2017 Look Ahead: Retail

by Simon Hockridge

Many retailers will be pleased to see the back of 2016 given it has been a tough one for the sector, not least due to the unseasonal weather that has particularly affected fashion companies, hitting sales and profits – writes Simon Hockridge.

However, looking forward, the outlook for the sector is also uncertain and investor confidence around retail is probably at its lowest for some years.

In the wake of the Referendum vote, the plunge of the pound will really start to bite in 2017, as retailers see the cost of manufacturing their products increasing. That means a dilemma of whether they pass the price increases on to customers, or take a hit to margins at the risk of upsetting investors.

This issue, combined with the spectre of inflation and the threat it poses to consumer confidence, will no doubt dominate the retail agenda over the coming year.

In retail, probably more than any other sector, audiences cannot be separated. Therefore, it’s important to be aware that anything you might be saying to suppliers or investors, could potentially reach the consumer, particularly if you are a well-known brand. As a result, ensuring your message works across all audiences is essential.

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