While most consumers see December 1st as the start of the festive period,
the retail sector starts ‘decking the halls’ in September.
Honestly, I don’t think it’s ever too early to start planning for the festive season. Want to put up your tree in October? Go for it. You feel like playing ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ by Chris Rea whilst you’re on the way to a summer BBQ? I support that. And when it comes to your Supply Chain and Logistics…Christmas starts in September.
For retail, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. Busy, but wonderful.
Let me take you back to Christmas 2021. Omicron was in the air, with PM Boris Johnson announcing the emergency booster program. And whilst many sectors began to re-open, NHS Covid Passes and masks were made compulsory in most venues. For many of us, after ‘The Quiet Christmas of 2020’, it was a chance to deck the halls to the fullest! But this year brings the added pressures of the cost-of-living crisis.
This Golden Quarter is going to see a shift in consumer shopping habits, with more of a focus on “making a little go a long way” - according to Will Higham, Next Big Thing. Although the British Retail Consortium-KMPG saw an increase in spending by 1%, when you factor in inflation, sales volumes are declining.  However, with the upcoming global events such as the World Cup and the madness of Black Friday, will this increase spending habits to get back to a sense of normality? With this perfect storm of uncertainty looming, there is no room for error.
Behind the retail sector sits the most important element of your business: Logistics. You may have the prettiest dresses and best deals on the market, but with no Logistics, your business stops. The toughest problems facing the Retail industry surrounding Logistics are prompt delivery times, unexpected stock levels, returns, and the list goes on. According to The Raconteur, 43% of global consumers were unable to purchase a product due to it being out of stock, and 42% had their product delivered after the quoted delivery date.
All these pain points can lead to a lack of consumer trust, poor customer experiences, and maybe even loss of future purchases. But with so many moving parts to consider and an endless list of compliance laws to adhere to, where do you begin?
This is where we come in.
Over the past 12 years, Britannia has gathered from across the UK industry specialists to create a business bursting at the seams with knowledge surrounding Customs Management and International Supply Chain. And all those years ago, when it was simply 2 Customs clerks with 1 computer between them, our first customer was in Retail! Fast forward to now, this same customer is one of the most successful online fashion stores globally. So, we came up with a simple 4-step process to guide you and your business into a new wave of Customs Compliance.
Our 4-Step Guide to Total Customs Compliance
Our short questionnaire works as a non-disclosure agreement. You let us know some basic details about your business like your Duty and VAT Spending and we in turn will assess your needs and return the outline of a plan for moving forward. As some of you know, our key focus is to add value. We strive to understand where you are currently, what you need to progress and how we can assist you.
2. Feedback of Results
Once we have reviewed your Health Check, we will assemble a team to investigate your operational processes. They will then be able to identify key areas of process improvement, to make sure you are making the most out of your Supply Chain. Alongside process improvements, we will present you with opportunities for effective savings and discuss the cost to deliver.
3. Implement and Manage
Once your contract has been outlined, we will assign you a customer care team to implement and manage the new processes. Your data will go through rigorous testing to ensure a smooth transfer, and we will prepare you a detailed SOP (Standard operating procedure) to ensure everyone is kept up to date with the changes. Your customer team will then discuss ongoing management tools and discussions to ensure we continue to improve things, for you.
4. Ongoing compliance and Improvement
Now we focus on consistency and compliance, making sure the new changes are flowing smoothly and are optimised for your business needs. This new stage involves high quality management reporting, and continuous discussion of new goals and business relationship development.
It really is as simple as that. Just 4 steps to ensuring your business is making the most out of its Supply Chain and Customs Procedures to guarantee your consumers smoother Christmas periods. Investing in your Customs Procedures will give you back control and well-rounded visibility. Additionally, there is the potential for unlocking significant bottom-line improvements and cost-flow advantages, all great for increased shareholder value! With the Covid Hangover, issues from Brexit still lurking and the imminent Cost of Living crisis, Supply Chain has faced every challenge imaginable. Let Britannia work some festive magic, and re-shape your Customs Processes for an endless future of very merry Christmases.
 https://reports.retail-week.com/christmas-forecast-2022/index.html  https://www.thestocklists.com/non-essential-spending-under-pressure  The Raconteur Newspaper: Future of Ecommerce, Written by Emily Seares