The Portas Effect by @UKPOSGroup for #IndieRetail

It’s no secret that the retail sector has struggled during the recession, and it has been a worrying time for retailers of all sizes. In 2012, Mary Portas launched her search for the first ‘Portas Pilot’ towns, which would be run by town teams, and be influenced by ideas and guidelines created by Mary herself.

Earlier this year we saw a flurry of headlines concerning the Portas Pilots, about how budgets weren’t being used effectively within the chosen towns. At Retail Week Live, in March, it was interesting to hear Mary’s views on the project and its success over the past year at Retail Week Live.

Spot light on the High Street

As Mary said herself, the campaign has been the focus of national news since its launch, and has shone a light on the Great British High Street. At UK Point of Sale, we are huge supporters of the high street – from large, national chains to independent retailers. We know that the Portas Pilot campaign may not have secured results as quickly as some may have expected, but the focus it has brought to high street, and its ability to make people really care about their local high street has been fantastic.

The changing face of the high street…

The face of our high street is changing – we are losing big names such as Comet, but independent shops are consistently opening across the country. The Portas Pilots may not have made a huge impact over the past 12 months in terms of monetary spend, but they have made an impact in terms of media attention, and in turn have hopefully encouraged retailers to do as much as they can to stand out in the current market.

Standing out from the crowd on your local high street

As we have been manufacturing point of sale products for more than 20 years, we are in a position to advise our customers on what will work to make them stand out on the high street. At a time when the spotlight is being shone on the independent sector, due to campaigns like Support for Independent Retail, it is essential that retailers consider their merchandising and point of sale. As these campaigns gather momentum, over time,  we should see more shoppers on our high streets, so printed point of sale isn’t going anywhere, it will continue to remain popular amongst independent retailers who want to grab the attention of the passing footfall and entice them into their stores.

Supporting campaigns to help the high street

At UK POS Group we will continue to support all the efforts to revive our high street. We hope to see the town teams across the country making full use of the support they have been given – there are high streets all over the UK with closed shops, and shops struggling in the current economic climate, so we hope that next year the headlines will be about how the town teams have embraced these campaigns, how they’ve made a positive difference to the high streets, rather than not making an impact at all.

About UK POS Group – Sponsors of the Support for Independent Retail Campaign

debra-jamieson-uk-pos-imageThis blog was written by Debra Jamieson who is Sales and Marketing Director at UK Point of Sale, based in Greater Manchester.

UK POS has been manufacturing point of sale products for nearly 25 years and is continually adapting to changing market trends when it comes to working with retailers to market their offers. Best selling products include acrylic free-standing poster holders and snap frames. For more information on UK POS please visit www.ukpos.com or speak to a member of the experienced customer services team on 0161 431 4400. Follow UK POS on Twitter – @UKPOSGroup or see UK POS on Facebook.

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About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
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