Retailers’ top challenges revealed in Leach research

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Customer service levels have topped the list of challenges retailers are fearing most as they head into the new financial year, according to research from Yorkshire-based retail display specialist Leach.

Leach spoke to the sector’s mid-senior level decision makers the length and breadth of the country. 138 retailers were interviewed as part of the research.

39% said service levels will be the biggest challenge, followed by in-store technology (38%) and floor space (23%).

However, 78% of research participants believe that it’s no longer about the size of a store – it’s what you do with a space that counts.

“We’ve seen more change on the high street in the last three years than we have in probably the last three decades,” said Leach MD James Lavin.

“Experiential retailing matters more than ever before, as consumers become increasingly discerning, so offering more via the store environment – irrespective of a retailer’s footprint – seems to now be the overriding priority.”

Other challenges uncovered by the research included merchandising (22%), POS displays (15%) and window dressing (12%).

When the topic of retailers’ interior budgets was discussed, only 7% of respondents felt that budgets are not being stretched too thinly. 59% believed that they are, whilst 34% sat on the fence.