As the UK economy continues to implode and the mighty Sterling stoops to new lows, it would be easy to put up the 'gone fishing' sign and head off to warmer climes until the dark clouds of recession make way for the bright lights of recovery. This however would not be in keeping with the stiff upper lip we tea-drinking British are famous for. I agree that the current environment is throwing up certain challenges and it is a daily battle to extract hard-earned cash from consumers' pockets. It is safe to say that the days of frivolity are gone and I suspect that even when the bright lights begin to shine once more, the halcyon days of old shall not return in their entirety. It is therefore imperative for businesses to focus on value and by value I do not mean discounting but ensuring that customers appreciate and understand that they are receiving value for money in terms of product, service and environment. In my opinion, the knee-jerk reaction of many retailers to go down the heavy discounting route is a false economy and will only throw up issues in the future with regards to brand devaluation.
What this environment has forced a lot of small businesses to do is look very closely at how efficient they are. In boom times, it is easy to get caught up in the moment and spend turnover at the expense of profit. In this environment, such a strategy would be suicide. At Tea, we are in the process of cutting costs through driving efficiency and reviewing our supplier base. We intend to greet the bright lights of recovery in good enough shape to take advantage of the opportunites that are invariably going to be ripe for the picking.
Good luck and may the leaf be with you.