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Consumer & Retail Market Report | 2020: UK regional update

Consumer & Retail Market Report | 2020: UK regional update

Paul Gould Market Insight

We are excited to launch our Consumer & Retail market report 2020. With this year presenting unprecedented challenges for the consumer and retail sector, we at Carter Murray wanted to understand how  marketing functions were affected, how they responded and what skill sets will be the most important in the months ahead, across all the jurisdictions we operate in. Below is a snippet from the United Kingdom regional update.

It has been a mixed year for consumer brands and organisations in the UK. Since 2018 there have been question marks over the future of the high street and shopping centres with many businesses adopting plans for a direct-to-consumer model (GoPro being an obvious example). Brands have been discussing moving to an omnichannel approach for several years, those that have already done so have been able to take advantage of the current climate, those that haven’t are unfortunately being left behind.

The economic downturn caused by the global pandemic has only exposed the frailties of the high street further with brick and mortar retail unlikely to ever be the same again. Online shopping has increased astronomically with organisations like Amazon making it very straight forward to sell direct to customers and this is not likely to revert post-COVID-19. 

Whilst consumer sales overall have decreased, the positive news is that they are tracking at the rate forecasted at the beginning of the pandemic with some pockets overachieving. Health, beauty and, of course, hygiene focussed consumer brands are seeing exponential growth during this time, with consumer tech also doing well.

Whilst we cannot escape the clear challenges we are facing, some organisations, like Adidas, for example, who were already preparing for a change in shopper behaviour continue to thrive. Brands with a diverse and authentic marketing approach and less reliance on physical stores are not only surviving but can take market share due to their multi-layered brand presence. Many CMOs have been forced to increase budgetary spend to move their tech and digital capability forward in a matter of months when it was originally planned for 2021 or even later. A CMO recently told Carter Murray’s UK team that they were pleasantly surprised how their billion-dollar business

could move from being run traditionally to fully remote, whilst it had its challenges the CMO put this down to having a forward-thinking Board of Directors who made sure that they had been digitally prepared for significant market change.

Whilst it is impossible to predict the future, nowmore than ever, many businesses are using the time to re-evaluate their brand and marketing strategy, realigning their purpose with their customer base and ensuring that they have the right talent in place to deliver their targets for the coming years.

Key skill sets that will be hired in the next 12 months

  • Performance Marketing

  • Trade Marketing

  • E-Commerce

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