Tesco has found itself marooned in the middle ground, facing strong competition from both premium and discount grocers and is now faced with the painful process of adjusting to a new, harsher, trading environment.
The KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank (RTT) met in October to discuss what Tesco can learn from other businesses which have successfully been turned around.
Change the culture and get back to serving the customer
The RTT believes that Tesco must first identify and acknowledge the full extent of the problems facing its business. The economics of its business model no longer work in the current trading environment: its high margin strategy is unsustainable and will continue to negatively impact its market share.
Acceptance needs to be followed swiftly by finding the root causes of business distress and bringing to light what is not working.
“This is not about completely reinventing the business, but it is about recognising that some things – not least relatively high margins – are just not sustainable in today’s market”, said Neil Saunders, Managing Director of Conlumino. “The price of trying to maintain those margins is one of continued market share erosion. This is a difficult thing to engineer but it is something that others, such as Carrefour, have successfully done in order to get growth back on the agenda.”
Customers are also confused as to what Tesco now stands for. Historically it has been the grocer which served everyone, but in today’s environment, where the mass market is becoming increasingly fragmented, that is impossible to pull off. With competition fierce from the luxury and discount grocers alike, Tesco must deliver ranges and promotions designed specifically for its best customers.
It has data and cash to achieve this: Tesco has access to more consumer data through its Clubcard than any other grocer. However, the data are only valuable if they produce sharp and deep insights and the customer is put at the heart of everything the business does.
Martin Hayward, Founder of Hayward Strategy and Futures, commented: “The irony is this is a company that has one of the best insight machines in the marketplace, yet has failed to understand the change in customers’ needs. Tesco should be in a tremendously strong position to connect with their customers given their pioneering investment in customer data analysis since the mid 1990s. Somehow the messages that this data must and should have been sending to the board of Tesco have been missed or ignored, in the pursuit of ever greatness and scale. The business needs to learn to listen once again.”
Martin Newman, CEO of Practicology said: “Customer loyalty demands more than a points-based rewards system. Customers want to be treated like individuals. Tesco needs to leverage its data with a programme of rewards and personalised offers aligned with customers’ lifestyles and lifecycles."
“Once the business has understood customers’ requirements, Tesco can re-engineer its people, systems and processes to deliver the new customer proposition and journey.”
Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight at Nielsen, added: “With two thirds of households shopping at Tesco each month and with a considerable depth in range, there are opportunities for Tesco to tailor and edit ranges to build resonance with target audiences. Format and private label development are also key opportunities to drive new shoppers into store and to build loyalty.”
In the midst of a sustained price war it will be hard for Tesco to take its foot off the gas and work out its proposition, but the company needs to make strategic investments rather than just cutting prices. For example Sainsbury’s recovery programme under Justin King saw the retailer focus on quality fresh food and own label ranges.
“There is insufficient time or information to run a traditional strategy process so the board must run a range of scenarios and make some big decisions around what the future core of the business is and where money is going to be made whilst the business is still strong,” said David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG. “It needs to make these investments to create growth – a business can’t be turned around by just cutting costs or prices. Howard Schultz at Starbucks certainly cut costs brutally in his ‘grip’ phase but he then made some critical decisions, the first was to focus on the company’s core product – coffee – and the second; to recreate the ambience of local coffee houses. Schultz built customer affinity programs and aggressively extended the brand to return its premium position.”
Nick Bubb, Retail Consultant, said: “Regulatory investigations and changing the management team risk being a distraction in the vital run up to Christmas. The world is not standing still as Tesco gets its act together. Competitors will be moving swiftly to demonstrate their strong values, product ranges and pricing.”
Give retailers a seat at the boardroom table
“With analysts already questioning the level of retail experience on the board and these inquests occupying significant management time, there are question marks over whether the company will be able to achieve a significant turnaround quickly without broader management structural changes,” said James Knightley, Senior UK Economist at ING.
The RTT argues that most turnarounds come hand in hand with new appointments at board level to galvanise the leadership into a change programme and Tesco needs to have experienced retailers and marketers at the top table. “Many successful turnarounds have involved the appointment of a Chief Restructuring Officer to drive the transformation and communicate the great change story that everyone understands, while allowing others to continue to do their jobs and the business to carry on functioning,” said Tim Denison of Ipsos. “Don’t be surprised if we see such a role announced at Cheshunt.”
The RTT warns that Tesco needs the support of all shareholders, suppliers and employees to contribute to the stabilisation of the business and the solution. For example, John Walden at Argos has maintained a consistent dialogue with stakeholders underpinned by consistency of delivery.
With vocal investors talking about their disappointment in Tesco’s performance, the grocer’s brand remains in jeopardy, unless it gives out strong, positive messages about the action being taken or a shareholder or supplier publicly backs it.
Look at the structural challenges
Unlike some of its rivals, Tesco’s online grocery operation and convenience store chain are well advanced, so it is well represented in the growth parts of the market. But Tesco’s major problem is that it is over-represented in the weakest part of the market, namely the big out-of-town hypermarkets with their big non-food presence.
At the beginning of this financial year Tesco had over 3,000 UK convenience stores in one form or another (i.e. Tesco Express, Tesco Metro and One Stop) and they accounted for about 18% of Tesco’s total UK selling space (excluding “dark stores” and Dobbies Garden Centres). But the 247 Tesco Extra stores (which average over 70,000 sq ft in size) accounted for as much as 45% of Tesco’s total UK selling space and it is clearly here where work needs to be done to improve non-grocery productivity.
How Tesco deals with the structural challenge of its hypermarkets exposure will be a part of its turnaround strategy.
Successful turnarounds of companies in an aggressively competitive and disrupted market are not easy but there are stories of change that could give Tesco confidence in its future. The recovery of Starbucks, McDonalds’ ‘Plan to Win’ success and Argos’ ongoing transformation spring to mind.
Tesco still generates significant amounts of cash and holds a dominant market share. This gives it significant ability to invest. It needs to research who its best customers are, what they want and deliver it.
Nick Bubb concluded: “History teaches you that it’s always darkest before the dawn. Others have gone through this process and turned their business around. One of the greatest ever turnarounds was Asda in the early 1990’s under Archie Norman, who always said that a big company with a lot of top-line sales will have enough levers to pull to make a difference to the bottom line. And changing the culture of the Asda business and unleashing the talent in the store managers was an important part of the turnaround.”
Nick Bubb, Retail Consultant
New Tesco boss Dave Lewis already faced a tough job in turning the business around, before the recent accounting scandal, and we will hear on October 23rd, with the delayed interim results, what he makes of his predicament. Ahead of that key event, what can he learn from other turnarounds in the industry?
One of the greatest ever turnarounds was Asda in the early 1990’s under Archie Norman, although some would say that the real driver of change in the business was Allan Leighton, who was tasked with reinvigorating store operations. One of Archie’s key messages was to make clear at the start how difficult the turnaround was going to be, so that he looked a hero when it was achieved (a precursor of the “under-promise and over-deliver” mantra of Kate Swann at WH Smith some 20 years later). But Archie also always said that a big company with a lot of top-line sales will have enough levers to pull to make a difference to the bottom line. And changing the culture of the Asda business and unleashing the talent in the store managers was an important part of the turnaround.
Fast forward 10 years or so and it was Sainsbury’s that was in trouble after a disastrous distribution network and warehousing overhaul, but the ebullient former Asda executive, Justin King, came in as CEO in 2004 and soon launched his recovery programme for the business with the slogan "Making Sainsbury's Great Again". Sainsbury’s stronghold in the affluent South-East was a key asset, however, together with a reputation for quality fresh-food and own-label ranges. And Sainsbury’s avoided the temptation to follow Tesco down the road of opening huge out-of-town hypermarkets and developing too big a non-food presence.
Just as the Sainsbury’s business was getting back on track, Morrisons made the disastrous mistake of acquiring Safeway in 2004 and after that all went wrong, the family management called in one Marc Bolland as CEO in 2006. Resisting calls to diversify the business, he focused on getting Morrisons back to basics, which was successful, although he left the company in 2009 without any online grocery or convenience store exposure, which turned out to be major strategic weaknesses.
But part of Tesco’s problem now is that its major UK supermarket competitors are not so weak anymore, whilst Aldi and Lidl have emerged as a powerful new force in the grocery market and the oligopoly that helped to preserve industry operating margins has well and truly broken down. And the structural challenge that Tesco faces in the UK, in the form of its vast over-exposure to the hypermarket store format, is replicated in Tesco’s overseas operations. In a world where consumers are increasingly shopping locally in smaller stores Tesco seems rather ill-equipped. Time will tell whether Dave Lewis has the skills to succeed in what seems an almost super-human task to turn Tesco around.
Mark Teale, Head of Retail Research - CBRE
The market conditions confronting the big four (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrison) are highly unusual. More than 20% of GB grocery sales were released post 1998 by the demise of Somerfield, Kwik Save, Safeway and Netto. Co-op, Iceland and independents meanwhile saw their cumulative market share plummet over the same period from 18% to just 10%, releasing yet more sales. Aldi and Lidl – via an aggressive store opening programme – held their own, growing their market share steadily over the same period from 2.1% to 8.3%. But it was the big four (plus Waitrose) that really cleaned up, seeing their cumulative market share soaring from 59% in 1998 to a startling 81.4% by 2011.
The big four’s market share growth stalled in 2011, not so much because of some revolutionary change in shopping behaviour favouring Lidl and Aldi (the currently popular narrative), but because capacity released by weak players at the no-frills/discount end had finally largely been mopped up. Development pipeline levels might have been ballooning, but the actual space completed by the big four has remained far too limited to alter their market share positions significantly, in part because post-1988, planning policy resulted in grocery superstores being progressively directed to lower and lower productivity edge-of-town sites: according to an LSE study, resulting in output losses exceeding 30% - equivalent to a decade of lost growth. It is capacity release not iterative development-led trade diversion that kept the big four buzzing until 2011. And it is capacity release drying up that has now brought things to a shuddering halt.
Short of one of the big four now going under, there is – short term - not much main grocery market share capacity left to play for. Or at least, market share inroads are going to be harder and harder to achieve given that the players left standing mostly have reasonably strong offers. It was only the continuing tail-end capacity release post 2008 that gave grocery markets the semblance of continuing growth while non-food markets tanked. It was this faux growth that fuelled the fantasy of a grocery development space race setting in: something, for planning reasons, that was never on the cards. Superstore completions have followed a flat trajectory for years because of the capping effect of planning controls.
With household incomes remaining under heavy pressure and little likelihood of a significant consumer spending upturn, it looks likely that the price war recently sparked will be sustained for as long as it takes the main players to re-position, which could take a number of years. If Aldi and Lidl manage to continue their modest market share gains for a while, and the big four continue their convenience store push as well as repositioning their offers, the attrition at the Co-op, Iceland and independent end looks set to continue albeit any big four gains will become increasingly marginal: the big four are really fighting among themselves now.
To my mind, there is consequently no great lesson to learn from past successful business turnarounds: like the economy itself, grocers are in wholly uncharted waters. The 2008 financial crisis caused a seismic market rupture. We are not going back to past growth patterns. The circumstances now confronting Tesco, and other main-grocery operators, are quite unique.
It is easy in this respect to carp from the sidelines because like-for-likes are negative for a few quarters, but grocery performance weakness is hardly surprising given the squeeze on domestic mass-markets generally. It is naïve to expect network profit contributions to be upward-only regardless of economic conditions, particular in the case of very large players that – like Tesco – are, in effect, economic bellwethers.
Mass market grocers are simply going through the same (deferred) pain now, adjusting to the harsher post-2008 trading environment that non-food traders worked through three to four years ago; a pain on the non-food merchandise side that Tesco has already shared in. Tesco still dwarfs its grocery market competitors in market share terms (store and online). It is a grocery leviathan: indeed, it is the UK grocery leviathan. What is currently happening at Tesco is more interesting for what it tells us about current grocery market conditions in the UK than about Tesco business strategies per se.
James Knightley, Senior UK Economist - ING
The retail environment has been incredibly tough since the start of the global financial crisis with several well-known high street names having failed. The combination of weak demand and the credit crunch put immense pressure on businesses that ultimately failed as they weren’t competitively selling products that people wanted to buy. Thankfully the business environment has improved significantly with the UK now the fastest growing developed market economy, consumer confidence up at pre-crisis highs and credit conditions being much improved. Consequently, we are now in a much better environment to facilitate a business turnaround.
Nonetheless, the turnaround of Tesco will not be easy. Stuck in the middle market between the aggressive expansionist discounters and the higher end “premium” retailers, it has seen a significant squeeze on sales and profits. There will need to be improved merchandising strategies including refocusing the store base and the online offering and a cutting of costs to fend off discounters. Recent news from Morrisons and Sainsbury’s suggest Tesco is not alone, which suggests margins will remain under pressure for some time to come. Consequently, they will need to manage expectations on the length and scale of turnaround so as to not miss early targets that would heap more pressure on the business.
However, it isn’t just the competitive problems facing the company. The perception of a management vacuum given the stepping down of the CFO and CEO followed by the acknowledgement of a £250 million profit overstatement has severely damaged the company’s credibility. With the Financial Conduct Authority launching a full investigation, the Parliamentary Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee demanding to know what has been going on and the Serious Fraud Office also paying close attention Tesco is going to remain in the headlines for negative reasons for several months to come. With analysts already questioning the level of retail experience on the board and these inquests occupying significant management time there are question marks over whether the company will be able to achieve a significant turnaround quickly without broader management structural changes.
Dr Tim Denison, Director of Retail Intelligence – Ipsos Retail Performance
The appointment of Dave Lewis may well prove to be the first step towards the re-emergence of the retail titan that is Tesco rather than a Titanic-style sinking. The company has been losing market share since 2007 and though large profits have successfully papered over the cracks, its past leadership team has failed to acknowledge, in public at least, that it had a major problem on its hands. The first lesson to be tabled by McKinsey from studying successful retail turnarounds is that leaders have to face up to the facts. To his credit, very early on in his tenure Mr Lewis openly acknowledged that the company is struggling.
Acceptance needs to be followed swiftly by finding the root causes of business distress and bringing to light what is not working, something that Bill Grimsey successfully achieved at Wickes. Inevitably this leads on to a fix plan which is action-heavy. Most turnarounds have therefore been characterised by new appointments at executive level to shake up the thinking, inject energy and galvanise the leadership into a change programme. Tesco has been criticised for having an unbalanced board composition with not enough experienced retailers at the top table. As Tim Ambler of LBS famously once mused: “At best accountants keep score; they do not make runs.” Lewis is already ringing the personnel changes, some of them forced by recent events.
Turnarounds usually involve some cost-cutting, but success comes from not attaching too much focus on this task thereby risking distraction from the main initiative, which is finding what is challenging the success of the existing business model and making good. Mr Lewis clearly has a strong view on this and has already declared that he wants Tesco to regain its position as the “customer’s champion” and transform the company culture away from what has been described as one of secrecy and compliance.
Engineering fundamental changes to a business, its staff and how they operate requires ownership. Many successful turnarounds have involved the appointment of a Chief Restructuring Officer to drive the transformation and communicate the great change story that everyone understands, while allow others to continue to do their jobs and allow the business to carry on functioning. Don’t be surprised if we see such a role announced at Cheshunt.
Clearly there is a lot of work ahead at Tesco. It will be fascinating to know the steps that have been taken and how much progress has been made at the end of Mr Lewis’s first 100 days in his CEO role on 10th December.
Successful turnarounds of companies in an aggressively competitive and disrupted market are not easy but there are stories of change that could give Tesco confidence in its future. The recovery of Starbucks, McDonalds’ ‘Plan to Win’ success and Argos’ ongoing transformation spring to mind. Let’s also not lose sight of the considerable cash generation and market share still enjoyed by Tesco, which gives them significant ability to invest.
Turnarounds are different to the normal course of business. For a start, there is huge scrutiny from stakeholders (investors, staff, pension trustees, suppliers, credit insurers, regulators) not to mention customers and the media. New faces come into key positions and typically operate without a full set of facts which they can trust. The situation evolves rapidly and is often driven by external factors: in Tesco’s case, an accelerating evolution of the market.
Grip, Build, Grow
In these circumstances, management teams often overlook the need to thoroughly stabilise the business and instead move too quickly to strategies and solutions. This backfires and stakeholders lose confidence as events and further bad news unfolds. Grip means fundamentally changing the way the business is run (its operational governance) and how decisions are made: gripping the cashflow gives the best view of the business and allows investment capacity to be built; changing the team as different skills and characteristics are needed to run a business in turnaround compared to one in growth mode; carefully planning and controlling stakeholder communications; stopping a lot of projects and gripping headcount and discretionary spend.
A lot is said about changing the culture of businesses at this point. Culture change doesn’t work through tree-hugging sessions and slogans but by changing 30-40-50 small details about the way the business is run – its operational governance.
Build is about rapidly creating a new value plan for the business and building support for it from stakeholders. There is insufficient time or information to run a traditional strategy process so leaders tend to run a range of scenarios and make some big decisions around what the future core of the business is and where money is going to be made. It vital to accelerate some investments and actions to create growth – a business can’t be turned around by just cutting costs or indeed prices. Howard Schultz at Starbucks certainly cut costs brutally in his ‘grip’ phase but he then made some critical decisions, the first was to focus on the company’s core product – coffee – and the second; to recreate the ambiance of local coffee houses. Schultz built customer affinity programs and aggressively extended the brand to return its premium position.
You then have to implement growth – turnaround implementation needs to be managed at a very granular level with high cadence. It is all about creating hard linkages between actions and financial impact and about having a very integrated programme to de-duplicate and de-risk delivery. You can’t afford to make promises you can’t keep so turnaround programmes tend to be built from the worst case up and also include measures to react quickly to trading performance.
In good turnarounds you tend to see a range of stakeholders – suppliers, staff, investors, lenders, unions – all contributing to stabilisation and the solution. This provides management with the required support and is harnessed with an excellent communication programme. John Walden at Argos has maintained a consistent dialogue with stakeholders underpinned by consistency of delivery.
Turning round retailers is difficult and takes a while – Tesco has a big stakeholder challenge on its hands. Success will be measured through customers understanding what Tesco stands for and returning in numbers to its stores.
Martin Hayward, Founder – Hayward Strategy and Futures
According to Dave McCarthy, an analyst at HSBC, Tesco’s problems boil down to one issue: “It lost its emotional connection with the customer.”
How many times have we heard this about large companies that have begun to believe in their own immortality, despite the changing world around them? Ironically, Tesco should be in a tremendously strong position to connect with their customers given their pioneering investment in customer data analysis since the mid 1990’s. Somehow the messages that this data must and should have been sending to the board of Tesco have been missed or ignored, in the pursuit of ever greatness and scale.
There was an interesting moment in the early 2000’s when Tesco proudly announced that 1 in every 7 pounds spent by UK consumers was in its stores. This line was quickly pounced upon by the press as a sign that Tesco was getting too big for its own good, and boots, but despite it being quickly downplayed, it still resurfaces even to this day. Maybe this was an early sign of hubris, that the company was more important that than the customers it served?
Another interesting question to address is which customers Tesco serves? Unique amongst UK supermarkets, Tesco has always claimed to be able to serve every section of the population, from value conscious shoppers on a budget to high-end gourmets. There are few if any examples of retailers in any sector that manage to pull this off for long. The enhanced polarisation of the UK grocery sector, driven by the discounters and Waitrose/M&S makes a one-size fits all model ever harder to sustain.
Therefore the learnings from the past are as they ever were, enshrined in the fundamental thesis of successful marketing. Clarify which customers you’re looking to satisfy and examine them with forensic attention to ensure that what you offer is what they need. And then keep on talking to them to ensure that as their needs change, the offer changes in unison. It’s never been rocket science, and never will be, but the bigger you get, the signs are that the harder it is to deliver against.
Retail history is littered with companies that were once the tallest trees in the forest only to have been cut down to size by changing market or competitive conditions. The problem for any company in this position, especially as one as large as Tesco, is that it takes time, effort and willpower to fundamentally change the business and to put it back on track.
Looking back at history the first thing Tesco has to do is realise that change is needed, identify what change is required and then to enact it ferociously across the business. This is not something all retailers in trouble have done. It took Marks & Spencer, for example, years to grasp the nettle of change and, in some senses, it still has not done this completely with many cultures and processes of old still surviving today.
The second thing Tesco has to do is change the economics of its business model. This is not about completely reinventing the business, but it is about recognising that some things – not least relatively high margins – are just not sustainable in today’s market. The price of trying to maintain those margins is one of continued market share erosion. This is a difficult thing to engineer but it is something that others, such as Carrefour, have successfully done in order to get growth back on the agenda.
Another thing Tesco needs to do is to reconnect with the customer. HMV failed because it did not adapt to changing customer needs and tastes. Arguably under its new management team HMV has understood that people don’t necessarily want to buy music from stores, they want to be entertained and inspired in those stores. They have reconnected with their customers and are, once again, growing share. Tesco has a wealth of customer data from Clubcard but it needs to use it to greater effect if it is to keep its shoppers loyal.
The final thing Tesco needs to address is the lack of retail and consumer experience on its board. It currently has too many accountants and too few people who understand retail and consumer markets. Dave Lewis provides some balance, as do the two recent appointments, but arguably there is a need for more expertise.
The slight downside for Tesco is that looking back through retail history there are far more retailers that failed at reinventing themselves than there are those that succeeded. Tesco will have its work cut out if it is to fall into the latter camp.
Martin Newman, CEO – Practicology
Tesco is stuck in the middle. Customers are unclear about what it stands for, and therefore the starting point for its turnaround should be to clarify its customer value proposition.
‘Every little helps’ needs to be re-energised with clarity around the customer proposition across range, price, value, channels and loyalty.
Asda has a clear focus on every day value. In addition, it has recently gone through a substantial restructuring in order to be more customer-centric, culminating with the board appointment of Steve Smith as Chief Customer Officer.
HMV has just announced a £17m profit only a year after it nearly disappeared from the high street. It’s drastically cut loss-making stores and focused on making those left somewhere music lovers want to go. Perhaps Tesco should take bolder cuts to its store space over-capacity, but also act on the huge amounts of data it has about what drives customers through the doors and online.
Despite the fact Tesco has more consumer data through Clubcard than any other grocer, it hasn’t taken full advantage of this and built the type of relationship and engagement with its customer base that it could have, in doing so extending the customer’s lifetime value to the business.
Customer loyalty demands more than a points-based rewards system. Customers want to be treated like individuals. Tesco needs to leverage its data with a programme of rewards and personalised offers aligned with customers’ lifestyles and lifecycles.
Once the business has understood customers’ requirements, Tesco can re-engineer its people, systems and processes to deliver the new customer proposition and journey.
In Australia, a similar turnaround of the grocer Coles was achieved a few years ago with a new management team and a five-year strategic plan backed by investment. In the UK, Argos is another retailer delivering on a strategic plan that has seen it respond with modern ways of thinking to the structural changes in the market it operates.
Tesco is lucky that it has access to data and insight on its customers that other retailers faced with similar challenges can only dream of.
Dave Lewis has already signalled his intent for Tesco to be customer-centric by putting more customer service staff into stores. But it will take more than this to make its customers feel truly valued again.
Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight – Nielsen
There are a number of consumer trends that will continue at least until the end of 2016. For example, the structural shift to discounters, value retailers and online, and shopping at smaller stores. With household budgets under pressure, shoppers still need to save money which is why 30% of the sales value of FMCG in UK is still sold on promotion and this percentage is unlikely to fall in the near future.
So savvy shopping is now the norm with planned purchasing and more and more price comparison: shoppers will continue to look to save money when shopping for groceries.
Whilst two thirds of GB households are shopping at Tesco every 4 weeks, spend per shopper on FMCG continues to fall and spend per visit was -2.5% in the last 12 months (source: Nielsen).
To help Tesco recover from the current fall in sales and go on to hold and then gain market share there is probably a need to reposition on price to some degree. However it will be the sum of the overall Value for Money e.g. price, range, format, service and availability that is the key to success.
The outcome for Tesco in the UK could be that in the future an edited/tailored range may be just as important for conversion and incremental sales, and that store format development and private label as well as online, are the best opportunities to drive new shoppers and loyalty.
Note to Editors:
First mentions of the Retail Think Tank should be as follows: the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank. The abbreviations Retail Think Tank and RTT are acceptable thereafter.
The RTT was founded by KPMG and Ipsos Retail Performance (formerly Synovate) in February 2006. It now meets quarterly to provide authoritative ‘thought leadership’ on matters affecting the retail industry. All outputs are consensual and arrived at by simple majority vote and moderated discussion. Quotes are individually credited. The Retail Think Tank has been created because it is widely accepted that there are so many mixed messages from different data sources that it is difficult to establish with any certainty the true health and status of the sector.
The aim of the RTT is to provide the authoritative, credible and most trusted window on what is really happening in retail and to develop thought leadership on the key areas influencing the future of retailing in the UK. Its executive members have been rigorously selected from non-aligned disciplines to highlight issues, propose solutions, learn from the past, signpost the road ahead and put retail into its rightful context within the British social/economic matrix.
The RTT panellists rely on their depth of personal experience, sector knowledge and review an exhaustive bank of industry and government datasets.
Nick Bubb, Consultant to Zeus Capital
Dr. Tim Denison, Ipsos Retail Performance
Martin Hayward, Hayward Strategy and FuturesJames Knightley, INGRichard Lowe, Barclays Retail & Wholesale SectorsDavid McCorquodale, KPMG
Martin Newman, PracticologyNeil Saunders, ConluminoMark Teale, CBRE
Mike Watkins, Nielsen UK The intellectual property within the RTT is jointly owned by KPMG (www.kpmg.co.uk) and Ipsos Retail Performance.
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