Retailers’ fears are increasing

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Insolvency expert Paul Moorhead says smaller retailers are becoming increasingly concerned about their financial future but there is still room for optimism in the sector despite the collapse of a number of major high street names.

Mr Moorhead, who runs Rotherham-based insolvency practitioner Moorhead Savage, said: “There is no doubt that the high street is going to change over the next few years as larger businesses struggle to cope with the online threat and the growth of cut price outlets.

“But there is always an opportunity for retailers to identify fresh markets and provide good service and great products for that market in order to build up a loyal customer base.”

“The people who are going to survive the economic crisis are the ones who are already positioning themselves for future growth, ensuring that any problems they face now don’t become an insurmountable and terminal economic disaster.”

Mr Moorhead says the majority of retailers who have contacted Moorhead Savage have been caught out by rapid changes in spending habits and other changes affecting all areas of retail.

His views are backed up by Barnsley retail consultant Steven Gaunt, of Steven Gaunt Associates.

“The best retailers know how important it is to focus on their customers,” said Mr Gaunt.

“Not only do they focus on them, they are aware of how they think and what causes them to change their shopping habits.

“This awareness and keeping pace with change enables shopkeepers to amend their marketing approach and maintain customers’ desire for their product and services.”