Best Buy closing UK stores, Comet sold by Kesa, What a week for Dixons :-)

What a week this has been in the electricals retail sector… firstly it was announced that Carphone Warehouse was to shut all 11 Best Buy shops ( and then it was announced this morning that Kesa had sold off Comet for £2 to Opcapita ( This made me reflect on my time working for Dixons, specifically when I was category planning manager for white goods at Currys. That was 1999. Some things haven’t really changed for the better…

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The Retail Conference 2011

The Retail Conference 2011 took place in London on 21st September 2011 at the America Square Conference Centre. Over 200 retail delegates were in attendance and it was a great day for all involved, retailers and sponsors alike.

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Employees who are left behind…. Guest Blog by Karen Young, Founder of HR Innovate

This is a guest blog by Karen Young, founder of HR Innovate, an HR expert and advisor who previously had senior management roles within major UK retailers including Dixons Stores Group…

I thought it appropriate to write this particular blog in the face of the news over the recent weeks that a number of retailers are cutting back significantly, closing stores. Again, today Lloyds announced further job cuts. A friend of mine constantly goes through one round of redundancy consultation to another, to another. So the question is, how do you manage the employees who are left behind? Continue reading

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Range Rationalisation: Why less is more…

The concept of “less is more” is a bit of a paradigm shift for many retailers. In the past extending the range has been a sure fire way to increase sales. Perhaps so… but if you’ve heard the saying “sales are vanity, profit is sanity” then you’ll want to read on to discover how Retail Acumen have proven (on more than one occasion) that range rationalisation is the smart way to reduce costs, complexity and increase profit! Continue reading

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I shouldn’t have gone to Specsavers?

At 7:30am on morning of Saturday 18th June my 5 year old son presented me with his newly snapped in half glasses… the glasses he must wear all the time due to very long sightedness causing a bit of a squint. Great joy… The glasses were originally from Specsavers so whilst I tried (and failed) to glue them back together my husband went online to check the opening time of the local, St Albans, branch. Continue reading

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Maldistribution leads to lost sales and increased mark down spend…

I’ve had a couple of conversations in the past few weeks which have ultimately all come back to the importance of optimisation of stock flow through the retail supply chain. It is of course a balancing act – trading off the benefit of reduced logistics and transport overheads of in return for the risk of infrequent replenishment orders of higher quantities vs. high cost of distribution but the benefit of accurate, frequent replenishment. Of course the answer is potentially different for every SKU-store combination in a retail business! Continue reading

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Would your boss be pleased with a 2.5% LFL increase?

This week our sister company e-mphasis Internet Marketing came to the team at Retail Acumen for some detailed analysis to help them demonstrate to a significant client the benefit of a multi-channel search marketing trial that they had been running… Using detailed and accurate analytics the results were a very pleasant surprise! Continue reading

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