Here’s the latest issue of ERT magazine

You can view the September digital issue of ERT here.

Editor’s comment: A retail resurgence

Over the past month or so, retail has seen a bit of a resurgence as consumers have enjoyed getting back out and about and making up for lost time. Money that would have otherwise been spent elsewhere (on summer holidays for example) was saved up and appeared to be burning holes in people’s pockets – good news then for electrical retailers up and down the country!

If consumers were unsure about splashing out on a new TV or upgrading their washing machine at the start of the year, the lockdown certainly helped them identify what they wanted to spend their money on and they didn’t appear to waste any time when shops reopened.

This is what Stuart Cook, the Chief Executive of the CIH buying group, was talking about when I interviewed him for this September issue of ERT.

He said he couldn’t believe how busy his members’ shops were after the restrictions lifted and there has been a real demand for local retail, that one-on-one personal service, a u-turn back to what independent retail was all about years ago.

You’ll also see from page 26 this month other retailers sharing similar stories of booming business. Lyn Knight from Abbey Appliances reported that her phone didn’t stop ringing once she reopened and that customers were buying all her shopfloor stock because they were desperate.

However, people might be feeling a little flush at the moment, but is this a false economy? There are grave concerns across the industry that the high we are experiencing at the moment will come to an end. These thoughts are definitely shared by the retailers I spoke to this month.

Of course, no one knows what to expect or what to plan for. As I write this, more regions across the country are going back into localised lockdowns and I think a lot of people fear the upcoming winter months. The famous, ever-frantic pre-Christmas period this year could be very, very different to what we’re used to; items will still need to be purchased, but if people aren’t keen on their usual high street shopping spree, could most of their spending move online? Should retailers upgrade their virtual stores in preparation? Or perhaps make their physical stores safer and more inviting than ever before? Offer consumers something they cannot get online. This is the topic of our Experiential Retail feature this month on page 28.

Whatever happens in the coming months, let’s just hope to end the year on a high…

Jack Cheeseman – Editor –

You can view the September digital issue of ERT here.