During a panel discussion on business costs at last week’s ACS Summit, Richard Cuthbertson, research director at the Saïd Business School, said it is vitally important that retailers talk to one another.

Find out what energy tariffs your peers are on and compare it to your own bills, he said. This reminded me of a conversation I had with Nick Green, editor of Australian retail magazine Convenience World, recently.

Learn from your peers, but don’t forget to share the things that work best with RN and its community of readers

We had been discussing the impact of tobacco legislation on our respective markets and had swapped subscriptions to each other’s titles. “How does RN get such a high level of retailer interaction,” he asked. I told him we invest a huge amount of time in speaking to and visiting retailers and aim to quote at least 40 every week.

As well as improving my team’s retail expertise and keeping us ahead of current trends, it creates a culture of sharing. Readers are happy to contribute ideas because they know they can pick up thousands of others without leaving their shop. For example, Worcestershire retailer Kate Clark copied Canary Wharf newsagent Peter Wagg’s magazine loyalty scheme after seeing it in RN and was then more than happy to contribute to our recent 50 Ideas special.

One of my favourite ideas at the summit came from North East Convenience director Naveen Vadhera, who grew promotion sales by 500% after launching a customer mega deals app. “We received funding from an innovation award and from Nisa. Symbol groups are desperate to back great ideas,” he said.

So follow Mr Cuthbertson’s advice and learn from your peers, but don’t forget to share the things that work best with RN and its community of readers.