Consumer news

Latest white paper: ‘Next generation retail: The rise of the Omni-platform’.

We’ve launched our latest thought leadership paper: ‘Next generation retail: The rise of the Omni-platform’.
Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba and other platform business models have turned the world of retailing upside down. Retailers need to transform their customer offer and organisational models to survive, and thrive, in this brave new world. It’s time for a provocative approach. In this paper we provide a pragmatic view of what type of platforms are available, what benefits & threats they can bring to your business, and how best to build a plan to counter (or be a part of) these. Read more…

November 2017
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ConsumerCurrents: Time for grocers to think the unthinkable

KPMG Boxwood Insights Director Paul Martin wrote an article on grocers for KPMG’s publication ConsumerCurrents.

ConsumerCurrents provides senior executives at consumer goods companies, insight on topical industry issues, global trends and business planning.

January 2016
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Essential Retail: Capacity for change critical for today’s retailers

The old static five-year-plan is no longer relevant in an ever changing complex trading environment, argues Paul Martin, managing director at Boxwood Insights, part of KPMG Boxwood.

October 2015
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Cosmetics Business: Will the Chinese stock crash break beauty?

Our Anna Kuusela gives her opinion on the effect the recent economic upset will have on the cosmetics industry.

“While Black Monday alone may not be that significant for the cosmetics industry, when combined with the slowdown of the Chinese market, it starts to be a real challenge for many retailers. The market structure, along with currency constraints, will continue to put pressure on the industry, a huge part of which is made up of foreign enterprises. It will be interesting to see if Chinese consumers tighten their purse strings.”

September 2015
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Cosmetics Business: Why is everyone buying into premium skincare?

​KPMG Boxwood Manager Anna Kuusela comments on the current trend towards premium skincare.

Essential Retail: Retail success requires employee engagement in big vision

Having a vision and expecting people to follow you, because you know best, won’t get you very far as a retail leader, argues Paul Martin, managing director of Boxwood Insights at KPMG Boxwood.

July 2015
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Comment: Summer solstice offers some solace for retailers

Commenting on the latest ONS Retail Sales figures for June 2015 – Paul Martin, Managing Director Insights, KPMG Boxwood said:

“On the surface, this month’s ONS figures appear encouraging with sales volumes increasing by 4.0% over the same period in 2015 - the 27th consecutive month of year-on-year growth. However, compared to last month’s numbers, the quantity bought fell 0.2% and all store types saw a decrease in average store price compared…read more

July 2015
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Essential Retail: Are department stores the ideal platform for online retailers?

Insights Director Paul Martin comments on the issue of online retailers developing a bricks and mortar presence in the wake of the BRC International Retailing conference.

June 2015
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Essential Retail: Creating a relevant customer proposition in retail

The ability to evolve your core customer value proposition, and to stay relevant and attractive to your current and future shoppers is key for consumer-facing firms, says Boxwood’s Paul Martin.

June 2015
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Boxwood Highly Commended at MCA Awards 2015

At the annual MCA Awards, held on 23 April 2015, Boxwood were Highly Commended in the Change Management in the Private Sector category for our work with Arco, experts in safety and the UK’s largest supplier of safety equipment.

Arco is a long-established leader in the workplace safety market – but their market was changing rapidly. Boxwood worked with the business to help them develop and implement a new, more relevant customer value proposition and operating model.

The results saw operating profit grow 32%, customer satisfaction reach highest–ever levels and colleague engagement scores rise dramatically – helping Arco transform its proud history into a sustainable future.

April 2015
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Retail Times: Black Friday, Click and Collect and polarisation define Christmas 2014

Boxwood’s Christmas Trading Report reveals the 2014 Christmas trading period proved to be even more challenging than usual for many retailers. An unseasonably mild autumn together with the chaotic scenes we saw on Black Friday and Cyber Monday left many retailers perplexed on how to effectively manage the holiday trading period. In particular, Christmas 2014 saw supply chains come under severe strain as record numbers of consumers moved online in search of best price and convenience. Nonetheless, there were some notable successes across the trading period for those who managed to plan adequately and, more importantly, execute their plans effectively.

March 2015
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Boxwood is shortlisted for the 2015 MCA awards

We are delighted to announce that Boxwood has been shortlisted for this year’s Management Consultancy Association(MCA) Awards, which will be announced in London on 23th April 2015. Our work with Arco has been shortlisted in the Change Management in the Private Sector category.

January 2015
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Essential Retail: How the four As are changing retail - ASOS

The third in a series of four articles examining the retail iconoclasts – four A-grade companies, whose names just happen to also begin with an A, who are redefining retail performance.

November 2014
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Retail Week: Discounters to pile more pressure on the Big Four this Christmas

The discounters have had quite a year - and this Christmas they are set to pile more pressure than ever on the Big Four grocers.

November 2014
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Retail Times: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

Last week saw the exciting re-introduction of the Netto retail brand into the UK after a four-year hiatus. Tony Browne examines the impact

November 2014
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Essential Retail: Prepare for the next cultural revolution

Boxwood Insights Managing Director Paul Martin talks to Essential Retail about Alibaba’s record-breaking flotation.

October 2014
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Retail Gazette: How to compete with Amazon

Amazon – a retail ecosystem of 120 million products and counting set to overtake Walmart as the largest retailer in the world by 2025 by revenue. Competing against this behemoth on choice is unrealistic. The conundrum for many competitors is how to balance choice against the constant aim of lowering the cost per transaction.

September 2014
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Retail Times: Can an outsider be a successful leader?

Paul Martin, managing director at Boxwood Insights, considers strategies for retailer leadership following the death of Karl Albrecht of Aldi and Philip Clarke’s departure from Tesco

“Over the last week, two very significant stories have hit the retail news headlines. The first was the passing of Karl Albrecht who, together with his brother Theo, founded Aldi in Germany over 50 years ago. Read more

July 2014
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Retail Week: Are the big grocers victims of anti-corporate sentiment among shoppers?

The big grocers are all looking to reconnect with customers as sales decline. Retail Week takes a look at whether anti-corporate sentiment is affecting the supermarkets with commentary from Boxwood Insights Director Paul Martin

July 2014
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Essential Retail: How the four As are changing retail - Aldi

German dominance on the football field is nothing new, but the strength of the German retailers, especially when playing away, is something to behold.

Aldi is the first of our 4 As. We’ll be looking at why it has become such a force to be reckoned with and how it is changing the face of retail.

July 2014
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Essential Retail: How the four As are changing retail

This is an introduction to a series of four articles examining retail iconoclasts - four leading companies, whose names just happen to all begin with A, who are redefining today’s retail performance.

May 2014
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ERT Online: The big box electrical store is ‘dead’

Speaking at the European TCG (Technical Consumer Goods) Retail Summit in Berlin, Germany, Paul Martin, Managing Director of Boxwood Insights, said: “The big box is dead – retail outlets have to change and offer retail theatre. We believe 30 to 50 per cent of big-box stores across Europe will disappear in the next 10 to 15 years.”

May 2014
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Retail Week: What is the best way for retailers to develop and adopt new technology?

Director Jon Dakin’s blog post was published in Retail Week. Despite vast investment, retail IT projects routinely fail to deliver. Retailers spend a lot of time and effort on increasingly sophisticated technology, so how should they be developing and adopting it? Jon Dakin, director at Boxwood, says a solid business case is necessary: “There should be no such thing as a technology project - it’s a business transformation project.

February 2014
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Boxwood Insights team reveal the big retail innovations set to make an impact in 2014

Boxwood has revealed the companies changing the future of retail in New York. As part of the NRF, Boxwood Insights Managing Director, Paul Martin, led 20 retailers on a walking tour of the most exciting retail developments on the New York shopping scene. Read the full press release or download the NRF store presentation.

January 2014
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Paul Martin, Managing Director of Boxwood’s Business Insight Unit presented a Global Retail Outlook at the 41st IFM conference in Paris this week. Outlined were the key future trends and innovation in retail to an audience of over 1000 of France and Europe’s largest retailers, suppliers and service providers.

November 2013
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Boxwood expands Business Insights unit - Paul Martin joins from Planet Retail

Boxwood is expanding its insight and research capabilities with the appointment of Paul Martin from Planet Retail. Paul will head up “Boxwood Insights” as Managing Director; bringing his extensive analytical experience and behavioural trend spotting to the benefit of Boxwood’s clients in this expanded company division. To read the press release, click here.

November 2013
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Retailers can ride omni-channel wave but risk drowning in complexity

All you hear these days in the trade press and conference circuit is the importance of having a personalised offer that customers can access at any time in any way they wish. The trouble is, we have educated the average punter with a smartphone or tablet to expect all this convenience for free and actually, it is rather expensive.

The obvious costs of IT infrastructure and distribution are dwarfed by the hidden cost of the complexity most bricks and mortar retailers face when trying to deal with the endless permutations of multi-channel customer journeys.

July 2013

International retail expansion should not be a vanity affair

Retail Times has published an article by Matt Clark on the opportunities and obstacles to international retail expansion Many UK retailers have already expanded extensively overseas and, if you listen to the press and pay attention to conference speeches, this is a ‘must do’ activity for retailers that want to grow. However, many of the retailers that have expanded have not enjoyed the experience. Hence our question: is international expansion an essential growth strategy or an ego trip for the leadership team that distracts the organisation? Of course the answer is – depends on how you do it…

December 2012
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We must learn from Comet’s mistakes

The Grocer: has published an article by Matt Clark on facing the challenges in today’s consumer market.

November 2012

Fight for survival entails leading from the front

Retail Week have published an article regarding the research and findings from our thought leadership paper on what it takes to lead successful transformation whilst under sustained financial pressures. One of the key challenges today’s leaders are facing is striking the right balance between short term needs and long-term growth opportunities.

October 2012

New business models can revive the British High Street

Does the rise in online shopping signal the death of the High Street? Click right and turn to page four to find out in an interview with Matt Clark, Director of Consumer

September 2012
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