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Editor’s Comment: ‘So this is Christmas, and what have you done?’

How bizarre that 2022 is almost over! It seems as if this has been a rather long and challenging year, yet looking back now it feels that it has completely whizzed by!

And what a year it’s been. We emerged from the pandemic with some definite long-lasting affects still causing a bit of havoc, not to mention all the political ups and downs – with the revolving door at Number 10, but the economy, striking action, the supply chain, and further afield other global issues, are certainly still having an impact on UK businesses.

Having said that, it’s not all doom and gloom. While numbers aren’t quite on par with last year’s boom, many retailers are still reporting that they are ahead of their pre-pandemic figures and growing at rapid rates.

The British Retail Consortium recently reported that total UK footfall increased by 3.7 per cent in November, with high streets faring particularly well seeing an eight per cent jump compared to 2021 data. There was equally positive news earlier this month that total UK retail sales increased by 4.2 per cent in November.

Where we go from here and what this means for the start of 2023 is anyone’s guess. As consumers appear to be spending in the lead up to Christmas, we could see people being a bit more hesitant when it comes to purchasing certain items for their homes, especially amid the cost-of-living crisis.

So retailers must seek alternative ways to emphasise the value and the service they can offer. It has never been more important for manufacturers and retailers to work closely together to provide genuinely useful products, plus convenience at every step of the shopper’s journey to ensure they return to spend again in the future.

As we’re musing over this as we hurtle towards 25 December, I’d like to take a pause and wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year! If you manage to get a break – enjoy it! Or if your store is open then it’s the ideal time to go totally over the top with decorations and in-store activities to attract customers – costumes, tinsel, a Christmas tree, free gifts? Why not! Have fun whatever you get up to this festive season!

You will notice that this is our ERT Awards special issue! This month we’re profiling each of this year’s amazing winners! So read on to find out more about the class of 2022!

And if you go online to the ERT Awards website, you’ll find the picture gallery from the event, plus the videos from our Sustainability Partners, AMDEA and Electrolux, and also the Turning Point Conference speakers’ presentations under the ‘Turning Point Live’ tab.

View the latest edition of ERT here – or on your mobile device