March News Roundup

March 27th, 2012
Events & Industry News

March is here and spring is finally on its way. The weather may be feeling hotter, but is the climate on UK high streets improving? 2012 is certainly brightening up for catering outlets, even if large chains such as Game are continuing to fall victim of the crunch. Maxatec has scoured the web to bring you the latest industry updates…

Consumers are increasing the amount of interaction they have with retailers as technology opens up new channels of communications. Shopping experiences were described as increasingly ‘technology driven’ in a report produced by IBM after 28,500 respondents from 15 different countries were surveyed.

According to IBM, customers in the UK said they were happy to use three or more technologies to shop and browse retailer offerings, and 82% of UK consumers believed social networks saved time shopping. 63% also expressed a desire to use mobile devices as a way of comparing prices, rising to 67% wanting to use their devices at check out.

On the high street, it was bad news for Game Group, who announced that it had been put into administration in what the Financial Times has called “the biggest failure since Woolworths in 2008.” Other major names have also been experiencing difficulties – clothing giant New Look has revealed its plans to try to arrange monthly rent payments with landlords to try to deal with over 1bn of debt. Monsoon, Accessorize, Clinton Cards and Sports Direct have also all been seeking monthly rents, as has Dreams, the beds retailer.

However things are looking much brighter for the catering industry: there is an increase in the number of people looking for a more rounded day-out experience when they visit shopping centres. A sociable, relaxed way of shopping is becoming the order of the day, contributing to rise in the number of food and drink outlets appearing in shopping centres. According to a report by, the percentage of floor space dedicated to food service provision has tripled in the last 10 years. Sales of food and drink in large shopping centres is on the rise, despite the difficult trading climate experienced by many retail outlets.

Maxatec’s retail news roundup will be back next month with more industry insights.