Kurt Salmon: 5 percent of retailers onmi-channel proof

11 February 2015 Consultancy.uk

The development of omni-channel retailing continues to be on the rise and is a top three business priority for 60% of executives, a recent survey by Retail Week and Kurt Salmon shows. However, there is a divergence between the firm’s priorities and in how far they have developed their onmi-channel capacities, with only 5% having a complete onmi-channel process. Customers too continue to demand an omni-channel shopping environment, looking for both cheaper deals and convenience.

In a recently released report from Retail Week, in association with management consulting firm Kurt Salmon, titled ‘Retail 2015: Definitive intelligence on the state of the industry, from the leaders in UK retail’, the changing environment in the UK retail sector is explored. The report discusses the results of a survey of 25 retail executives, with questions ranging over economic issues facing retailers’ core business and changes expected within the industry over the coming year. One issue highlighted is the move toward multi- and omni-channel customer engagements.

Kurt Salmon - Omni-channel retailing

Investing in the omni-channel
Long gone now are the days in which shopping happened in brick and mortar. The internet heralding in the store website, then the online store, and now mobile, all of which have opened further channels to potential and returning customers. While retailers have started to take advantage of the changes, the survey results show that retailers believe they need to do more towards developing a wide range of channels to meet customer demand, with investment in omni-channel proliferation the key to this years’ investment strategy for retailers. In terms of priorities, omni-channel development is in the top three for 60% of respondents and has the highest aggregate score at 37%.

Omni-channel investment

Understanding the omni-channel
While companies are investing in developing a multi- or omni-channel approach to engage their customers and meet the expectation of those customers, there is divergence among firms in how far they have developed their capacities to exploit information they have on customers and their stock levels across channels. With the central reasons to develop a single view of customers and stock being to create integrated interpretations of their customers’ behaviour across the channels and to know stock levels on the shop floor as well as online.

In terms of the single view of customers and stock only 19% responded that they had achieved this goal, while 57% said they had developed a single view of stock but not of their customers and 14% said they had a single view of customers and not of stock. Only 10% responded that they had neither a single view of stock of customers. One in five firms (19%) expects to achieve both single views in the next 12 months.

The omni-channel view

In terms of how much progress firms have made towards the omni-channel, only 5% say the process was complete, while 52% say they had made ‘some progress’ and 29% report having made ‘significant progress’. All surveyed firms have made at least some progress as none said to have no or very little progress made.

The omni-channel development

The consumers’ omni-channel experience
The report also looked at the reasons customers engage through multiple channels to reach retailers and the competitive demand it places on the retailers. Clothes shoppers note priorities for shopping online as convenience (being able to show whenever) at 40%, followed by cheaper prices at 38%, speed to finding the requisite product also ranks highly, important for 27% of those surveyed. In terms of demands on retailers, 32% of consumers found good photographs as important, click-and-collect was important for 13% and not having to interact with staff is seen as important to 7%.

Consumer priorities in shopping for clothes online

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Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

08 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team has completed its first TMT deal of 2019. The professional services firm advised the shareholders of Hosted Desktop UK on their investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Technological disruption and changing consumer behaviour have continued to affect top Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) players in recent years. The industry has seen revenues border on stagnation over the past decade, at 0.4% annual growth since 2008. While the industry is keen to develop new digital services and models to meet market challenges, they face a range of barriers – meaning the recruiting of talent specialising in innovative software and technology has become a key goal for the industry.

Amid this, Hosted Desktop UK (HDUK) provides cloud computing services to small and medium sized businesses across the UK. The firm’s cloud solutions provide businesses with IT reliability, flexibility, value for money and business continuity. As the firm bids to grow in the UK, with demand for its disruptive technologies high, HDUK has secured a key investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

The transaction was Beechbrook Capital’s maiden deal from its latest UK SME credit fund, which supports small and medium-sized businesses in the UK with EBITDA of £1 million and above. Manchester law firms Pannone Corporate (sell-side advice, led by Mark Winthorpe) and DWF LLP (buy-side advice, led by Jonathan Robinson) also advised on the deal, while Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team advised HDUK’s shareholders.

The deal represents the Grant Thornton branch’s first TMT deal of 2019, with a team comprised of Partner and Head of Corporate Finance Peter Terry, Manager Daniel Brecker and Assistant Manager Cariad Mudford advising HDUK shareholders on the investment. It is the third key deal in the TMT sector that the GT North team has advised on in the last 18 months, following the £16.5 million sale of Salford-based Sonassi to Iomart in December 2017 and NorthEdge Capital’s investment in Yorkshire company iPortalis in August 2018.

Grant Thornton’s Peter Terry said of the news, “As our domestic and working lives become ever-more technology dependent, it’s no surprise that there continues to be strong investor interest in any asset in the cloud computing, data infrastructure and connectivity space… We were pleased to work with Beechbrook Capital on the first deal in its new fund. It shows that despite the well-documented uncertainties in the economy there are still good funding options for dynamic SMEs and their management teams.”