Sir: I’m encouraged to learn retailers are reading current market conditions and planning promotional activity in line with this (‘Food price inflation edges up as overall shop prices fall,’ thegrocer.co.uk, 3 July).
But the retail industry should also face the fact that food prices will continue to rise (no matter how gradually) and plan for this now. Talk of this situation becoming more stable in the medium term is hypothetical. Retailers should be making improvements for the future now and that means grabbing control of anything and everything affecting the bottom line.
Helen Dickinson’s suggestion that food retailers may have to focus on simple price cuts and multibuys is only part of the story. Food waste is at an all-time high, so retailers need to tackle waste management, price hikes and stock control.
Far too many people worry about price comparisons, too. The silent killer for margin through higher costs is ‘price creep’. The future for e-procurement is to have suppliers participate in managing their agreed products and prices with each retailer. That way, the business is protected from price creep and margin reduction, the retailer uses the quality suppliers they want, and the customer pays the right price - and their loyalty grows.
Jerry Brand, MD, Caternet