Ex-Asda President and CEO Andy Bond has called on retailers to offer customers “more for less” in the year ahead as he predicted that the worst is yet to come in terms of the retail economy.
Talking at the Retail London conference in the UK’s capital yesterday, the senior retail industry figure, who stepped down from his role as boss of Asda in 2010, warned that 2011 is going to be a difficult year for the sector.
Addressing 450 delegates at Hilton, Park Lane, he said: “The retail recession is ahead of us, not behind.
“The coming year will be most tough - what money people do have, they’ll be wanting to save it.”
He also suggested retailers must spend real time building customer trust if they are to be successful in the coming months.
“Who dares to be so transparent that you’ll publish your CEO’s expenses on your website?” he asked.
Bond’s views on how the economy will perform in the year ahead reflect those of many senior industry figures, including Mothercare CEO Ben Gordon, who during a trading update last week reflected on weak consumer demand and low shopper footfall in the UK.
Simon Wolfson, CEO of fashion retailer Next, also said last month that the situation for retailers is likely to get worse before it gets better, and likened the current landscape to walking up a down escalator.
“We will have to work hard to stand still,” he explained.