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The good work continues and it’s all about the customer’s experience and the retailers taking responsibility. 


We are working with five Town Centres across the UK at present, supporting independent retailers and enhancing the town environment.  We support shop owners and councils in many ways; however, the crucial point is the shopper experience before, during and after the visit to the store.  Whilst independent and local stores can control the customer experience within their store, there should be a collaborative approach to have an impact on the town visit experience.


WE hear a collective groan from managers and owners, who over the years have experienced meetings of Traders Associations and Town Centre Groups ‘banging on’ about parking and rates.  After a couple of months, the conversation among the same four people who do turn up changes to, “is it all worthwhile”? In the past, traders have also looked to the Local Council to take the initiative and solve all problems. This not going to happen; with budgets cut and reduced resources - this is no longer possible. However, forward thinking councils are supporting those groups by taking the initiative.  The town’s shopping and service experience enhances or detracts from the perception of the town and the quality of life of the population; if the shops thrive, it is the retailers who gain and the city centre attracts further investment.


This is your chance to make dull and unexciting meetings a thing of the past.


We have just attended the launch of Scotland’s Towns Week (which runs from 16th – 22nd November 2015) in the Scottish Parliament, which celebrated the diversity of Scotland’s small and rural towns. 


Many initiatives exist across the UK: in Scotland the Scottish Towns Partnership and a Toolkit for Town Centre regeneration exists. The BID groups are making a growing contribution.  We heard at the launch of the wonderful initiative from Scotrail operator Abellio’s about the new fund to support the engagement of town and communities and a similar initiative from First Bus.


It is a new landscape for Town Centres and a differing roll that retail will play; our retailers need to engage and participate. There are now models and support available for Town Centre Groups to adopt and engage with and there are also collaborations between towns.  Retail has been recognised more recently for the role it plays in our economy and there is more energy in the sector, however we as retailers need to take the initiative; if we don’t, we will be looking back in twenty years time blaming someone else for the lack of progress.


We witness great results in some towns where they are pulling together, now is the time to join in and make a difference.  For advice and support contact The Retailer Group  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



We are again seeking three young rising stars from a ‘destination’ or ‘tourist’ retail background.  We have just completed our 2014/15 programme and all participants have made significant progress, two being promoted to manager level. Our commitment is to visit their location (UK only), at least twice, and initiate a personal development programme working with their employers. Participants have access to their mentors at any time during the year.  If you have someone you would like to put forward for the programme email a brief outline of the candidates previous employment and current job function.







As The Retailer Group grows and develops its business nationally and internationally we continue to develop our structure to ensure we can maintain the high quality of service and content our clients are used to.


As part of this planned development Gordon Bell has been appointed to the position of Chairman, he will continue being engaged daily looking after new business and contributing to major projects. 


Gordon Macpherson has been appointed to the position of Managing Director / CEO. Gordon has considerable experience at board level with multinational retail groups, he joined The Retailer Group as a senior associate, was then appointed to the board as Operations Director prior to this current appointment. Congratulations to Gordon in his new role, he takes over the helm at an exciting time and we look forward to moving forward under his guidance.


Both appointments are with immediate effect.


We have further strengthened our team with the appointment of three new senior associates


The Retailer Group





Lots to be positive about for Scottish town centres There is the Scottish Parliaments  Town Centre Plan, an active Scottish Towns Partnership  the BIDs Scotland program  and councils recognising the part a vibrant town centres play in the wellbeing and perception of our cities and  towns.

The Retailer Group has been involved in supporting Fraserburgh for over three years most recently with the Aberdeenshire Councils excellent Retail Plus Initiative and it is making a real difference in many ways. We are well under way with another town and about to start a third.  

Aberdeenshire are hosting ATC, Aberdeenshire Town Conference on the 18th March in Peterhead. We are delighted to support this and make a contribution in that Gordon Bell our Managing Director will be speaking.

Many of the plans and initiatives are medium to long term and will in time bear fruit, it is equally important we continue with programs like Retail Plus that can have an impact now to support our retailers particularly the independents, these programs maintain confidence and build momentum of recovery.   


For many years we counselled against bringing the sales forward to pre-Christmas however they slipped and it became the norm.  We now hear that the Christmas spend gets later and later and we are asked why.  The answer is not a revelation, customers are not daft they are now waiting for the Sales seeking better value.   Despite this trend a substantial chunk of Christmas sales still happened in late November, now we have let Black Friday out of the bag, there will be no going back, meaning even more sales at lower prices and margin.  Black Friday created a burst of sales; however from our observations a less than satisfying experience for our customers, on and off line, many retailers are still suffering the consequences of Black Friday.  Retailers are resilient and adaptive to change and will adapt to new trading patterns, however we are driving our product prices lower and lower  to a position that we believe the customers cannot understand the true value of a product, after all the value of a product is what you pay for it isn’t it?