Is it just me, or is everyone in grocery a bit miserable right now?
I know the weather is grey and rather cold. I know the industry is having a tough time, with massive writeoffs and job insecurity.
I know the British grocery market has fallen into decline for the first time since records began in 1994.
“It’s Christmas, and we should all be feeling excited and optimistic. So tell us your reasons to be cheerful, and you could win a case of Champagne”
It’s also abundantly clear the situation is not really the result of macro-economic conditions. The economy is actually improving, and commodity deflation should also be helping. But due to intense competition, major structural changes in the market, and some of the choices and strategies adopted by retail leadership teams over recent years, it’s a bleak time, with some desperate measures in play.
This week’s issue doesn’t exactly brighten the mood. There’s a report showing Christmas is later than ever and though the growing success of Black Friday has helped boost footfall and thus benefited food and drink, it means the sales now effectively start in late November. And to think: they used to be known as the January sales.
The reshuffle at Tesco also marks a sad end for some much-liked and well-respected executives who, it’s been confirmed this week, have left for good.
In the meantime, supermarkets are covering up newspapers not because of lewd images: it’s over concerns that children are being upset by grim images of Isis beheadings.
But it’s Christmas, for goodness sake, and we should all be feeling excited, optimistic, energetic. This is, after all, the final furlong in the Golden Quarter. As of Monday there are 12 working days till Christmas.
So we want to hear from you. We want to publish our own version of the 12 Days of Christmas - featuring your reasons to be cheerful. Send in your positive thoughts, inspiring tales and good news via post, email, Twitter or the website. We’ll publish one a day on our website. And the very best submission we will not only publish in our review of the year in our bumper 20 December issue - we’ll send you a crate of Champagne too.