Monday, July 15, 2024

Senior banker advises firms: Get on board with AI, offer flexible payment options, and invest in store environment

Businesses that succeed in the year ahead are likely to be those who start to incorporate AI into their operations, offer flexible payment methods and invest in their store environments, as well as those with clear fundamental mission.

That’s the view of James Sawley, HSBC Corporate Banking’s head of retail and hospitality, who met representatives from York’s retail and hospitality sectors at City of York Council’s HQ for an industry forum.

He guided business leaders through an in-depth look at the  brands and market shares which have grown and contracted over the past two years, and shared his predictions for high street businesses over the next 12 months.

Pointing to the strengths of York’s independent business community, James identified independent businesses with a focus on customer experience as one of the most promising areas of the nation’s retail economy.

The event also featured presentations from The Retail Institute and York College, who discussed the skills and intelligence support schemes they offer for retail and hospitality businesses in our region.

Olga Munroe, Director of the Retail Institute at Leeds Beckett University, spoke about how the retail and hospitality sectors can benefit from academic research into changing social, political and environmental factors. This approach can help businesses understand the bigger picture of the complex factors influencing their operations, and help them create an evidence-based plan for the future.

York College also shared insights into workforce and skills, presenting the wide variety of qualifications they offer to help businesses understand how a diverse workforce equipped with in-demand skills. They also spoke about the close relationship the College has with the city’s business community, working together to understand the type of education and skills that are most needed by these sectors.

Mr Sawley said:It was great to meet with retail and hospitality operators in York and share my experiences as a major lender to this important sector to the UK economy and the thousands of communities it serves.”

 

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