Raising a toast to retail and hospitality

Retail and hospitality is a growing sector within Wakefield, with opportunities presented by The Bid and also news of a multi-million-pound investment in The Ridings Shopping Centre, we weren’t surprised to see an entire morning dedicated to this important sector.

Retail Rocks was jam packed.Retail Rocks 4 RS Corrected

Dave Owens provided the audience with an update on The Bid whilst Dean Freeman, Director of the recent and successful Long Division Festival, delivered an inspiring talk on collaboration between culture and business.

Training is Key

Dave, returned to the floor with his Fluid Dynamics hat on. Through his experience of the drinks industry he delivered a look at the importance of learning and development within hospitality. Having worked across 25 of the world’s continents Dave also spoke about bringing back ideas and learnings for Wakefield’s night life economy.

Whilst this looked, on paper, like it was a very niche subject, Dave made many interesting points that any customer facing business would find useful.

To be a successful retailer you need to:

– Build and develop a strong team

– Share the vision

– Review the customer journey

– Be visible and be positive

– Make sure the numbers add up

Substance, style and sustainability were detailed as key to success. Personality, professionalism and knowledge were noted as important considerations when looking at making improvements to service. The guest experience and service sequence also offered food for thought.

Ending on a note about the importance of the first and last memory this event was a welcoming insight into service improvement and skills development.

Mega Trends

The talk delivered by the Retail Institute was a real eye opener, and we are sure that others in the room felt the same way too. This insightful and informative look at how, when and why we buy helped retailers and those working in hospitality to think about their product and service offering now and importantly in the future.

Urbanisation was an important consideration, especially when there are two thirds of the population living in cities. Looking at this in detail helped to consider the many challenges that this brings – from increased stress levels to the need for single occupancy living. Whilst fleeting, these statistics have and will continue to significantly impact upon what these people buy, when and how much they have to invest.

The change of the family unit and retail trends were also detailed, with the rise of convenience and the impact that this is having on the high street seen as a mega trend. Others included pop ups, click and collect, subscription, online, vending

An aging population, with over 1/3 being over 50 was also discussed. Interestingly it is believed that those 50+ have a level of income that their parents didn’t have and their children will be unlikely to have.

Yes, this reflects their buying power but it was also highlighted that businesses should be considering how this impacts upon customer service, usability, heritage and ease of use when it comes to developing products and services.

Definitely a welcomed and engaging addition to the line-up of speakers, with a great deal of food for thought for business owners.

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