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“The biggest challenge in independents is investing in technology. You need so much money to be able to invest in it,” says Guy Warner, owner of Cotswolds-based Warners Budgens and member of the Independent Retailer Owners Forum, which organised the study tour to Sydney, in Australia, and Singapore.
With restrictions on the number of foreign workers in Singapore, the government is giving retailers subsidies to help them counteract staff shortages with technology.
In Sydney, technology is being used to offset the high cost of salaries – the minimum hourly wage is $19.49 (£10.86) – and free up staff time to work on improving customer service.
Here, Louise Banham looks at three examples of how retailers in Singapore and Sydney are using technology, and offers seven tips for your stores from both locations.