The retail market – keeping up with the competition

The High Street has long been regarded as one of the toughest places to trade and the advent of ecommerce has made the retail sector more demanding than ever. That’s why it’s vital for retailers to have accountants who understand the challenges they face; who can help them understand how their businesses are performing; and can help improve the all-important bottom line.

Re-invent to survive

The Office for National Statistics (ONS).recently confirmed that, in the run-up to Christmas, online sales rose significantly (by 7.2%), while in-store sales declined 1.2% on a total basis and 1.4% on a like-for-like basis over the same three-month period the year before.

The e-commerce boom is driving retailers to invest in online retail solutions but, all too often these aren’t linked to accounting or inventory software packages resulting in inefficiency, duplication of data entry and inconsistent or unreliable management information.

Milsted Langdon’s Business Innovation retail team has developed a suite of software that helps retailers to understand the performance of each sector or outlet in real time. We have developed “dashboards” that deliver bespoke management information tailored to the recipient be he or she the business owner, area manager, shop manager or department manager.

By delivering relevant information to the right people at the right time in a format that’s easy to interrogate and understand, we have helped clients involve staff at all levels in the drive to improve performance, manage margins and identify when things aren’t going to plan.

For those looking to use the opportunities that the Internet presents, we have expertise in those looking to exploit retail markets overseas. Not only does our membership of the MGI Worldwide global accounting network give us links to firms in over 80 countries, but we are currently working with the government and local businesses to organise trade missions that can be used to identify and exploit markets overseas.

Whether you are thinking about importing or exporting, our international tax teams are able to provide support with issues from VAT to advice on appropriate international corporate structures

Improve the bottom line

One of the most effective ways in which we have been able to help clients improve profits is the identification of opportunities to reduce overheads, which are always a significant cost for any retail enterprise. By working with David Kendall our Auditel cost consultant we have helped numerous clients save many thousands of pounds by utilising the enormous buying power that Auditel can bring to bear in procurement negotiations.

Our cost consultants are specialists in tendering and negotiation and have access to significant buying influence within the market. Using specialised systems and industry knowledge, we can help businesses to analyse their costs and tender for new services – allowing even relatively small businesses to achieve big savings.

Some of the businesses who use our Cost Management Service have reported having achieved savings of more than £100,000 per annum, through reductions in strategic areas of spend such as freight, couriers, shipping, merchant cards and packaging.

Best of all the Cost Management team is always willing to discuss flexible payment arrangements that mean that terms can be agreed so that you only ever pay a percentage of the savings. If you save nothing, you pay nothing.

Another area for potential profit improvement is maximising entitlement to capital allowances when premises are acquired or upgraded. Our specialists can help you invest tax-efficiently and are always willing to meet with you to see what tax reliefs might be available and how they could be optimised.

To find out more about our award-winning services, please contact our retail team today and find out how we can help you to boost performance, efficiency and profit.

Posted in News.