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Retail Matters

Retail Hub of the North...

In this Issue: Welcome Introducing Your Key Speakers Fancie That! Is Retail Really Dead? Top Notch Customer Service Omnichannel Opportunites Getting Moor from Sheffield

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Retail Hub

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Welcome‌ Retail Matters In the Sheffield City Region - RETAIL MATTERS. That's why we have launched a brand new magazine to accompany a series of retail conferences and networking events at The Source, offering a great opportunity for like minded retailers to share their experiences and hear from successful business leaders. The Retail Matters magazine is a new publication that represents retailers from across the Sheffield City Region. We will share the latest and greatest retail news from business owners and key figures from across the region. Our first edition is jam-packed full of fantastic retail pieces from some inspirational individuals. The Sheffield City Region vision is to be the Retail Hub of the North, creating jobs, attracting visitors and driving growth, and with so many new developments, this vision is becoming a reality. This year we have celebrated our 10th birthday at The Source, and in turn a decade of hard work in the region. Our success over the last 10 years demonstrates how important it is for the region to have a retail support network, guiding retailers and business owners to make the best of


their business. Our contributors to this magazine do just that – embrace retail with gusto and consistently move the goalposts to accommodate the changing climate and in turn offer a fresh approach to their businesses. We are really proud to launch Retail Matters and over the coming months look forward to welcoming exciting speakers to the conferences and producing a magazine that you can’t put down!

Enjoy Ann Cadman Vice Chair of the Sheffield City Region Retail Forum and Director of The Source Skills Academy

The Sheffield City Region Retail Forum was born out of a request sent out two years ago by Richard Wright, the Executive Director of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, asking for those interested in the retail sector to contact him as a number of his members had expressed concerns about the state of the Sheffield retail market. Having run a commercial consultancy based in Sheffield specialising in retail property since 1980 and sharing these concerns I attended the initial meeting. The Forum soon expanded to include representatives from other local authority regions as well as from large and small property companies, large and small retailers and others involved in skills, marketing etc. In late 2011, the Retail Forum was adopted by the LEP board as the fifth sector group whose role is to advise the Sheffield City Region LEP board. Members of the Forum have carried out a detailed SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of retail within the region which has led to the development of the strategy which has been presented to the LEP board.

The recent Mary Portas recommendations to revitalise the High Street may not contain many new ideas but this has helped publicise the current state of the retail market, especially in our town and city centres. Some of these recommendations are reflected in the adopted Strategy. The threat of internet retailing will not lessen but there is a place for the High Street in our Region which must adapt and provide a wider retail offer in which independent retailers will play their part. Our centres must be welcoming, accessible, interesting and provide an excellent level of customer service because Retail Matters. Robert Lane Chair of the Sheffield City Region Retail Forum

If you are interested in advertising in Retail Matters or submitting an editorial feature, please contact us for further information. Contacts - Sophie Taylor - t: 0114 263 5667

m: 07827 852 504


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Introducing Your Key Speakers... As an Optometrist and the Director of Specsavers Opticians, Gilbert Vasey can clearly see how important people are to business. Retail Matters welcomes Gilbert to discuss culture – Snake oil or miracle cure? “Culture is something that is being touted about by many consultants as the important thing, but without plenty of thought and research it really can be snake oil; that cure all tonic so fond of itinerant salesmen of the Wild West. One size does not fit all. Gilbert Vasey Snake Oil or Miracle Cure

Culture can easily be the miracle cure of many business woes, but not without finding out what the real culture of your business is now, where you would ideally like it to be and planning a route map to connect the two. Cultures can be based upon finding and nurturing innovations, time spent working upon ‘uncommon sense’

without penalties reinforcing regret induced status quo bias. These are the ones that provide real applications to the ‘why’ about your business; why are we doing this. Too many businesses operate from ‘what’ we do, not the ‘why’ we do it, restricting flexibility and adaptability. As Bob Garratt said a number of years ago, the fish rots from the head. If we are not setting the appropriate culture within our business, for both our team and our customer, we may need to look where the problem lies a little closer to home.”

John Graham set out on a big adventure several years ago to develop a brand that would appeal to Yorkshire’s outdoor community. Now with 44 stores across the UK, Go Outdoors has developed a strong reputation for customer service and is one of the leading providers of outdoor clothing and equipment in the UK.

John Graham The Golden Rules of Retailers

John, the Chief Executive of Go Outdoors, has big plans for the business and here shares a few tricks of the trade with his ‘Golden Rules of Retailers’. • Good retailing is good buying • One represents no choice, two is confusion, three is a choice • Have a good, better and best range strategy • Ensure everyone knows and believes in the Vision • Have clearly stated simple Values • Have a stated/written Purpose (this is different to the Vision; the Vision is where you are heading, the Purpose is the reason your business exists) • Conduct regular market research – give your customer the products and services they WANT – not what you think they want (Note: this is only part of the answer. Great retailers delight their customers with products and services they never even knew existed! Had Henry Ford asked his customers what they wanted they would have said ‘a faster horse.’ In Conclusion – everything they want – and more! • Smile and Inspire you are on stage – whether it be in front of paying customers, your paid customers or your teams

• Recruit with great care – this is the most important function. • Recruit attitude and train aptitude • Retail really is detail – are the toilets, staff rooms, till areas spotless? • Shoplifters are only frightened of one thing – being served • Don’t run out of cash! • Don’t sit on slow stock – clear it • Focus everyday on what your business can do better. Avoid looking at the competition for long periods – you can’t change their business BUT you certainly can yours • The best form of advertising is word of mouth – Don’t just please – DELIGHT! • Run the business for the customers. • Change is good, embrace it – it’s how you manage change that is the trick • Look forward – not back • The world of retail is changing fast – make sure you understand what those changes mean • Working with and serving customers is fun – if it isn’t find out why and remove those barriers. • Great leaders serve their teams

As a ‘Super Regional’ shopping Centre situated on the outskirts of Sheffield, the UK’s fourth largest city, Meadowhall has an annual footfall of 25 million and serves a catchment of 3.9 million people. Highlighting its’ strong performance, Experian recently reported that Meadowhall retains the best market share of any Super Regional in the UK at c.19%, and has increased the average customer spend by 13% in last 2 years alone. The centre is currently 99.8% let. Darren Pearce Creating a Customer Receptive Shopping Environment

Meadowhall Centre Director Darren Pearce, comments: “Retail is a very dynamic industry, the needs and the wants of our consumers are constantly changing. As a business we need to react to that and move with the times; complacency will cost those that don’t. Consumers today face more choices than ever before. Our approach has always been to listen carefully to our customers, and through a research-based approach, respond objectively.

With real incomes still under pressure and consumer confidence still reasonably low, one of retails biggest challenges is to offer shoppers not just products but an experience. During 2013 we will be taking a detailed look at our customer journey, with the view to delivering an even better Meadowhall experience going into 2014. Within this review, we will consider the importance of our environment both on and offline, the customer sense of arrival, our services and proposition. We will look at the shift in consumer behavior and trends that will shape the future of retail. In doing so, we hope to maintain our strong market position whilst planning for an exciting future.”


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Fancie That! Since opening her first cake shop five years ago, Amanda Perry has expanded to four branches, 56 employees, and a turnover predicted to hit £1 million this year. Amanda believes in the future for retail and how raw passion and enthusiasm can get business baking. “As queues formed around branches of Northern Rock up and down the country, people desperate to retrieve their life savings, I was making plans to leave my secure job, with a regular (decent) wage, uncapped bonuses and a promising career path.

5 years later, I am very lucky (I have come to understand that luck is really just another word for hard work) to have 5 of these so called ‘retail units’one of which is in Meadowhall- playing with the big boys, that’s a whole other story!

Blissfully unaware of what impact the credit crunch would have on the next 5 years of our lives (and how many more to come?) I left the corporate world to… make cakes!

I am a different person, with huge responsibilities; financial, legal, social and for my 56 staff.

Branded ‘crazy’ by some (no hard feelings, Dad) and brave by others- who pulled a face that suggested they actually meant ‘crazy’- I set off with a whisk in my hand and a fire in my belly that 5 years later, is still burning strong. Setting up my first shop on Sharrowvale road with enough cash to buy a kettle and some old china cups and saucers was the beginning of my first leap into our world of ‘retail’.


Not that I knew what retail was, or understood what my business model was, I just knew I needed to sell more cakes, directly to people, so I didn’t have to go back to work- the very thought was ridiculous.

The retail world in which I operate is vastly different from a clothing shop or grocers. Catering brings its own challenges as there is an element of manufacture, but ultimately as a retailer my number one responsibility is to the customer. If they aren’t absolutely delighted at every point of their contact with us, then I can forget about financial, legal or social worries, and I will be standing in the queue at the job centre along side my 56 staff. It’s tough out there and only the best will survive, my job is simple- to make sure Fancie is always the best!”

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Is Retail Really Dead? The retail sector has faced some serious challenges over recent years with some retailers suffering beyond repair. As the President of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce and Managing Director of Merlin Software, Owen Gleadall has his finger firmly on the pulse of retail and explores the question - is retail really dead? “If we believe what we read in the newspapers and other media there seems to be no future left in the standard retail offering. If that’s the case why have they recently opened The Trinity Centre in Leeds? This is the biggest retail centre opening in Europe this year.

The research revealed more than 15,900 independent stores were opened in 2012, compared to just 5,600 chain store outlets, and that independents now account for 69% of all retail and leisure units throughout the UK.

The truth of the matter is that people still love to shop. It’s a very social occasion and has been part of our culture for many years. Look at Meadowhall, despite being many years old now it still attracts a huge footfall and retailers of all types and sizes continue to flourish there.

How then do we ensure we have what it takes to make sure we are one of those that thrives and not one of those sad statistics of business failure? As mentioned earlier this comes down to two prime areas – the best products and the best service. One thing you need to remember, which is often forgotten, retailing is not about what you sell it’s all about what people buy! Far too many retailers stock their shops with products that just don’t sell without giving real consideration to what is actually selling.

So, what’s the difference between those environments and the High Street? In the case of Trinity Leeds – not a lot, as on opening day it was freezing! Meadowhall is different in that it is heated and coats are not required. You can stroll around in complete comfort and even sit outside cafes to eat and chat. So, if these environments are so popular what does that tell us about the High Street? It has to be different! Different in what it offers and different in its shopping experience. Town Centres have to be ‘visitor friendly’ and shopping has to offer an experience to those that visit. Free parking would help, a good range of products not readily available elsewhere and excellent customer service are also essential. Don’t get disheartened, there is still a future in retail - Independent retailers opened three times more shops than chain stores in the year to January 2013, according to research by the Local Data Company.

The opportunity for an independent retailer here is enormous as they’re not governed by ‘head office’ and ‘corporate policy’, but have almost complete freedom in what they sell. Do the market research and then stock the products that are selling best in the sector that you supply. Make yours different if at all possible with some level of customisation or uniqueness they can only get from you. Having got all this right then you must realise that it’s happy customers that keep you in business. “Exceeding expectations” is easy to quote but how often do we actually experience that? That’s your challenge for today – go out and be committed to providing the best possible customer experience you can imagine. Get this right and you will succeed!”

Top Notch Customer Service is on the Agenda Ask any business owner and they will tell you the importance of customer service. Building that reputation where customers are loyal and share their positive experiences. It isn’t rocket science, but is sometimes difficult to achieve, particularly with an expanding staff base who all have different opinions about what a customer experience should be. In 2010, The Source collaborated with Skillsmart Retail and the National Skills Academy for Retail to standardise customer service and bring world class customer service and management training to the Sheffield City Region. The suite of programmes centers around the following areas: • The Principles of Customer Service • Sales Powered by Service • Frontline Management Solutions Developed in Canada and originally created for Expo 86 in Vancouver, WorldHost was used in the programme for the Canadian 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The success of the training was noted immediately, with Canada now ranked consistently among the top countries in the world for the strength of its visitor "welcome."

WorldHost has been particularly popular in the region with a range of retail outlets benefiting from the training, including traders in the Sheffield Markets and Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

“Do what you do so well that your customers will want to see it again and bring their friends.” - Walt Disney

To find out more about the WorldHost training programmes, visit or call 0114 263 5655.


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Omnichannel Opportunities Ann Cadman, Director of The Source Skills Academy looks at how omnichannel retailing offers exciting opportunities for customers, retail brands and shopping destinations.

services like Collect Plus and ByBox lockers to give consumers access to their full product range online, giving them the option to collect or return purchases from convenient locations, including local corner shops.

“From eCommerce to mCommerce, multichannel to omnichannel, we’ve seen a real shift in how leading retail brands and shopping destinations see the Internet over the last ten years, and of course a transformation in how people use it.

We’re seeing more showroom style units in prime locations. These tend to provide a much smaller range of products to buy in store, but make it easier for consumers to shop online, through kiosks or on their smartphones, and take advantage of click and collect.

From being afraid of using their credit cards online, UK consumers are now happy to spend via laptop, tablet and smartphone. The Centre for Retail Research put UK online sales at over £50 billion in 2011 – or 12% of UK retail trade, up from 8.6% in 2008. According to the BCSC, this is expected to rise to 25% by 2020.

John Lewis in Liverpool and House of Fraser in Aberdeen are both experimenting with these smaller format showrooms, more like a café than a department store – in locations where otherwise they wouldn’t operate.

For me, omnichannel is one of the most exciting things happening in retail at the moment. Done well, it delivers true convenience to shoppers, making it easier for them to browse and buy. For retailers, it provides an array of opportunities to interact with customers, helping build brand image and deliver a consistent experience that can drive sales.

Meadowhall Centre Director Darren Pearce, comments: “Retail is a very dynamic industry: the needs and the wants of our consumers are constantly changing. As a business we need to react to that and move with the times: complacency will cost those that don’t.

So what is omnichannel?


Omnichannel retailing is generally seen as the evolution of multichannel retailing, which gave shoppers the chance to browse and purchase via multiple channels - online, mobile and in-store. Omnichannel takes this to the next level, offering shoppers a seamless experience at every touchpoint. This means people can access identical products, prices and deals, get the same service and receive a consistent experience, whether they are interacting with the brand through a bricks and mortar unit, website, social networking tool, catalogue, mobile site or app. This may not sound like a big difference, but it requires retailers to think of their virtual and physical stores holistically, as one. It also means they need to adopt an integrated approach to data, looking at how customers use all the channels and interact with the brand at each point. So is it worth it? Yes. Research from IDC Retail Insights shows that multichannel shoppers spend, on average, 15% to 30% more with a retailer than someone who uses only one channel – and that omnichannel shoppers spend 15% to 30% more than multichannel shoppers. Omnichannel in action: click and collect From John Lewis and M&S to small independent retailers, the range of brands offering shoppers the chance to buy online and collect in store is on the rise. This is a great example of how technology can help retailers increase sales and drive traffic to their outlets. Retailers without large, well-located store networks can also use

Omnichannel in action: showrooms

“It is important to outline a clear set of objectives when considering any form of technology. Within the context of a shopping centre, technology must serve as a benefit to both customers and retailers. In 2012 Meadowhall introduced free WiFi, Collect+ and myByBox services to the Centre - and since then interest and indeed usage has been very encouraging.” A final thought It’s also worth noting that not everything can go online. Many people enjoy the shopping experience and consumers often want their products now. This usually means a physical store.”

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Getting Moor from Sheffield... Sheffield is in the midst of some exciting changes, none more innovative than the new indoor market set to launch in November 2013. Andy Ward, Head of Sheffield Markets, explains the history of the markets and how the new development is set to revitalise the city centre, offering a new shopping experience for customers. “Sheffield has a long history of markets dating back as far as the 13th century when the Lord of the Manor of Sheffield was granted a royal charter to hold markets in the area by King Edward I. The main Sheffield market since that date has not ventured more than a few hundred yards from its original home outside the walls of Sheffield Castle and the current Castle Market sits fair and square on top of the ruins of that original stone castle the occupants of which in 1649 allying themselves with the wrong side during the English Civil War! The new market the Council is in the process of building will take the main city centre market around a mile away from its traditional home to the area of The Moor in Sheffield. The decision to move there was not taken lightly and much deliberation has taken place about the move to an untried market area of the city but going on the number of applications received for the new market we are

currently looking at being around 50% over subscribed somewhat vindicating our decision to move the market from its traditional home. The market is seen as being a major catalyst to the whole of the Moor’s regeneration and with a projected weekly footfall of 100,000 shoppers it will help lift the whole area along with the investment that Scottish Widows is putting into the public realm and other blocks. The new market will have 183 stalls and 12 café units all on one floor with three main entrances serving pedestrian, public transport and car borne shoppers, a communal café seating area, free wi-fi, a demonstration cooking area and we a re aiming at achieving a BREEAM rating of very good giving the market excellent green credentials.” The new Sheffield Market is due to open on Monday 18th November this year and will then open from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm Monday through Saturday each week.


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We have Apprenticeships available in: • • • • •

Retail Customer Service Marketing Administration Warehousing

• • • • •

Management Hospitality Painting & Decorating Brickwork Motor Vehicle

“All for employment, employment for all” 08

At The Source, we believe our Employables are the future for business. The Source offers various Apprenticeships for individuals who are looking for employment and not currently at school, college or sixth form. We also offer Apprenticeships for people who are currently employed and looking to improve their skills, so there’s something for everyone! Looking for Employment We have many South Yorkshire businesses looking to employ an Apprentice. The vacancies are full time and allow you to get paid whilst studying for your Apprenticeship. Our team of Tutors visit you and your employer at work to support you through the qualification and you may spend some time at The Source too. An Apprenticeship is a great start to any career and we have vacancies ready and waiting to be filled. You can apply for one of our fantastic vacancies at – just click on the ‘Job Opportunities’ tab at the top of the page for our live vacancies. Currently Employed Apprenticeships are a great way to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst you work. Qualifications are available in a number of subject areas and can be tailored to suit you and your employer. Apprenticeships help you improve your skills, knowledge and confidence, giving you all the equipment you need for your future. The length of qualifications are a minimum of 12 months and can range to 2 years, depending on the qualification and level you undertake. Most of the training is delivered in the workplace at a time to suit you and your employer. This way our Tutors can assess you in your work environment and you don’t miss out on getting paid. We have qualifications available at different levels (level 2 or 3) to suit you and your development. You will also gain qualifications in functional skills and a technical certificate.

Employer Apprenticeships are a great way to develop the skills of a new employee or up-skill your existing workforce. There are a wide range of Apprenticeship qualifications available in a number of industry sectors to suit your business. As an employer you can become involved in Apprenticeships in two ways: Recruit an Apprentice Recruiting an Apprentice is a great way of expanding your workforce with new talent. Apprentices can develop their skills to gain a Level 2 or 3 whilst carrying out their duties in the workplace. Recruiting an Apprentice is as easy as 1,2,3: 1. Provide a job description 2. We advertise, interview and shortlist for your consideration 3. You interview and select the Apprentice to join your business. Once our Recruitment Advisors have found your perfect Apprentice and they are in post, a Work Based Tutor will carry out regular visits to support you and your Apprentice through their qualification. Up-skilling Existing Employees The Source also offers Apprenticeship courses for existing employees at all ages. Existing employees can develop their skills to gain a Level 2 or 3 qualification whilst carrying out their current duties in the workplace. You can even take this opportunity to expand the skills of individuals to take on new responsibilities. Up-skilling your existing workforce with Apprenticeship courses is a great way to: • Motivate your workforce • Increase productivity with a skilled workforce • Reduce skills shortages • Access tailor-made courses with your business/sector in mind • Succession planning

If you are an individual looking for an Apprenticeship, or a business looking to recruit an Apprentice, contact us today on

0114 263 6652 or email

Retail Matters - Issue 1  

Retail Matters is a magazine dedicated to retail news and information from across the Sheffield City Region.