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Latest News

World Cup 2014

 
The Centre for Retail Research has done the calculations for what the World Cup 2014 means to Britian's retailers, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels.
 
They can be found here:
 
http://www.retailresearch.org/worldcupshopping.php
 
We estimate that the benefits of the World Cup as long as England pass the Group stage should be increased sales of £1,883 mn or £2,580 mn if England gets to the World Cup Final. 
 
Each English goal kicked will mean an estimated gain in sales to Britain's shops and pubs of £165.3 mn. 
 
On behalf of Britain's commercial sector, wrecked by low consumer spending, high property taxes, rapid online growth and aggressive competition, we say

 

REMEMBER 1966 -

 

COME ON ENG-ER-LAND!

 

Shopping for the World Cup

 

 

 

 

AMERICAN SHUTDOWN

What people often forget is that for some reason the US has closed down all its statistical websites as well so you cannot get proper data on economics or retail or the labour force at all. There is simply a screen that says in effect, "Sod off you ought to have known this". It is very discouraging. If this had happened in Albania or Afghanistan, one would think, "Well what did I expect?" Better than this, Miley Cyrus was bad enough.

Even more damaging is this photo which says it all. All rights etc remain with Anorak.co.uk

And then of course there's the question of whether the warfare between Republicans and Democrats will plunge the world into a second recession. 

 

 

RETAIL FUTURES 2018 - the High Street, Online and Shop Numbers

The report is now out. It has been a lot more popular that we expected, but we have now caught up with demand and everyone should have the copy that they requested. We send out a web address to download it from the Cloud. In three cases, people have not been able to download it but this seems to result from a 'protective' attack of  anti-malware anti-virus systems amongst three companies well known for the intensity of their IT systems. 

It has been interesting to see the comments people have made about the way that a large minority of high streets have become encumbered by charity shops, money shops, lottery prize outlets, and pound shops. We are not against such traders as long as they do not dominate high streets. We simply argue that if these vacant outlets are not going to be let, it is best to turn them into homes - or offices or doctors' surgeries - rather than pretend that everything is going to come right at some future time.    

Joshua Bamfield

 

 

GREEK GOVERNMENT TO PROSECUTE HEAD OF GOVERNMENT STATISTICS FOR BIAS

 

The Chief Greek National Statistician, Andreas Georgiou, is to be prosecuted for 'falsifying results' (broadly speaking, applying the Eurostat rules when calculating national economic results to Greek economic performance). For years Eurostat has been reporting Greek data along with other EU countries, aware that the Greek data probably contained some element of fantasy whilst unattractive data might not be included at all. Georgiou was asked to sort this out.  

 

A similar problem has happened in Argentina where the Government statistian has been sacked for doing her job properly. There is an article in Significance on this topic.

 

Greek economic stats have been regarded as an art form for many years rather than an accurate record of what is happening in the economy. Georgiou has been criticised as unpatriotic for bringing in all the missing bits of data and including the results of state-owned and public bodies when calculating Greek national liabilities (which the rules require you to do).

 

A fairly commonplace statement from the Royal Statistical Society can be found here - the best you can say is that this may be is just the public face of the behind-doors protests:

 

http://www.rssenews.org.uk/2013/02/rss-president-urges-scrupulously-fair-hearing-for-greeces-chief-statistician-facing-felony-charges/

 

A more robust discussion in Der Spiegel about this topic can be found here: 

 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/chief-greek-statistician-charged-for-revealing-true-size-of-debt-a-882942.html

 

Since the end of the Soviet Union you would not think that being a government statistician would normally carry a prison sentence. 

 

 

Horse Burgers and Horse Meat

It is late I know to be commenting upon this issue but it is a strange episode. 

Some people don't see what the problem is; some object to eating man's best friend, the horse; and others would never think of buying frozen beef burgers, value or otherwise. 

However, it is just not true that we do not eat horse meat in the UK. Here is a picture of people queing up about 70 years ago in Winson Green Rd, Birmingham, and pretty delicious it would have been too.

 

 

CHRISTMAS IS UPON US

A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE

 

INFORMATION ABOUT CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IS HERE 

http://www.retailresearch.org/shoppingforxmas.php

INFORMATION ABOUT CHRISTMAS SHOPLIFTING IS HERE 

http://www.retailresearch.org/shopliftingforxmas.php

 

INFORMATION (RETAIL) ABOUT KATE AND WILLIAM'S ROYAL BABY IS HERE 

http://www.shopperdoodledoo.co.uk/recent-reports/a-royal-baby

 

Information about CHORD

CHORD is the Wolverhampton Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution, based at the University.

 

Read their new blog here http://retailhistory.wordpress.com/

 

A CHORD Retail History Workshop is forthcoming on 15 May 2013,  entitled

RETAILING, SHOPPING AND GENDER: HISTORICAL APPROACHES

 

Charity Shops 2012-style

You might think that charity shops would be immune to crime, functioning as they do to support the poor and underprivileged. If so, you would of course be wrong. 

Centre for Retail Research figures show that theft from charity shops rose in the last 2 years by 20% to £5.1 million, which is a big chunk of their profits. Naturally the designerwear, expensive gifts, watches, and ceramics are the most likely to go because they are worth the most. 

There is an article in the Sunday Independent here

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/shoplifters-target-designer-clothes-from-charity-shops-7606228.html?origin=internalSearch

and I did a short piece on BBC Breakfast on Mon April 2 at 7.20-ish. 

Doleful Waymark II 

Fast on the heels of doleful waymark I (the 1,000 store barrier) comes Doleful Waymark II, more than 25,000 staff affected by company failures. 

The administration of GAME means that between 1 January 2012 and 22 March 2012 - ie 12 weeks - 15 major retailers had collapsed, 25,536 UK employees worked for these firms and the number of stores affected was 1,869

So far this is worse than any year since 2008. 

The next Doleful Waymark is 25 retailers and 2,500 stores

 

Doleful Waymark for 2012: Retailers in Administration passes the 1,000 store barrier

Who's Gone Bust is our page in retailers who go into administration.

By 6 March 20012: 

  -  1,246 stores had been affected by retailers going into administration so far this year

  -  12 large retailers had gone bust affecting the jobs of 19,235 retail employees

 

This rate of attrition was last seen in 2008, although the failure of Peacocks has distorted the picture in the first quarter. However there is at least one very large retailer poised, which could mean that 2012 (otherwise a year of some progress) could be dire for many businesses.

 

Middle-class Shoplifting

The BBC has produced a webpage on middle-class shoplifting entitled Why Do Well-off People Shoplift? (Kathryn Westcott) with comments from the usual people such as Cupchick in the US. 

The BBC claims that the Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB), which we write every year,

      "has suggested a new wave of middle-class shoplifter is targeting high-end delicacies from supermarkets in order to maintain a lifestyle they could no longer afford".

The GRTB has never made any such claim and neither has the Centre. No doubt middle-class shoplifting is on the rise along with theft by other social classes. But it is not a big deal and it is wrong for the BBC to repeat an error and what they know to be an error. 

Luckily they described the GRTB as a consultancy - so they cannot have had a look at the report - (surely not) and did not think to contact us before making this statement. Just to rectify matters, The Centre carries out research and one of the publications is the GRTB.

The offending BBC webpage is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16469928

 

RIOTOUS ASSEMBLY                            Rioters Loot English Shops 

The Centre for Retail Research has been commissioned by Kelkoo, the shopping comparison website, to estimate the costs of the riots to British retailers. This was published on Wed 10 August.

  • The riots have cost retailers £80 million so far (Wednesday 10th Aug) in early store closures and customers avoiding certain areas or staying at home.
  • The repair bill comes to £43.5 million (so far) and stores that have been trashed or badly damaged will need £66.9 million spending on them before they can open again. Losses caused by stores that simply will not be able to trade again we estimate to be at least £13 million.   
  • Losses from tourism: we expect that 330,000 tourists will go elsewhere and this will cut tourism spending by £520 million in a year.  

If the riots continue till Friday the retail bill will hit almost £391 million. 

Kelkoo's full press release is here:

http://press.kelkoo.co.uk/riots-cost-uk-retailers-80-million-in-lost-sales-2-5-million-per-working-hour.html

THE RIOT ACT. This Act of Parliament, first passed in 1714 against Jacobites, enables a magistrate's proclamation read to an tumultuous or riotous asembly of 12 or more to convert that group into an illegal assembly. If they do not disperse within an hour then they can be violently dispersed (usual method: cavalry). Any attack during a riot on significant property including churches, barns, and houses was a felony punishable by death.  

The proclamation had to include these exact words: Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God Save the King!   

The Riot Act was abolished in 1973. 

See, Mr Tyson, I was paying attention in A-level History!

 

"EVENIN' ALL!" 

Ever wondered why all the police chiefs that resign look so young these days?

Whilst the problems of newspapers, politics and police issues and the deeds of News International seem dominant in Britain today, here are some issues (below) that seem to take a back seat, They really worry the Centre for RR, but we must simply be silly. They cannot be important because they are not in the newspapers very much. 

  1. Sharp fall in the money supply in Italy. Problems loom for 2012.
  2. Flat consumer spending in the UK. 2012 is looking weaker and weaker.
  3. Euro problems: what to do with the euro being overvalued for Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain but undervalued for Germany.
  4. Sovereign debt problems in three countries. 
  5. The U.S. budget, or lack of it. Living from hand to mouth may make great politics but rubbish economics. 
  6. Interest rates: UK rates need to rise, but the political will and courage is completely absent.
  7. Pensions and provision for the aged: looking pretty bad from now on. 
  8. I bought 2 of these mats from JLP (see below) incredibly cheaply, but I am not sure where to put them. 

 

RETAIL HIGH STREET REPORT - FIRST 6 MONTHS -- JAN TO JUNE 2011

The closure of Habitat (now confirmed), and Jane Norman (imminent)  emphasises that the last 6 months have been the worst since 2009 for retailers.

Each month the Centre collects data on major and medium-sized retail failures. Although it is not quite the end of June, here are the figures for the first six months of 2011. 

Jan - June 2011: 20 failures, 820 stores affected and 10,525 employees. 

Jan-December 2010: 26 failures, 944 stores, and 10,930 employees. 

Therefore the number of companies, stores and employees affected by administration in the FIRST SIX MONTHS of 2011 is around 85% of the whole of last year, with only slighlty fewer staff being affected than in the whole of last year.

What is our prediction for the whole of 2011? It depends. If things carry on as they are, we would expect 35-40 retailers to go on the block, 2000 stores and 20 to 25,000 employees to be affected by the end of December 2011. That includes the retailers that have already gone into administration this year.

Full detail to end June is here: http://retailresearch.org/whosegonebust.php

The major retailers to go have been Focus DIY, Habitat, Oddbins, Life&Style, Haldanes, Alworths, The Officers Club and British Bookshops. There are rumours of a further major retailer with some important news in the next few days. The great majority of these stores have had several owners in the last 10 years and a number are rescues from previous failures.     

 

EUROPEAN CONSUMER RIGHTS DIRECTIVE  -   DITCH THE DIRECTIVE 

Internet retailing has grown rapidly as a result of the innovation of businesses and the enthusiasm of the shopping public. It has not required governments or the EU to show it what to do or to guide commerce in the appropriate directions. In fact all this has happened without governments or the European Community.  

Is a European directive required? Yes. Is this one required? No. It is an abominable, hopeless, reckless, useless, fatuous Directive that will cause immense harm to internet retailers and promote fraud.  

Economists love parodoxes: government policy that produces the opposite effect from that intended. The new Directive will put up prices for consumers, reduce consumer welfare as SME online stores take care to deal with no one outside their own country, finance fraud and crime, and impose extra costs on online retailers.   

The new Directive will:

  • force retailers to trade with consumers in every EU state, irrespective of whether this is economic (eg an SME may not wish to trade with customers in Roumania or Lithuania, particularly with enforced 'free' returns)
  • force retailers to pay for all returns for orders of more than €40 if customers change their mind about whether they want it
  • customers can change their mind and reject an order up to 14 days after receipt, without charge (unless <€40)
  • retailers have only 14 days to refund customer payments - for goods returned from abroad this means that refunds must be made before the goods have been shipped back to the retailer and checked. 

The intentions of the Directive are fine. If goods are defective or not-to-specification then obviously the retailer should pay for them to be returned and there needs to be a finite period within which refunds have to be made. But this Directive is not the Directive that we need to regulate interstate commerce.

Forcing everyone with an online presence to ship goods to any other EU country irrespective of the company size or the likelihood of fraud and to deal with any rejects or complaints in up to 23 different languages sounds like a breach of Human Rights legislation about the protection of property.

Whilst online retailers can be slow to make refunds, a requirement of 14 days means that refunds will be made before checking that the goods have been returned, that all the goods are there, they are undamaged and that no counterfeits have been slipped in. 

Requiring retailers to pay for any returns whatever the cause  - including 'I don't think I really need it' - imposes heavy costs on online retailers and encourages incompetent consumers. 

We support the Retail Week campaign to oppose the new EU Directive on European Consumer Rights (CRD). Sign up here -

http://www.retail-week.com/in-business/ditch-the-directive                   

Will it do any good? The online community has left it too late and I don't think that the EU is particularly interested. 

Note of possible conflict of interest. 

I purchase goods online as well as producing reports on the growth of online retailing in Europe. The above is a personal statement. CRR Limited itself has no corporate view on this topic, except that governments always mess things up.  

 

The Royal Wedding

As excitement about the Royal Wedding mounts, note that we have revised the original figures for retail spending. This is mainly to take account of the April date (we had expected  June or July) and the public holiday, leading to extra shopping. 

The headline results are here - on this page    http://www.retailresearch.org/royalwedding2011.php

If you want more details about how the figures were derived, whether the spending is additional, and how many street parties there will be, go to our sister site (shopperdoodledoo) here   http://www.shopperdoodledoo.co.uk/recent-reports/royal-wedding-research

The report on the wedding is at the foot of the page on shopperdoodledoo

 

Budget 2011  Latest Growth Forecast  - Retail Impacts on Businesses

It's too early yet to give a rounded picture of the impact of the Budget upon retail sales in the UK. 

One point we picked up very quickly. The Chancellor has revised down his growth estimate for 2011 from 2.1% to 1.7%. Last summer his estimate was as high as 2.3%.

We simply point out that our estimate for 2011 (set as long ago as June 2010) was 1.6% - a mere 6% out. The Chancellor was 26% wrong (against June 2010) and 19% out compared to his revision. In June 2010 we stated that the OBR's independent growth estimates were over-optimistic. How right we were.

And we still think that our 1.6% estiimate for 2011 is a better forecast than the Chancellor's. 

THE BUDGET: The impact on retail depends on whether it gets consumers spending again. We think there may be some mild improvement in trends by summer. 

Excise Duties: these were set to rise and will do so. Likely to be 15p on wine, up to 50p on economy cigarettes (33p on premium cigs), up to 10p on strong beer, up to 55p on gin though the Daily Mail says it is far higher.. 

Fuel Duties: fuel duty cut by 1p from tonight. In addition the Govt is to bring in a Fuel Stabiliser (=a regulator) designed to cut fuel duty when petrol prices rise reducing the pressure on fuel prices. But this also means that when oil prices are falling, they will not fall so much. 

Jersey VAT: the tax treatment of online retail merchandise that passes through the Channel Islands will be changed to end zero VAT on goods below £18.   This will put up prices but it is fairer than the current situation.

Income Tax: increased allowances aimed mostly at lower-income families. Personal tax allances to rise by £630 to £8105. A positive impact, but this group is suffering most from price increases (to reach 5% later  this year) and job reductions.

Business Taxes: rates of corporate tax cut by 2% from April 2011 and a further 1% off each year for the next 3 years. Other goodies for SMEs. Businesses also benefit from the fuel duty decision (above) and the curb on road haulage duty. Red tape and restrictions on business to be reduced (value of £350 mn), but we've heard this before.

Electricity and Gas: new carbon levy will add £30 average to everyone's gas and electric bill. 

Pensions: the end of contracting-out for defined benefit pension (final salary) schemes will scupper the remaining final salary pension schemes. Retailers will shift their existing schemes to a contributions only basis. 

Interest-free loans for 1st-time house buyers: could help the low price house market, but this market is already very depressed

Council tax: will be frozen for a year. Helpful, but will force councils to cut even more quickly. 

Training: 24 new University Technical Colleges (though we had those already) and an extra 40,000 apprenticeships to be funded. No mention, however, of HND - of of the few qualifications still valued by employers.

Planning: Bit difficult to work out what the Chancellor means by auctioning off planning permission. IN principle it means that the construction industry will benefit and new stores should find it easier to get planning permission. Can this really be true? It also sounds as though it will be much easier to change shops into residential accommodation. 

So, is this budget Good or Bad? It is not the Centre's job to be political in that way. We think it could have been worse. There will be some small positive or expansionary impacts. We think the Chancellor has given away a little too much. But the future will depend mainly on how well the world economy grows, how quickly UK consumers start buying and investing and how quickly the unemployed and the less-employed can be brought into regular work. A lot of this will be determined by CONFIDENCE rather than by individual macroeconomic policies. 

To quote the Duke of Wellington

Hard pounding, gentlemen, hard pounding.

 

Middle-Class Shoplifting : A Statement

The Centre for Retail Research carries out many surveys into retail crime. In spite of news stories in the last two years, we have never ever said that any change in the rate of shoplifting is caused by a rise in middle-class shoplifting. Middle-class shoplifting probably is on the rise, but our view is that middle-class shoplifting has always existed as an occasional or regular practice and the increase in what might be called psychological 'entitlement' may well have given it a boost. 

Middle-class shoplifting is out there, just like middle-class fraud and middle-class ponzi schemes. For retailers, middle-class shoplifting, rather like working class shoplifting or theft by wealthy aristocrats,  is simply crime that costs them money and causes anxiety to store staff about whether they will react violently. The fact that the offender says,  'I didn't do it' or 'This was a moment of madness' or the ever-popular  'This is the only time....' in well-modulated proper sentences is irrelevant.  

The Centre intends to carry out research into middle-class shoplifting later in 2011 in order to provide some accurate information on the issue. Please register if you want to know the conclusions. http://retailresearch.org/contact.php

Shopping Capitals of the World

The main conclusions of the study of 22 shopping capitals has been pasted up on this site here http://retailresearch.org/worldshoppingcapitals.php .

Capitals studied included: London, Paris, New York, Dubai, HK, Singapore, Tokyo, Rio, Berlin, Milan, Rome, Barcelona. 

Department of 'We Told You So!'

1)  Consumer Spending.  Our forecast with Kelkoo made in late Autumn that the VAT increase and public sector retrenchment would cut  consumer confidence and lower spending on the high street is coming true. We estimates that retail sales would fall by £2.2 billion in Jan-March 2011. Consumer confidence (Nationwide measure) had fallen by Jan 2011 to levels seen in early 2009 (from 54 points in Dec 2010 to 47 in Jan 2011). High street sales are suffering. Inflation in Jan 2011 rose to 4%, which is another reason why more consumers may be frugal.

2)   Inflation. The Bank of England expects inflation to rise to 5% after which it will fall. We recommended in June 2010 that interest rates should start to rise as the monetary side of the economy was out of kilter. The retail industry, which accepted the VAT rise and the public spending cuts without query (apart from Harold Tillman, now one of the Centre's heros), is for some reason very antogonistic to increases in interest rates.

     No one expects interest rate to be moved quickly up to 5%, but, in stages, the bank rate can be moved gradually to 1.5% by later in the year. This seems inevitable. If rates of interest are a problem, retailers could start by cutting the interest on their own credit cards.  

Design Circus - West Bridgford Pop-Up Store - Longest-lived Pop up Store in the UK?? 

The West Bridgford (Nottingham) pop-up store profiled on 29 Nov 2009 by The Telegraph as a 'sign of things to come'  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/6637132/Shops-popping-up-on-high-street.html) has been trading successfully  since then, making it the longest-lived pop-up store in the UK. After 13 months the Design Circus, theoretically moved out of its premises, but was allowed to stay and has reopened. More information here  http://design-circus.blogspot.com/

 

 

Retail prices: Current Data on retail prices

We now have monthly updated figures for both measures of retail prices on our website and these can be found here  http://www.retailresearch.org/retailpriceindex.php

The graph is sourced from Timetric (http://timetric.com). This makes available a range of data in a simple graphic form. We will try to incorporate their graphs in our own work in the next few months. Thank you. 

 

Academic Libraries and Research

The Centre for Retail Research has now sent out copies of the Global Retail Theft Barometer to a range of academic libraries so that it may be of use to students. Presumably it will end up in Law libraries, although there is more evidence that it is used by marketing, operations, retail specialists and political scientists  than by criminologists. Anyway it has gone to Oxford, Cambridge, London, LSE, York, National Library, Glasgow, Bham, City of Birmingham, Leeds, Leeds Met, Manchester, Manchester Met, Loughborough, Portsmouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Glasgow Cal, Strathclyde, Stirling, Oxf Brookes, Durham, Teeside, Ulster, Cardiff, Wales, Leicester, Reading, Bournemouth.  If there is anywhere else where there might be some potential readers, please let us know. 

There aren't many copies left and it costs about £20 to print and £2 to send, so we don't want to go wild. 

 

Who's Gone Bust in Retail 2010

The consolidated figures for 2010 about retail failures have now been put here http://www.retailresearch.org/whosegonebust.php

2010 was better than for many years, 26 companies failed (37 in 2009), 944 stores were closed by VA (6536 in 2009), and 10,930 employees were affected (compared with 26,688 in 2009). Go to the link for more figures. 

The data refer to large and medium retailers, not independents. 

 

SHOPPING AND SNOW       

The Centre for Retail Research, on behalf of Kelkoo the online shopping portal, has got into the retail snowdrift to estimate the gains and losses made by shops and stores and ecommerce as a result of the SNOW and inclement weather. 

You can find it here  http://www.shopperdoodledoo.co.uk/recent-reports/shopping-snow

 

SHOPLIFTING FOR CHRISTMAS 2010    PRESS RELEASE

Our report on the costs of Christmastide retail crime covering the UK and 14 European countries will be published on Wednesday 1 December 2010. For technical reasons it will not be published yet on this site but on our sister site, Shopperdoodledoo (yes, OK, we know) http://www.shopperdoodledoo.co.uk/recent-reports/shoplifting-for-christmas

 

STOP PRESS

ROYAL WEDDING - Retail Gains from Centre Retail Research/Kelkoo Research

The Centre for Retail Research, in a survey carried out for Kelkoo, estimates the retail gain from the royal wedding to be £515.5 million. It recommends a summer marriage as being best for shops, the weather and tourists combined with a public holiday.

Food and drink. £236.5 million on food and drink, 1/2 million bottles of champagne, 6.5 million people celebrating, made up of royalists, loyalists and people who just like a party. 320,000 extra tourists 

Memorabilia. Souvenirs, memorabilia and wedding-related merchandise will be worth £222 million from flags to mugs. 3 million mugs and 5 million commemorative coins and tokens will be bought.

A copy of the very full press release can be found on our new development site - it's a bit messy but can be found here:

http://www.shopperdoodledoo.co.uk/recent-reports/royal-wedding-research

 

DEPARTMENT OF 'WE SAID IT FIRST' !

Avid readers of this website will have a sense of deja vue when they heard that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced on 18 Nov 2010 they were downgrading the UK growth rate for 2011 from 2.5% to 1.7%. The government Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) figure for 2011 is still an unrealistic 2.3%. 

Avid readers will know that way back in June 2010 we downgraded our UK forecast from 2.2% to 1.6% (see 'Retail Forecast 2011-12' tab on this website). 1.6% is not a gloomy forecast, but it is obviously more stringent than what many initially expected. The centre for Retail Research was convinced by hearing the Chancellor's Budget speech back in June.

Forecasting is about Fore Casting, rather than responding to immediate events.

However we did not upgrade our 1.2% forecast for 2010 in spite of the fact that the rising VAT receipts during the year suggested that things had been going rather better than forecast. We should have done that. OECD have upgraded their 1.3% forecast for2010 to 1.8%, which is probably too high. We'd go for 1.6%

 

INTERNET EYES

Internet Eyes is an online CCTV monitoring service that offers retailers the prospect of third-party monitoring of their CCTV system. A three-month trial has already started. Civil liberties champions have condemned it for using members of the public to view footage from retail stores in order to spot an offence and alert security. How will it all turn out? In this case, they are probably right.

Nothing to do with us! Although the Centre for Retail Research is cited in sentence 1 on Internet Eyes'  Home Page, we have no links with it . They have never been in touch and did not ask our permission.

 Morals. If you have CCTV in your store there can be no moral objection to your viewing footage at home, after all many store owners already have CCTV over IP streamed to where they live. Similarly a security officer watching CCTV footage at home might be just as good as one at work. Probably cheaper too!

Financial model iffy. I honestly do not see this programme being able to get very far. The major retailers are highly unlikely to join the scheme. The heads of Loss Prevention are too wise and sensible. They have reached their present posts by being able to spot potential trainwrecks before they happen. However this means that the main clients for Internet Eyes will be small businesses, a very costly and demanding market to recruit, service and retain customers.   

Can home viewers beat professional security? Some can, but the incentives to continue after the first few days seem weak. It can be pretty hard to interpret CCTV images and it is definitely NOT like the tele (unless you liked watching the Test Card when young). If the job of CCTV operator were that easy, my granny could do it. This means that there could be a high fall-off rate amongst watchers after initial interest which will place heavy costs upon Internet Eyes in recruiting and filtering new watchers (primarily CRB checks).

The main problems to watch out for are:

-      unfair arrests (someone misinterpreted the CCTV images) - this is after all normally a professional job

-      saucy footage uploaded to YouTube - including 'celebrities', politicians and anything newsworthy (or not).

It may cost you. The retailer, as owner of the CCTV system, is responsible for the collection, use and storage of data. If you allow it to be streamed into people's homes you are responsible for any misuse that may affect 'privacy'.  If watchers store clips of the 'best bits' or share them around this will be your fault. Even if they simply record footage and do nothing with it, this will still be in breach of your obligations under the DPA. It's quite true that if someone were physically present they could record it directly, but legally and morally the system controller is responsible if you are watching his streamed CCTV.

This project is going to struggle.

A professional ethicist comments here

http://www.idea.leeds.ac.uk/penblog/2010/10/12/privatized-surveillance/

 And Kent Police CCTV  Liaison Officer, speaking personally ....

http://www.professionalsecurity.co.uk/newsdetails.aspx?NewsArticleID=14780&imgID=1

And just to show that, because of the internet, we are all under surveillance, however innocent we are, The Wall Street Journal comments from North America thus .....

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703848204575608222815817904.html#Tabs%3Darticle

 

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Carbon Reduction Label  -      research by Centre for Retail Research October 2010

The use of the Carbon Reduction Label by retailers and manufacturers is intended to show that the 'Carbon Footprint' of the relevant products has been measured and the businesses involved are committed to a phased strategy of carbon footprint reduction. The scheme has been in existence since 2007 and operates using an assured methodology. Companies using this programme for all or part of their products are proper businesses like Tesco, British Sugar, Dyson, Tate & Lyle, Allied Bakeries and Morphy Richards.

We were asked to audit the claims of the labelling scheme. We found that retail sales of Carbon Reduction Label products were £2 billion in 2010, growing from 40 SKUs in 2007 to around 40,000 by the end of 2010 and making it the second largest eco/standards programme in the UK with 22 companies. It is expected to grow to £15 billion by 2015 (our estimate).

As well as retail, another £1 billion of sales in 2010 involved B2B products in the Carbon Reduction Label scheme, such as Marshalls. B2B is also growing at more than 50% pa. 

The label is effectively a process for validating the measurement of the existing Carbon Footprint and planning reductions, using Carbon Trust methodology and software that ensures that all claims are verifiable and conform to the carbon footprint standard PAS 2050.

Many companies in the programme do not use the footprint label. There is no change for the label. It is a change process. 'We' (meaning the public, goverment, businesses and the EU) are committed to reducing our Carbon Footprint as a matter of national policy.

The Centre for Retail Research carries out independent verification and audit for several companies. We do not have an ongoing relationship with any of these businesses which might otherwise affect - or appear to affect - our comments. 

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News of GRTB 2010     Publication Date Tues 19 October 2010             Global Retail Theft Barometer     

The TENTH edition of the Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB 2010) will be published on Tuesday 19 October 2010.

It will cover 42 countries, including the UK. Russia is included for the first time. If you are interested in shoplfiting, employee theft, shrinkage, loss prevention expenditure, high-risk products or how retail crime in the U.S. compares with Australia, Finland, Netherlands, or China this is a report you cannot be without. It is the biggest such report in the world.

Journalists - information under embargo has already been sent to your newspaper, journal, station or website. However, if it has not come your way, get in touch with Checkpoint Systems in your country who will direct you to the right people.

Retailers - if you completed and returned the GRTB questionnaire, a copy of the final report is already on its way to you. If you did not, or never received one, please get in touch if you would like to complete a copy of GRTB 2011.

All questions can eventually be resolved but w/c 18 Oct 2010 will be very busy.

Please note that the GRTB is a confidential survey. We never reveal who has replied.

If you need a copy of the European Retail Theft Barometer, this is now the GRTB. Last published in 2006 the ERTB now forms a part of  the GRTB. I know you can still see it on Google and you would think that it has been discontinued, but the analysis has been continued with the GRTB. 

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CRR NEWS. Retail Overcapacity? How Many Shops is ‘Too Many’?

The news from the Local Data Company (LDC, 2010) that empty stores (voids) in shopping areas had reached an average of 13% (up from 10.5% last year) led to an understandable chorus of ‘Oooh, ain’t it awful’. Many commented on the high void rates in the North of England, but even in London it does not look very much better with voids of 11% in larger shopping centres.

What we are seeing is not simply the results of economic recession but the emergence of significant overcapacity in the market. This means that even when trading conditions return to ‘normal’, there will still be too many shops.

Some quick points -

Because of repair, revamps and letting delays there will always be a minimum (frictional) rate of empty shops of around 3% to 5%. But currently many areas of the UK are three times above that minimum level.

According to our own research, the Internet is now taking 10% of retail spending, which means that fewer physical shops are required to satisfy consumer demand. There are alternative uses for retail premises, such as banking, betting, travel but these are already being hit by online trading in their own sectors. Banks will continue to rationalise their outlets creating even more spare capacity. That leaves coffee shops, cafes, takeaways and restaurants as the only other buoyant sector, but it is difficult to see them making much of a contribution as there are already plenty in most shopping centres. Many pubs in shopping centres are also likely to close, adding to distress.

Much existing provision in high streets and the older shopping centres is too small or poor quality for many retailers, so there will continue to be a demand for newly-developed stores and shopping centres.

Conclusion. By about 2013 (when the economy is buzzing again), it will be clear that there are about 5% to 10% too many retail stores. These are likely to close and switch to other uses. This will be a particular problem for many third-level shopping centres, retail parks and older/lower-quality or poorly-located town centre stores, which may close completely rather than partially.

We have been here before. Let’s not forget that in 1910 there were 1.3 million retail outlets and now there are around 300,000. The 2008/9 recession and its aftermath have shown us most cruelly that there are too many stores. What will become of them? It is probably best to think of them as houses, hotels, or offices, to plan in terms of smaller central shopping areas, and accept that many third-level retail centres will slip further down the hierarchy.

LDC (2010) Mid Year Report 2010: A Gathering Storm? London: Local Data Company