-for-bankruptcy-very-soon-7383726/

    Ok we have a 4.4% pay rise for a large bunch of workers next month. I'm sure they will be happy.
    Not so sure that those who are on higher than minimum wage will get so high a pay rise any time soon.
    I'm not seeing the same stuff Hammond is so cannot see the same result he is expecting.
    We'll find out next year one way or another.
     
    Posted: Mar 14, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #36
  17. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

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    Well yes, but this has been going on for decades, surely the bigger companies are better protected against this because their bulk buying power means they can purchase very cheaply?
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #37
  18. atmosbob

    atmosbob UKBF Ace Free Member

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    A chain of ten shops has just gone into admin. in Cornwall. They sell things like pony nuts, chicken seed and stuff for the horsey brigade. Not obviously affected by internet shopping. The reason they have gone down is complex but my guess is that in a squeezed economy like Cornwall horses are a luxury that little girls parents can no longer afford.
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
    #38
  19. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    They would have had internet sellers as competitors.

    http://www.efeed.co.uk/home

    Rising business rates, rising minimum wage, likely rising other bills - what was viable as a business years ago may not be viable as a business today.
    Anyone here be happy giving staff a 4.4% pay rise next month like a lot of businesses will?
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #39
  20. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

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    Don't get me started haha, I'm still angry about all the autoenrollment nonsense.

    The way I see it, we agree salaries with staff based on what we believe is fair, what the company can afford and the market rates for their type of role.

    We don't need the government coming along enforcing a 1%, 2%, 3% pension contribution plus all the admin around it, which is significant, even with the best software.
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #40