Autumn 2019

//  Celebrating 90 years of OSS Retail

//  Checkout ‘The Retailer’s new Digital Hub’

//  A spotlight on William Bain and your  BRC Brexit Guidance and Toolkit

‘‘We should always be inspired - always moving forward.’’

Our own commitment to supporting the industry couldn’t be stronger

Helen Dickinson OBE Chief Executive British Retail Consortium

I would like to extend our warmest thanks to everyone who joined us at the Annual Retail Industry Dinner on the 10th October at the Natural History Museum. The event offered us the opportunity to remind ourselves about the fantastic people at the heart of the industry. We should all be inspired by the energy, creativity and resilience of those around us, always ready to meet new challenges head on, always adapting, always moving forward. Times are changing, and the rate of change is accelerating. We can all recall high street names that are sadly no longer with us. The market is more volatile, technology is more disruptive, than ever before. People will be the key to the industry’s future success. But what do we need from our retail leaders of the future? Traditional retail skills – the right product, in the right place, at the right price – will never go away, but the world we are operating in now is vastly more complex. If we’re to win the war on talent, to find, to develop the best leaders of the future, we need to do more to shake off the image that retail is a job that people fall into. That’s one reason why we created Rethink Retail , a new website addressing outdated views of careers through dozens of case studies of a wide range of jobs currently being done at our members’ businesses. Our own commitment to supporting the industry couldn’t be stronger. We recently launched BRC Learning – partnering with Leeds Business School and Corndel to offer apprenticeships tailored to the needs of our members. Earlier this year we acquired OSS Retail – formerly Oxford Summer School – a leadership development business that provides the leadership training essential to firms’ success. Retail should be seen as a career, not just a job. Only by ensuring we have the best talent embarking on careers in our industry we will be able to navigate and adapt to the change permeating through retail. We at the BRC had a fantastic time organising the dinner as always. It truly makes us proud to work in retail. Watch the video from the night about why our members are #proudtoworkinretail

this issue


British Retail Consortium response The reinvention of retail // Helen Dickinson obe, BRC


Industry body urges measures to ‘revitalise retail’ in upcoming Welsh Budget // Sara Jones, WRC


SRC article for The Retailer on the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill // david lonsdale, src No Executive, No Minister, & No means to Protect NI Retail Workers. // Aodhán Connolly, nirc



Spotlight on: William Bain // brc




Brexit and your workforce // brc


Business rates reform making retail’s voice heard // Dominic Curran, brc Shops are important – but so too is the space in between them // HANNAH MILNE,the crown estate



THE RETAILER Digital Hub // brc and partners


The £1bn opportunity for retail to make a difference // ALISON HUTCHINSON CBE, Pennies Gender stereotyping in advertising - and why humour won’t save you! // OLIVER BRAY, LUCY HOUGHTON, RPC









PSD2 Doesn’t Have to Mean More Lost Revenue for Retailers // ED WHITEHEAD, Signifyd Five Questions Retailers Should Consider Right Now // CAROLYN HORNE, Workday Celebratingover 90 years of transforming retail careers // OSS









Employment Status… and why it matters // BEN LINDSAY, sherrards


Legal issues to consider when adopting blockchain solutions // SOPHIE LEVETT, DLA Piper

47 Directory of associate members

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Industry body urges measures to ‘revitalise retail’ in upcoming Welsh Budget

Sara Jones Head of Policy & External Affairs welsh Retail Consortium

Developing the long-awaited retail sector enabling plan coupled with decisive action to reduce business taxes and boost consumer spending should be at the heart of the upcoming Welsh Budget, according to the retail industry. In its Budget submission - entitled Revitalising Retail - sent in September to Finance Secretary Rebecca Evans AM, the Welsh Retail Consortium (WRC) says retailers are re-inventing themselves for the future in the face of profound changes in shopping habits, weak demand and spiralling costs. Retail is Wales’s largest private sector employer, providing over 130,000 jobs. However, it is an industry in transition and recent data has shown flatlining retail sales, declining footfall, fewer shops, and a 10% drop in retail jobs on Wales’ high streets. The submission from the leading sectoral trade body comes ahead of the expected publication later this autumn of the devolved administration’s tax and spending plans for 2020-21. The 10-page paper covers business rates, new environmental charges, income tax, skills, town centres, and regulation. Specifically, the WRC is recommending: • Delivery on the previous commitment by Welsh Government to develop a retail industry enabling plan • Publication of a timetabled plan to substantially reduce the headline business rate multiplier and move to three yearly revaluations • Bolstering consumer confidence by maintaining commitment to ruling out increases in Welsh rate of income tax • Introducing a Regulatory Review Group, in light of the repatriation of powers to the Assembly following Brexit.

The business rates recommendations follow recent figures which show the Welsh business rates multiplier is at a 20-year high, and higher than the figure in both England and Scotland.

6 | autumn 2019 | the retailer

Sara Jones, Head of the Welsh Retail Consortium, said: “Retail is in the midst of an unprecedented period of transition. These are unsettling times with conditions now the toughest in a decade. The only fixed point in a world of flux for retail seems to be rising costs, which are increasingly difficult to absorb without passing on to shoppers. “However, with the right support in place the industry could do better at revitalising itself for the future. We are therefore keen to progress a retail enabling plan with Ministers, which will become even more important with further devolution on the cards following Brexit. The Welsh Government have previously outlined their welcome commitment to develop a sector plan and we ask that this is now prioritised. “With business rates at a 20 year high and the highest in Great Britain, it is imperative that urgent action is taken. Freezing the business rates multiplier with a commitment to longer term reform remains our top priority, and an early commitment to more frequent revaluations would be seen as a great starting point. “We are also seeking assurances around the skills budget, ensuring that we are able to capitalise on our investment of over £6million to the apprenticeship levy. Retail is an industry of opportunity, with many careers which start in the stockroom ending up in the boardroom; we need a workforce fit for the future, building on the programmes that our retailers currently offer. “With retail under pressure, the Budget is an opportunity for Ministers and AMs to take tangible steps to help retailers as they seek to reinvent themselves for the future. We hope they seize the moment.” See link to budget report

the retailer | autumn 2019 | 7


the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill

david lonsdale director scottish Retail Consortium

On every Scottish high street there is visible evidence of how retail is changing. Successful shops are embracing technology and well-trained staff to provide interactive and innovative customer service, whilst other town centres contend with empty shops and deserted streets. Stiff competition, muted demand and changing shopping habits are forcing retailers to re-invent themselves in order to survive. Regrettably public policy is exacerbating the struggle. Mushrooming tax and regulatory costs come at a time when retail sales are flat, and mean retailers are diverting precious resources away from much needed investment in digital platforms, skills, and logistics capabilities. Public policy is ratcheting up the cost of employing people and operating from premises, accelerating the pace of the structural change in the industry. One of retailers’ biggest outgoings is business rates, with the sector accounting for 22% of rates. Retailers’ rates bills increased £13.2 million this Spring. A more modernised, fit for purpose system which provides greater predictability is desperately needed. It’s why the Scottish Retail Consortium is asking MSPs to back the Non-Domestic Rates Bill as it comes to the Scottish Parliament this autumn. Tangible headway is being made on recasting rates for the future. We applauded the Finance Secretary’s actions at the last Budget to bring in a below-CPI uplift in the poundage/tax rate and to shelve plans for a new levy on out of town premises. The Non-Domestic Rates Bill introduces more frequent property revaluations and halves the period between valuations being undertaken and coming into effect. It should mean the rates system better flexes with trading conditions, keeps pace with structural changes in the economy, and provides a more effective shock absorber against future economic bumps in the road. Each property will pay a fairer share of the rates burden relative to others and a more accurate one. It should also decrease the likelihood of major fluctuations in property values and reduce appeals.

Scottish Ministers are heading in the right direction with these changes and MSPs should back them. We also ask parliamentarians to reject siren calls from some for control over the poundage rate to be handed to local councils. This would be a retrograde step, anomalous with the thrust of the reform agenda of predictability and competitiveness, and a recipe for cost and complexity. However, this Bill shouldn’t be the limit of our ambition. The rates burden remains onerous, with the poundage/tax rate having escalated to a 20-year high and with a further £60 million rates hike pencilled in for April 2020. Furthermore, many firms occupying medium-sized and larger premises pay a supplementary levy higher than competitors or counterparts down south. Ministers revealed recently that 5,040 of these are retail premises, who collectively stump up an extra £13.95 million for this surcharge annually. This Scotland-only surcharge is at odds with official documents accompanying the Bill, which rightly aims for Scotland to be ‘the most competitive place to do business’ in the UK. The Barclay Review, upon which the Bill is based, was very clear that this higher supplement was ‘damaging perceptions’ of Scotland as a place to invest and that parity with England should be restored by April 2020. The levy sticks out like a sore thumb. So let’s deliver a rates system which better reflects economic conditions, restores the level playing field with England on the large firms’ supplement, and begins to lower the overall rates burden. This would support retailers and increase their confidence about investing in new and refurbished shop premises.

8 | autumn 2019 | the retailer


No Executive, No Minister, & No means to Protect NI Retail Workers.

Aodhán Connolly director northern ireland Retail Consortium

Sunday 13 October saw us pass the ignominious milestone of 1000 days without a sitting assembly in Stormont. In that time movement on legislation to make Northern Ireland a more competitive place to do business has not just been glacial, it has ground to a halt. the lack of government at Stormont has meant that we are falling further and further behind our neighbours in GB and Ireland on a range of issues including reform of business rates and the Apprenticeship Levy, as well as industrial strategies. But this about our people too. At the same time we passed the 1000 day mark of having no government, Daniel Johnson MSP formally lodged a Private Members Bill in the Scottish Parliament. The Bill would create a separate offence and a statutory aggravation for the assault and impediment of a retail worker carrying out age-restricted sales and the bill would also extend to non-retail staff such as delivery drivers and those working in hotels. Currently, across the UK, workers dealing with age-restricted sales are personally liable for upholding the law, but do not receive the same level of protection as other professions, such as Police officers, Border staff and tax collectors. The recent BRC Survey has shown that there has been a 58% rise in abuse and attacks against shopworkers with on average 115 attacks on our front line colleagues every single day of the week. This can’t continue. Violent or abusive behaviour towards shop staff is wholly and utterly unacceptable. Retail workers should be able to work free from fear of violence, intimidation or abuse. In short it shouldn’t be part of the job and we need to make that clear.

These incidents continue to grow despite retailers investing considerable time and resources in protecting and training colleagues. Many of these crimes are thought to be linked to purchases of government-licenced and age-restricted products. That’s why we are calling for a similar law to that in Scotland for Northern Ireland. We need a law that is fit for purpose and that the sentences available to the courts are stiff enough and offer a sufficient deterrent. With similar legislation being proposed in Westminster, we now face the situation where our shopworkers will have less protection than those in Great Britain because we have no Assembly or Executive to bring in the legislation that will pass in Holyrood and Westminster, and that is simply intolerable. We can’t just sit and wait for Stormont to return to make progress on this issue. We need to have made our voices heard so that when the Assembly does return we can present evidence that this matters to our industry and our communities. The Business Crime Partnership has launched the first ever NI business crime survey to seek the views of businesses and industries across Northern Ireland to make us a safer and more competitive place to do business. We are encouraging our members to take part in this survey so that the justice community understand how important this is to us. Please think about filling in the survey and supporting us. Doing nothing on this issue is simply not an option. Aodhán Connolly is the Director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium and a board member of the Northern Ireland Business Crime Partnership. The consultation on business crime can be found at

“We can’t just sit and wait for Stormont to return to make progress on this issue. ”

the retailer | autumn 2019 | 9


Spotlight on:

William Bain Policy Advisor, Europe and International british Retail Consortium

Tell us a bit about your role at BRC? I lead our work on guiding members through Brexit and helping them understand what the UK’s future trade arrangements with Europe and the rest of the world will mean for their supply chains and businesses. This means close working with key officials in the UK and EU to get the best insight and intelligence around the Brexit deal to inform retailers how they overcome future technical hurdles and take any opportunities from new trade deals. What was your background before joining? I have a legal background and was a lecturer in law at a University but before joining the BRC I was an MP in Glasgow. My legal background combined with my knowledge of how Parliament works has really helped me to get to grips with the politics of Brexit and what new regulations and border controls will mean in practical terms for our members. What are your priorities for the next 6 months? Currently it has to be advising members about the likelihood of a no deal Brexit and how they can best prepare. Hopefully we will get agreement on an orderly Brexit. Once that is agreed I can then help advise members what the UK’s relationship with the EU will be when we leave and what it means for their supply chains. If you could advise retailers to do one thing before October 31st what would it be? Step 1 has to be join the BRC. The Brexit community I run is the best-informed group in the country and I know how valuable our work has been in helping members get a head start in Brexit. Step 2 is to prepare for all eventualities and that includes, currently at least, no deal and that is where our checklist can help retailers understand the range of issues to tackle.

All BRC retail members can join our Brexit community.

Your Brexit Resource Centre

10 | autumn 2019 | the retailer

NO DEAL BREXIT PREPAREDNESS GUIDE FOR RETAILERS Our company has a UK EORI number for customs declarations. We have contacted any EU27 suppliers on having an EU EORI number. We have ensured we have sufficient capacity to deal with customs declarations and, if necessary, have employed a freight forwarder, customs agent, or fiscal agent to manage new paperwork. We have made sure our customs teams and advisers understand the advantages of HMRC’s simplified procedures for imports and exports We have ensured our suppliers of meat from outside the EU have pre-registered outside the EU on the new IT system and understand what documents they will need to submit We are aware the UK will have its own tariff schedule and will need to ensure we and our suppliers use the correct code and arrange for payment if our product lines are subject to any tariffs or customs duties. Our company is aware of the new requirements on import VAT. For goods worth more than £135, we are ready to make entries in our quarterly VAT return. For goods worth less than £135, our suppliers in the EU27 have registered for the UK digital system to record VAT due. We have checked that any IP requirements have been met in terms of branded goods we will sell in the UK. Exporting goods Our company and suppliers are aware of new documentation on customs and border controls, including Export Health Certificates and customs declarations, for products entering the EU from the UK. Importing goods

For food companies, we have prepared the new paperwork for exporting meat and dairy products and identified routes which pass through designated EU Border Inspection Points. Our hauliers are aware of additional documentation on border readiness they will require to drive within the EU27, such as passports, customs declarations, transit barcodes, and licences for specialised goods. We are ensuring we have made required changes to labelling of products to be sold in the EU27. We have checked with our customs agents or freight forwarders that the appropriate tariffs (using correct codes) will be paid on arrival.

Placing products on the market

Our company has prepared to make labelling changes for food products on the UK market We understand we can continue to sell existing cosmetics products but will have 95 days to register them and 2 years to make required labelling changes We have checked product standards before placing products on the market in the UK and EU We have ensured we have a system for testing products for sale in the EU We are ready to introduce a new UK mark - UK Conformity Assessed “UKCA” - to replace the CE Mark. My company understand the new UKCA mark will not be accepted in the EU for toys and other harmonised goods

We understand authorised medicines and pharmaceutical products within the EU can be sold in the UK for a period after 31 October. We have a UK address to sell goods in the UK and an address in relevant EU countries to sell products there VAT and Excise Our company and our sellers have registered with HMRC for the new online VAT system if we import goods worth less than £135, or are set up to include import VAT on our quarterly VAT declaration for goods worth more than £135. We are aware of the new rules for sending parcels with goods to consumers in the UK from the EU with particular reference to small packages. We are prepared to make import declarations on excisable products entering the UK Data flows Our company has checked our liability for data flows from countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), and have looked at using standard contractual clauses from the European Commission to facilitate any permissible flows while the UK awaits an adequacy decision from the Commission. We have checked to see if we need to change our privacy notice on our website New staff moving from the EEA Our company understands new staff moving from the EEA to take up a job with us after exit day will have different rights to stay in the UK compared with now. These will evolve in the coming weeks. We also understand how such workers may be able to apply for a 3 year temporary visa.

Detailed guidance on all these issues and contacts to help prepare for a no deal Brexit are available on our website If you would like more general information on Brexit and how we can support your company contact

Brexit and your workforce

The UK’s departure from the EU is likely to impact your current workforce as well as your future employees. This paper draws together critical information for retailers regarding the EU Settlement Scheme and how a no deal scenario could impact the retail workforce.

EU settlement scheme Under the scheme, EEA citizens resident in the UK, and their families, will be able to continue to live in the UK indefinitely, have access to benefits, education and healthcare and go on to apply for British citizenship if they want to. • Settled Status - a new digital immigration status for EEA citizens and their families who have been living continuously and lawfully in the UK for 5 years at the point of EU Exit. • Pre-Settled Status – a new digital immigration status for EEA citizens and their families who have been living continuously and lawfully in the UK for less than 5 years at the point of EU Exit. • ‘Continuously’ means being in the UK without a break of six months or more in any 12-month period. • ‘Lawfully’ means that the EEA citizen must be and continue to be a worker, a self-employed person, a student or a self-sufficient person.

• Applicants will have to prove residence in the UK, verify their identity and under go a security check to apply. The default will be an online process, with an app to verify identify. There are 50 locations across the UK to support individuals make their applications digitally. A postal option will be also be available where required. • Applications for settled status or pre-settled status must be submitted by 31 December 2020. • Settled status will replace EU permanent residence and those who already have a permanent. residence document will be able to apply to exchange this for settled status, subject to criminality and security checks. • There will be no change to Right to Work checks until the UK’s new immigration system comes into force from 1 January 2021. EEA citizens will continue to evidence their Right to Work using a valid passport or national identify card.

No deal scenarios I n the event of a no deal the government has set out technical notices regarding individuals arriving from the EU before and after the UK formally leaves the EU. Those arriving before the EU Exit date The existing EU Settlement Scheme will continue to operate as planned, however the period for applications will shorten. • EU citizens and their family members resident in the UK by the EU Exit date will be able to apply under the scheme to secure their status and continue to be able to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as they currently do. • In a no deal scenario there would be no agreed implementation period, and EU citizens must apply to the Settlement Scheme by 31 December 2020. • The UK’s new immigration system would come into place as planned from 1 January 2021. Those arriving after the EU Exit date • EEA citizens arriving in the UK will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain, if they want to stay in the UK after the EU Exit date. • There will be no fee. • Subject to identity, criminality and security checks, permission to stay in the UK (European temporary leave to remain) will be granted for 36 months

• This permission to stay for 36 months is temporary and cannot be extended. Those who wish to stay for longer will need to apply and qualify under the UK’s new immigration system which will be in place from 1 January 2021. • As now EEA citizens will be able to prove their right to work and rent property using their EU passport or identify card until 31 December 2020. • During this period there will be no changes to Right to Work checks on EEA citizens. Employers do not have to differentiate between those who are resident in the UK before EU Exit date and those who arrive afterwards. • They could also choose to use their digital status. What retailers should be considering doing now: • Raise awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme across your workforce. Find Home Office tools here. • Encourage EEA citizens to sign up receive updates directly from the government about their status (click here). • Start thinking about future labour and skills needs and the potential impact of the future immigration on your business. • For retailers operating across the EU and moving UK citizens across borders, start thinking about future implications for that cohort, including a no deal scenario.

Business rates reform: making retail’s voice heard NEWS FROM THE BRC

Dominic Curran Property Policy Adviser British Retail Consortium

T he Treasury Select Committee has published its report on business rates and come up with recommendations that provide a sound basis for rates reform. The Government have also passed the legislation necessary to bring forward the next revaluation to 2021, not 2022. And we have had a Budget that has boosted the economy and addressed business and consumer uncertainty. I wish that this was the article that I was writing. However, parliamentary prorogation, and the climate of febrile political uncertainty that produced the ultimately unlawful suspension, has stymied Parliament’s vital day-to-day work. This has resulted in a delayed Select Committee report, delayed legislation and delayed reform, and that’s just on the issue of business rates. Despite this miasmatic atmosphere, the BRC has been loudly and clearly representing the industry’s interests. Retail is the largest employer in the UK with a workforce of 3m people, but it is rarely treated as such by Government. We have in particular been making the case for business rates reform. Rates are a huge issue for retail - the industry accounts for 5% of the economy but pays 10% of all business taxes and 25% of business rates. For the largest retailers, business rates account for around half their total tax bill. Thanks to delayed property revaluations and a staggered transition to up-to-date bills, some retailers are even today paying rates bills that are indirectly linked to values set in April 2008 – a market high and utterly unrelated to today’s rental market. That’s why in early August we co-ordinated over fifty major retailers and trade bodies in writing a letter to the Chancellor making clear the industry’s concerns over the business rates burden, calling for long term transformation and, pending this, for four specific immediate reforms: a freeze in the rates multiplier; an end to downwards phasing, whereby retail units in the north of England subsidise banks in London; an improvement relief to incentivise investment in property; and proper resourcing of the Valuation Office Agency so that it can effectively undertake both the day job of appeals as well as manage the revaluation process.

A few weeks later the BRC also led a coalition of several business organisations, including the Confederation of British Industry, the British Property Federation and the Federation of Small Businesses, in contacting members of the Treasury Select Committee asking them to prioritise the publication of their report into the impact of business rates. This has been delayed by Committee members being promoted to Ministerial positions and from not being able to replace them during prorogation. The BRC is pushing for publication as soon as possible to help move the debate forward. We have built on the momentum for business rates reform generated during this summer lobbying through meetings with officials, parliamentarians and Ministers over the conference period and more recently as we head into a possible general election and Budget. In addition to these meetings, the BRC is also actively engaging with Government through the Retail Sector Council (RSC). Set up in June last year, the RSC is a body jointly chaired by the Retail Minister, Kelly Tolhurst MP, and the Chair of the BRC Board, Richard Pennycook. It acts the voice of retail to Government and is a forum through which to discuss sector- specific issues. The RSC’s first piece of work, supported by the BRC, has been looking at the particular costs faced by retailers from tax, regulation, and particular operational costs faced by retailers. We expect that the report of this work will soon be presented to Government, further making the industry’s case for business rates reform. These are bewildering times in many ways. The BRC’s role is to make sure that the retail industry is central to debates affecting it, whether that’s Brexit or business rates reform. Despite the uncertainty created by the former, we are relentless in pursuing the latter.

“some retailers are even today paying rates bills that are indirectly linked to values set in April 2008 – a market high and utterly unrelated to today’s rental market”

the retailer | autumn 2019 | 15

Shops are important – but so too is the space in between them


IF RETAIL IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST SHOPPING, LANDLORDS NEED TO LOOK BEYOND THE SALESFLOOR Consumer habits are changing. Retail has increasingly moved online, particularly for those missions where convenience is key factor. A trip to the shops is about much more than just shopping and the in-store experience is evolving to meet these needs too, creating compelling reasons to draw people back to physical retail. The trading environment for retail has also changed. Increasing integration with online, a clear focus on sustainability from both shoppers and brands alike, and political uncertainty affecting long-term investment all means that the sector is facing new challenges. As we adapt to this new environment, the healthy, vibrant retail centres of the future will increasingly rely on their ability to inspire and engage consumers. As an owner, I believe we have an important role to play in supporting the future of retail and it is our responsibility to ensure that the spaces ‘in-between’ our places are as compelling as the spaces themselves. In short, we must ensure the public areas and offer at our destinations is meeting the changing needs of the shoppers, retailers and communities that we serve. The rationale for doing so is clear. The built environment can have a huge impact on our wellbeing, both physical and mental. We know that when consumers feel happy and relaxed, they are likely to stay longer in a place; and a longer dwell time translates into greater spending, benefiting both the owner and the retailers and leisure providers which are based there. Attractive, thoughtfully created public spaces have the potential to enhance our interactions, while also improving community wellbeing and supporting sustainability. Part of an owner’s job is to think creatively about how we use our space to maximise value. At Fosse Park in Leicestershire, one of our flagship destinations, we are currently undertaking a £160 million expansion to the centre. As part of this, we are working with our architects and designers to transform an undevelopable part of the site into a state of the art children’s play area. Our hope is that this will not only improve the overall experience for families coming to Fosse Park and encourage them to stay longer, but will give them another reason to visit. There can be a temptation on the part of owners to take a ‘paint by numbers’ approach, adding public art or artisan food market in one place just because it worked in another. However, every location has its own set of unique challenges which will require a unique solution. I believe we should think holistically about the public areas at our destinations and consider how each space can play a part in the overall experience. Making better use of data and insights can help avoid missteps. Even better still, working in collaboration with communities and local stakeholders we can help to ensure we create spaces that are matching the needs of the local population.

When masterplanning residential neighbourhoods, developers and architects will often talk about creating ‘a sense of place’, and rightly so. Creating successful places is about much more than just the built environment. And for shopping destinations, placemaking is about much more than allocating spaces for public use. It should involve curated programmes of events, as well as careful choreography of different uses. This year, we were proud to launch two new extensions at Rushden Lakes, one of our flagship retail destinations in Northamptonshire. These included Garden Square, a landscaped shopping square; and the West Terrace leisure development with a 14-screen Cineworld cinema, a variety of restaurants and leisure occupiers. What makes these additions truly special, however, is their ability to change uses and their careful integration of public realm. At Garden Square we have created a landscaped sensory garden designed to aid positive mental wellbeing through tranquil sounds and natural scents, carefully installed PA and infusers, bird boxes, and planting beds. The strength of our local partnerships also means we regularly host pop-up events with local businesses, entertainment-focused summer festivals and Heritage Days specifically designed to celebrate the community and its local history. As we look to the long-term future of our destinations, we are excited about the opportunity presented by our retail spaces. There is the potential for them to become community hubs which will benefit their local communities for years to come. To achieve this, we are reframing how we think about the spaces which we own, both in terms of the breadth of offer and the overall experience we deliver to our visitors. The challenges facing retail are complex, but there is much we can do to address them. As owners, we need to create environments which not only work today, but are prepared and flexible for what comes tomorrow. Doing this requires different thinking. We must take time and care to embed insights, partnerships and communities at the heart of everything will do. The reward for this effort, however, will be places people want to visit and where our customer’s businesses will continue to thrive. Thoughtfully created public spaces have the potential to enhance our interactions, while also improving community wellbeing and supporting sustainability.

16 | autumn 2019 | the retailer

HANNAH MILNE //contacthannah@ // Twitter: @ TheCrownEstate

the retailer | autumn 2019 | 17



Catch up and discover recent podcasts, webinars, reports and animations, with everything from empowering your workforce, BRC’s Payment survey and our Annual Dinner gallery!

coming up

Brexit webinar 7TH November Join William Bain, our Trade and Policy expert, and our partners at MHA, as we outline the various Brexit end scenarios still in play; and offer advice on how you can plan and prepare for the different eventualities. Book your place

IMPROVING WORKFORCE WELLBEING ROUNDTABLE 13 November 2019, 08:45 - 11:00 Retail Members only book your place Book your place

The financial impact of a cyber-attack Webinar: James Martin, BRC’s Crime and Security Advisor and Giles Taylor, Head of Data & Cyber Security, Data Services, Lloyds Bank discuss how to both respond and recover financially and operationally from an attack. Listen here

Retail Stats, Facts and Trends BRC Insights and Analytics experts will discuss the retail trends of 2019 so far, looking at the lead up into the Brexit. exclusive to associate members Book your place

OUR RETAIL SALES YEARBOOK Our new Retail Sales Yearbook equips analysts, researchers and retailers with trends and unique insight into UK retail sales over the past year. Buy here

18 | autumn 2019 | the retailer

Whats new?


ANNUAL DINNER It was great to see so many of our members at the 2019 Annual dinner at the Natural History Museum, to see a snapshot of the nights festivities please see our on-line gallery. Take a peek



BRC events bring together retail leaders, policymakers, influencer’s and industry partners and help members stay informed of key industry issues and developments. If you would like to partner with BRC and position your company as an industry thought-leader please contact

the retailer | autumn 2019 | 19

The £1bn opportunity for retail to make a difference


ALISON HUTCHINSON CBE, CEO OF PENNIES EXPLAINS HOW ADOPTING MICRO-DONATIONS CAN BENEFIT BUSINESS, COLLEAGUES, CUSTOMERS AND COMMUNITIES. 2019 has been a turbulent year for politics and economics across the globe – that much is hard to escape when we turn on the television, our radios or look at our phones. However, amidst economic uncertainty, people are keener than ever to make a positive difference – and they want to see businesses doing the same. We are seeing a significant rise in consumers and colleagues wanting retailers to demonstrate their own ethical agenda; seeking assurance that the places in which we shop, socialise and work are ‘giving something back’. New consumer research we commissioned this year reveals that almost three quarters of us (74%) believe businesses have a responsibility to do ‘social good’. And a third (35%) admitted to abandoning businesses they feel aren’t “ethical”. But we know that retailers share the power to help raise £1bn of untapped funds by making it easy for their customers to give as part of their everyday lives. Accumulatively these donations dramatically impact causes and communities important to consumers, colleagues and business alike. “Retailers hold the power to help raise £1bn of untapped funds for charity” First let me set this against the backdrop of current giving in the UK. Reported by the Charities Aid Foundation earlier this year, despite being a generous nation, fewer of us are giving to charities. CAF reported that the third sector has experienced a 4% decline in the number of people giving to charity over the past two years. There are many possible reasons for this, one being that we are living increasingly cashless lives. Payments and financial technology is accelerating at pace and making it easier for us to survive each day without cash – as we buy, socialise and travel increasingly “cashlessly”. As the BRC reported last month in its Payments Survey 2019, cash payments have dropped to third place behind debit and credit card spending, and direct debit cards remain the most popular method of payment, according to almost three in five transactions. The retail industry is responding enthusiastically – and there are any number of ways to pay with cards and digital wallets.

The net result is that we are carrying less physical loose change - that we might once have spontaneously dropped into charity collection boxes as we go about our day. I see it myself as I traverse the tube – charity collectors looking hopefully at us for some pennies. But they seldom appear. These pennies add up to millions of pounds each year – but this industry, as CAF reports, is being hit by cashless. However, thanks to that same pace of technology change, we all now have the capacity to make a difference – by harnessing the power of digital micro-donations. And by doing so, together we become part of a larger community raising millions for UK charities. This is what Pennies has been pioneering with retailers – and their payment technology partners - for over nine years now. Pennies is using fintech for good and an ecosystem that is driving the micro-donation movement. It’s a simple, seamless opt-in with one click or press of a button in-store, online or in-app. Retailers nominate the charity they wish to support and Pennies works alongside payments partners to enable an option to round-up or top-up a few pennies at a time - anonymously and simply

“Pennies is using fintech for good to create an ecosystem that is driving the micro-donation movement. With retailers at the heart”

Over 65 household retailers (as well as hospitality brands and service sector companies) have already joined our micro-donation movement and helped to unlock an incredible £20M for over 500 different UK charities. And customers’ pennies really do add up to tangible social impact – helping real people and communities every day. For example, in just two days, Carphone Warehouse customers are helping teachers to identify children who may be struggling with their mental health – using resources from the charity Heads Together. 10 days of customers’ donations at Evans Cycles funds a specially adapted bike for a child living with or beyond cancer. And five days of donations from Screwfix customers shopping online and in-app funds a vital repair project for a charity serving the local community.

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But there is so much more we can be doing together, and so many more stories like these we can be supporting, celebrating and communicating. We estimate that if every UK card holder gave just 35p a week via Pennies -around the cost of a Freddo chocolate bar in 2019 (used to be 10p, but that’s inflation) - £1bn in untapped income could be raised for charities in the UK each year. For under the price of a large cup of takeaway tea a month – we can all join a community of giving that’s proven, and experiencing 44% donation income growth year on year; despite overall charity giving dropping and set against a challenging retail market. When we launched almost a decade ago, we decided to put purpose first. We remain a non-profit charity. There is no physical product to repair, dispose of or transport. If you’re reading this and want to be part of a business giving back, I would be delighted to talk to you about becoming a formidable force for good. And all for the price of a Freddo. Sounds a good deal to me.

ALISON HUTCHINSON // // //020 7600 9286

the retailer | autumn 2019 | 21

Gender stereotyping in advertising - and why humour won’t save you!



IMAGINE AN AD IN WHICH TWO DADS ARE SITTING IN A RESTAURANT WITH THEIR NEW BABIES. THE FATHERS BECOME DISTRACTED, AND THE BABIES ARE CARRIED AWAY BY THE CONVEYOR BELT FOR THE FOOD. ONE DAD SAYS: “LET’S NOT TELL MUM”. IRRESPONSIBLE ADVERTISING, OR A HUMOROUS POKE ABOUT DOZY DADS? This was in fact a real ad for Philadelphia cheese – an ad which 128 people felt compelled to complain about to the UK’s main advertising regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (the ASA). They argued that the ad perpetuated harmful stereotypes about men and their caring responsibilities. In its defence, Mondelez (who own Philadelphia) argued that it was “stuck in a no-win situation”; it had chosen two fathers to avoid the stereotype that mothers should handle childcare responsibilities. The ASA thought differently and agreed with the complainants that the ad relied on the negative gender stereotype that men were unable to care for children. The humour in the ad was no defence and the ad was banned. The background Gender stereotyping is a hot topic. The Fawcett Society recently reported that 45% of adults believe they have experienced gender stereotyping from childhood. 51% of people said that gender stereotypes had constrained their career choices, while 44% believed these had harmed their personal relationships. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that the ASA has chosen to introduce a new rule and guidance designed to combat harmful gender stereotyping in advertising. The change follows its review (July 2017), which showed that negative gender stereotypes can be reinforced by advertising – in turn restricting the choices, aspirations and opportunities of people of all ages. The rules have got tougher The new rule was introduced into the UK’s advertising codes (section 4.9 of the CAP Code² and section 4.14 of the BCAP Code³ ) in June 2019. It applies to broadcast and non-broadcast media (including online and social media). It bans ads which are “likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence”. This is a tougher test than before, as previously only ads causing serious or widespread harm could be deemed unacceptable by the ASA. The ASA’s guidance for advertisers To help advertisers get ready for the introduction of the new rule, in December 2018, CAP published a guidance note entitled “Depicting gender stereotypes likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offence”. The guidance note sets out principles relating to various types of gender-stereotypical portrayals, as well as scenarios to help identify those which the ASA will deem unacceptable. These scenarios (essentially ‘red alerts’ for the creative teams) include the following:


Gender-stereotypical roles and characteristics Pressure to conform to an idealised gender- stereotypical body shape or physical features


3. 4. 5.


Potentially vulnerable groups

People who don’t conform to a gender stereotype

Applying the new rule In addition to the Philadelphia ad, the key decisions so far involve TV ads for Volkswagen’s eGolf, Buxton’s bottled water and Fosters. It is worth looking at the Volkswagen and Buxton ads, as these illustrate how fine the line is drawn between different gender- based scenarios: In the Volkswagen eGolf ad, the footage depicted men in adventurous situations (in space, climbing a cliff face and competing in sport), while also featuring a woman caring for a new-born child. The ASA considered that the juxtaposition of men in extraordinary environments, carrying out adventurous activities, and a woman in a passive and care-giving role “directly contrasted stereotypical male and female roles and characteristics in a manner that gave the impression that they were exclusively associated with one gender”. The ad was banned; In contrast, the Buxton bottled water ad featured a female ballet dancer, a male drummer, and a male rower each practising their different skills. The complainants felt that these images perpetuated negative gender stereotypes, by depicting characters doing activities they considered to be gender stereotypical. The ASA believed that the ad focussed on the characters’ shared characteristics – drive, determination and talent - rather than gender stereotypes, and held that the ad was not in breach. Conclusion Advertisers should take care to ensure that their ads do not promote what could be considered to be harmful gender stereotypes, or suggest that stereotypical roles or characteristics are always associated with one gender. It follows that if you are creating ads to be shown in the UK market, you need to think carefully about your narrative and castings. The good news is that the ASA’s application of its new rule means that ads may feature people undertaking gender-stereotypical roles. However, the key is to avoid suggesting that stereotypical roles or characteristics are always uniquely associated with one gender; the only options available to one gender; or never carried out or displayed by another gender - for example, portraying men as being bad at stereotypically “feminine” tasks, such as vacuuming or parenting. And if you do use gender-stereotypical roles, make sure your focus is on the right elements – as in the Buxton ad which brought out shared male and female levels of drive and talent. Above all, forget the idea that humour will save a gender stereotyping ad which sails too close to the wind. So, goodbye to ads which feature inept or dozy dads, and hello to a focus on shared ‘human’ traits like determination and a desire for success.

¹7 March 2019 ²UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) ³The UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code)

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