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Retailers prioritise threats to brand and reputation

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A recent survey found that UK retailers are becoming increasingly concerned with threats to their brand and reputation.

Responding to the National Retail Risks Survey 2016, published by Aon and the British Retail Consortium, almost three quarters of retailers felt brand reputation was either a “high” or “very high” threat to their business.

Business and brand reputations are becoming increasing vulnerable as connectivity and the use of social media become more widespread. Customers can complain about retailers directly on public pages, or even gather sizable support groups to criticise them, as was the case with the recent petition against B&Q.

“The rise of brand protection and reputation to become the top risk is not surprising given a market which is more competitive than ever before,” said Helen Dickinson, CEO of the BRC.

“Against a backdrop where industry profitability is falling and retailers grapple with falling shop prices, rising costs and effectively implementing the National Living wage; managing the expectations of customers, employees, shareholders and other interested parties is more important than ever.”

The second most highly rated risk was uncontrollable threats of UK economic change, followed by increasing competition. The survey involved 25 UK retailers, with 62% of the group coming from organisations with an annual turnover of over £1bn, and 80% having over 1,000 employees.

Published on Wednesday 11 May by Philip Gallagher

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