Wow is the most over used word in British supermarketing ­ and retailers should think seriously about dropping it from their strategies. That was one conclusion of the 160 delegates at last week's annual congress of the CIES management development programme in Edinburgh. The delegates ­ drawn from food retail and manufacturing businesses from around the world ­ toured supermarkets in the city and presented their views on what they had seen. Summarising the feedback on the big four, Professor Leigh Sparks of Stirling University, said: "Many of the stores and strategies are awfully similar. The question for retailers is how do they break out of that me-too' world?" Delegates were also puzzled about the availability problems they saw in the stores visited. But their main criticism was to do with the clinical presentation of many of the supermarkets. Sparks said: "The theme is that British stores are all the same. They are all a bit reserved and need to get that excitement back in. Maybe we have seen the start of that in a small way in Safeway." {{NEWS }}