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What’s been happening in your industry this week? Volume 9

Has January been a busy month for you? Don’t worry, one of the busiest months of the year is nearly over. Even when business is slow, WOWPOS understands that you will still have a wide range of responsibilities to deal with. This means that you will not have the time to regularly check what’s happening within your industry. However, WOWPOS has the solution for you! Here is a brief summary of this week’s biggest stories within the retail and hospitality sector.

What’s been happening in your industry this week? Volume 9


Was your retail store quiet in January? After a successful Christmas period, retailers struggled to generate sales during January as the retail industry recorded their lowest sales figure since 1983. The monthly retail sales decreased from 35 points to minus 8 points in January. This suggests that customers reduced their spending in January due to saving money after the Christmas period. January is always a tough month for retailers but experts did not expect the decline to be as sharp as they predicted for the monthly retail sales to drop to 22 points. However, it is not all bad news for retailers as sales are expected to rise in February. Will February be a successful month for you?

Are you understaffed? During the final stages of 2016, the retail employment levels fell continuously as a decrease of 3% was recorded. This shows that compared to 2015, there was a significant lack in the number of vacancies in the retail industry. It is suggested that retailers battle the falling employment levels by employing more staff for seasonal events e.g. Christmas and Black Friday. In October, the retail employment level decreased by 1.6% compared to 2015. However, the employment rate continued to fall as the employment level decreased by 2.9% in November and by 4.6% in December. However, the number of retail outlets increased by 1.5% compared to the final quarter of 2015. This suggests that there are a larger number of opportunities for people to be employed by retailers. How many people did you employ in 2016?

Since Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States, he has already had a significant effect on the global economy. The UK will dramatically rely on their trade with the USA due to the UK leaving the EU. Prime Minster Theresa May is meeting with Trump later this week to negotiate a new trade deal with the USA. Despite complaints from the UK’s MPs, May is aiming to build on the “special” relationship which the UK has with the USA. The new trade agreement is expected to result in a decrease or removal of tariffs on goods between the two countries. This could display a substantial change in trade within the retail sector as tariffs on raw materials from the EU are expected to rapidly escalate.


Does your restaurant have a dress code for employees? As a restaurateur, it is essential that you understand the rules regarding dress code or gender laws. If you breach the dress code or gender law, you be faced with a substantial fine. There are laws in place to prevent gender discrimination such as requiring female employees to wear high heels or wear make-up. There are no similar rules which male staff are required to follow. The launch of a publicity campaign is being encouraged by the government as it will enable employees to be aware of their rights. The launch of a publicity campaign will ensure that employers are knowledgeable of the laws which they are required to follow. An example of this gender discrimination is Nicola Thorp, she was sent home from her workplace because she refused to wear high heels. Do you have the same dress code for males and females?

Is your restaurant’s brand easy to understand? In order for a restaurant to be successful, their brand must easy for customers to understand. If a brand is confusing, customers will be less likely to visit the restaurant which will decrease the sales of the restaurant. The brand simplicity index records the views of 14,000 consumers in nine countries to rank the world’s biggest brands on based on their simplicity. Hospitality businesses such as Nando’s, Premier Inn, Travelodge and Pizza Express have been ranked in the top 20 of the brand simplicity index. This shows that the hospitality industry is easy for customers to understand which will encourage customers to visit establishments within the hospitality industry. In an increasingly competitive market, it is crucial for your restaurant to provide your customers with a simple proposition and message. This shows that simplifying your brand will encourage a substantial number of customers to visit your restaurant. Restaurants that don’t simplify their brand will lose out on £70 billion. Is your brand simple?

What is your restaurant’s policies regarding animal welfare? As a restaurateur, it is crucial for you to introduce animal welfare policies. This is because customers will choose where they eat depending on the animal welfare policies that a restaurant has. For example, if a restaurant bought supplies from farms which treat animals unfairly, customers will avoid your restaurant which will significantly damage your sales. Customers will not want to purchase meals which have been prepared using the meat of tortured animals. There is an annual review of the animal welfare policies of the world’s biggest restaurant franchises. The franchises are ranked using 6 tiers with tier 1 being the best and tier 6 being the worst which need immediate improvement. Mcdonald’s and Gregg’s ranked in tier 2 which shows that they have a strong commitment to improving animal welfare. However, Domino’s Pizza and JD Wetherspoon ranked in the lowest tier which states that they have no policies in place for animal welfare. Which tier would your restaurant be ranked in?

Are you glad January is over?



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