Social Media Icons Twitter Social Media Icons Facebook Social Media Icons Google Social Media Icons LinkedIn

 The Retailer Group, specialist retail consultants and providers of practical support to the retail and hospitality sectors, today announced the appointment of Steve Bluff as Senior Associate. The news follows The Retailer Group’s announcement last year of continued growth and expansion in the UK and internationally. The Retailer Group are delighted to announce that Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project have engaged the services of The Retailer Group to enhance the retailer proposition across both venues.

Gordon MacPherson, The Retailer Group Managing Director and responsible for business development says:
“We are delighted to have Steve on board as he brings many years of industry experience, which he has gained in multi- channel retail, visitor attractions and hospitality. His previous role as Operations Director for Event Network is particularly relevant where he worked to secure new business and develop the retail proposition in visitor attractions for leading venues across the UK and Europe, this is key with the work underway at Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project as we assist in the strategic development of the retail proposition on both sites”

Steve commented: “I am excited to be joining The Retailer Group at a pivotal stage in their growth strategy, I bring a host of solid retail skills gained in visitor attractions and the high street which I look forward to putting to great use, particularly focusing my efforts to support businesses in Bristol and the South West which is vital in ensuring the continued success and growth of the local economies”


The Retailer Group tel: 0845 658 8530 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Retail groups are going in to receivership, companies are rationalising. The result is shops are closing. Not work we seek, however, increasingly we are asked to assist.

As a company who thankfully spends the majority of its time opening and building businesses, we commit a great deal of effort in instilling in the staff a sense and commitment to the brand and loyalty to the company, and awareness of their customer needs.


We have been working recently with a group of shops in administration and staff with the knowledge that their stores were at risk. While the administrators do their job this can take time and leaves the store staff in a period of limbo. Most staff are realistic and understand the gravity of the situation and the likely outcome, however, human nature is such that hope springs eternal.


There comes a time when a decision may be made to close the shops, this often results in a large number of stores closing in a very short time. It then becomes a logistical exercise. Consideration of the staffs situation is always there, however, there is a job to be done, all to soon the time comes to lock the door for the final time and someone walks away with your keys and a chunk of your life.


My job last week was to inform a manager and staff at 9am that the store was closing with immediate effect and the store would be cleared by close of business the following day. Only a small number of staff were in at 9am, however, as each was contacted they all came in to assist their manager with the closure. First in mind were their customers who had stock paid for and waiting collection particularly a group for a wedding. This manager had run the store for over twenty years with her deputy of the last fifteen years, shortest serving member of staff was seven years. Over the two days the staff worked tirelessly on the closure interrupted by an endless stream of customers knocking on the door to express their shock and support for the staff who obviously had served them well.  Flowers and sweets were arriving accompanied often by tears mostly from the customers. Most common phrase "we will miss you, where will I go now?" This was a family break up, a family brought together by a manager under a brand.


What struck me was the impact this one closure would have on its customers and the town centre. From the outside it was just another shop closing. However tomorrow there would not be ten staff coming in to town each day, there was the loss of their income to the community, there was yet another reason for a customer to reconsider the town as s worthwhile destination.   There was the social element and interaction experienced by a regular customer visiting this shop, not easily replaced, again an erosion of the town visit experience.


In one week I met three people who gave over 20 Years a company and a brand. This week they have no job. The value of their experience is immeasurable, we wish them all the best , and in case no one mentioned it , Thanks.  




We are specific about the skills and personalities we require.  We seek associates with many years of experience in the top-level management positions, at board level or reporting directly to a director of a national or international retailer.  Our business has retail at its core and our associates all have a speciality, with the ability to comment on wider areas.  This is not a salaried position; remuneration is paid by project. Most of our associates have other income streams.


We enjoy the flexibility this structure gives, we enjoy the periods of extreme challenge, we enjoy working with highly skilled, professional and talented people, and we always strive to exceed our client’s expectations. 


Our associates are good communicators, equally comfortable at board and on the shop floor. You will be able to observe and analyse situations quickly with good listening skills.


If you feel you are a a fit for this demanding group and can make a contribution, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  outlining your career details and specifically what you have to offer. We have bases in the South of England and in Scotland.        







Making 2015 our most successful year by many measures, new clients, new projects and new associates.


A major part of our success is the continuing support of our established clients who have work with us over many years, some from the very start on our first days of trading, 18 years ago, in 1998.  


2015 was not an easy year in retail however we managed the challenges in the businesses we support, recognising it is an ever-changing market. Retail is truly multi-channel and increasingly operating in a global market; our business reflects this now with direct sales, working in Europe, Far East and now heading for South America, literally flying down to Rio.


We continue to strengthen our portfolios in town centre regeneration, sports merchandise, tourism destinations and commercialisation for universities. 2016 has ‘got off to a flying start’ so thank you to all who have supported The Retailer Group and please keep in touch.  





Black and blue, battered and bruised, retail prepares for a rough ride through Christmas. There is some good news out there and there are always opportunities.


It has been a tough and challenging year so far and there are few signs of retail improving. As always, the majority of our clients are ‘hanging in there’ with modest growth and some clients fairing well.  


Looking ahead, Black Friday is an established event and with the trend of the more considered purchaser researching early. Customers, who might be considering larger purchases for this Christmas, will look closely at the Black Friday offers. This will pull major purchases forward from the established pre-Christmas sales. Last year on Black Friday and the through the early sale activity, many established retailers ‘shot themselves in the foot’ by converting full margin business to lower margin business.


Black Friday is the 27th November  


For big-ticket sales, incentivise your customers to commit early; for some sectors Christmas could be all but over by the first week in December.


While on-line sales continued to grow last year we saw a significant increase in click and collect, customers trusting the store route rather than the courier to deliver. Click and collect also simplifies the return process, we see this trend continuing. 


Shopping will build through November towards Black Friday and the last pay month end, prior to the festivities, when we will see an increased spike and then possibly a period of depressed sales until closer to Christmas.  


Whilst there is still be some time for tactical planning, customer research and enquiries have begun and will build from now through to the end of November so…set out your stall and get your offers out there and on-line, it’s never too early and this year the indications are: don’t be too late with your planning!