When I visited Mo Razzaq in his shop last Friday, he was clear about his theme for the NFRN Scottish conference he was preparing to chair – retailers must be proactive, change with the times and embrace business opportunities.
It’s a mantra he has adopted in his own store, and speaker after speaker at the event aimed to inspire delegates facing a combination of anti-alcohol campaigns, tobacco legislation and increasing costs to fight back to protect their stores.
You can’t change the law, but as Mo Razzaq told me, you can find positive ways to adapt to it
Müller Wiseman’s commercial director Sandy Wilkie told how his family’s farm stayed strong by expanding from 20 cows to 350 as farming methods changed. You must change with the times or get left behind, he warned.
Lawyer Stephen McGowan urged alcohol retailers to respond to the tough legislative climate by highlighting the vital role a great local store plays in its community. You have to shout about this loudly at government level, he said.
News UK’s Greg Deacon focused on in-store opportunities, urging news sellers to make papers more visible to drive sales and take advantage of the footfall they attract to encourage cross-category purchases.
Mo himself, meanwhile, encouraged delegates to create events around everything from Easter to football’s European Championships.
Every week in RN you’ll find advice like this, and this issue is no exception. With 21 days to go until the National Living Wage, our features team has called on trade experts to suggest practical ideas you can try immediately to help offset this cost.
You can’t change the law, but as Mo told me, you can find positive ways to adapt to it.