Giving students a helping hand

Considering the current economic climate and the way our employment market is changing, it’s hugely important that we’re aware of our teenagers and how we can help them get to where they want to be in the future.

Things aren’t as simple as they were a few years ago. Now University graduates and people who choose not to go on to higher education alike are increasingly finding themselves without jobs. This only looks set to get worse in the coming years.

After reading an article from In-Store News, I’m feeling much more optimistic – it seems the Government are taking positive steps to try and increase students’ skill sets.

From September 2010 secondary school and college students will be given the opportunity to try out a brand new diploma course in retail business and marketing. Pupils will be able to choose to study retail business alongside their GCSE’s and A Levels, giving them an advantage over others once they have left school.

The qualification, implemented by Skillsmart Retail, will allow students to learn the ropes of working within retail, and offer on the job experience which will prove invaluable when starting a career within the sector.

Stores such as House of Fraser, Boots and John Lewis have shown their support for the upcoming course and are looking forward to getting started, offering students work placements within stores.

Not only will the course provide us with experienced and well informed starters, it will help to raise the profile of retail as a career choice, which is great news for the retail industry!

Let’s hope the students are as excited as I am about this pioneering development!

Sainsbury’s – the signs they are a changin’

I saw this article on in-store news and thought I’d share it with you.

It is announcing Sainsbury’s using new signage technology from Episys. The change is hoping to create a unified signage system that will bring together all in-store materials including promotional advertising and shelf-edge labelling, enabling the retailer to react more quickly to market conditions.

The atricle says: “Retail Enterprise Suite, the technology from Episys, will generate all labelling and signs to ensure that they are consistent for all Sainsbury’s’ core grocery, home and lifestyle items. The improved efficiency is intended to enable staff to spend less time on administrative activities and more time serving customers.”
I think this is a great idea and will improve the entire shopping experience for their customers. Let’s see if everyone follow suit…

Print-while-you-wait book service

A revolutionary new method of buying books has been implemented by Blackwell bookshop in it’s Charing Cross store.

Their high-tech kiosk prints and produces the book within minutes of it being ordered at the counter. The Espresso Book Machine, from On Demand Books prints, trims and binds paperback books, with full colour front and back for the same price as the book would be sold in store.

Blackwell expects that offering books at the point of sale, and only printing books that are requested by the customer, will allow customer service to improve, creating a more personal service.

Consumers will have the option to upload and publish their own content, or choose from over 400,000 titles on the system. Retailers will have the capacity to hold the stock equivalent to 50 book shops, totalling a huge 20 miles worth of traditional shelving.

This new move is an exciting prospect for retailers, as no wastage should occur. Demand will be directly supplied as and when the consumer wants the book, keeping both retailer and customer satisfied.

Although this new move is only currently taking place within the Charing Cross Blackwell bookshop, it could well convince other retailers to follow suit, bringing us into a generation of “print while you wait” services.