December sales figures show it is either now or never for retailers

The fast transformation of the retail landscape means the sector’s revival cannot be a one-month bet

London, 23 January 2015- The UK sales figures announced today show a sign of relief for the retail sector. Following an extended period of poor performance, during which big high street names seemed to be struggling to get to grips with the falling footfall, numbers show that December saw the revival of the sector.

Sales in December increased by 4.3% compared with December 2013. In addition, consumers have once again spoken loud and clear. Online sales in the UK grew by 8.0 per cent in December compared to a year earlier. [1]

Dan Wagner, eCommerce veteran and CEO and chairman of Powa Technologies, comments: “December sales figures are always the moment of truth for the retail sector. The smiles that the positive outlook of sales for last month brought to the high street are only precarious as the strongest sales performance was noted during the seasonal sales period. Once again, figures show that by simply relying on Christmas trading to get back to profit, retailers are closing their eyes on the fundamental shift in consumer and spending patterns – a trend that can no longer be ignored.

It is alarming to see that part of the high street is still betting on cutting prices to lure consumers through the doors, damaging profit-margins in the medium to long run. The retail sector cannot celebrate success when key high street names are still caught unprepared to deal with the anticipated increase in demand coming from online and mobile platforms. Consumer and brand engagement is the next big thing and retailers need to be up for it. Sound retail business strategies cannot be built on speculation or a myopic approach and the fluctuation in sales figures only adds to the uncertainty in the sector. The retail sector can no longer afford to be apprehensive about the urgency of implementing a truly omni-channel retail strategy.”

Technological solutions like PowaTag provide access to a revolutionary new way to transact with the connected consumer via mobile while keeping implementation costs low. The mobile commerce solution enables shoppers to complete transactions anytime, anywhere in a few simple steps with their smartphone. The app uses a variety of triggers including scanning print material, audio tags, social media, NFC and Bluetooth beacons, even one-touch buying from an email – enabling a new level of freedom for shoppers.