Optimistic UK SME retailers bullish about future prospects

SMEs were found to be remarkably positive about their own prospects

Britain’s small and medium scale retailers are bucking the seemingly inexorable slide toward doom and gloom on the high street, with two-thirds of their number expressing bullish sentiments in relation to current trading conditions.

Despite the march of international online retailers and declining sales among larger bricks and mortar stores, SMEs were found to be remarkably positive about their own prospects with two-thirds of 500 SME businesses contacted by Censuswide, on behalf of courier delivery service Shutl, expressing optimism that their business would flourish through to spring 2018.

This positivity is borne out of confidence that more efficient delivery options will bring their products within reach of ever more consumers, despite 73% of those surveyed also voicing fears that larger online retailers pose a growing threat.

Shutl chief Jason Tavaria said: “The results of this survey point to buoyant SME retailers, who are increasingly using technology and smarter selling options to compete against the bigger retailers with larger budgets. Today delivery is no longer such a big USP. Carriers have become increasingly savvy about the SME group as a compelling audience, and in turn costs have reduced and technology is supporting an infrastructure that is dynamic and cost effective. Thus the continuing technological innovation to support SMEs is making it easier, and more cost effective for this group to compete.”

Shutl also found that 59% of respondents believed that economies of scale gave the retailing world’s big fish key advantages in delivery and distribution but that 70% felt that their personalised service gave them an edge, with 62% believing that their unique brand experience would have customers flocking.

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John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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