On Wednesday 13 February 2013, more than 150 retail and restructuring experts gathered at Chartered Accountants’ Hall in London for a special retail event and panel discussion hosted by BTG Financial Consulting and Gordon Brothers Europe. The evening, which kicked off with a keynote speech from Jon Moulton, Chairman of Better Capital, aimed to highlight the key issues threatening the UK high street today and the outcomes of the recently announced Christmas trading figures of UK retailers.
The ensuing panel discussion, moderated by Mark Faithfull, Editor of Retail Property Analyst, explored these issues and many more, including the impact of online shopping, property and leasing issues for high street retailers, the squeeze on consumer spending, as well as the prospects for change in 2013 and the businesses which are bucking the trend. Sharing their insights on the panel were:
Jon Moulton – Chairman, Better Capital
Ian Gray – Independent Turnaround Professional & BRITE Panel member
Toby Comerford – Retail Partner, Cushman & Wakefield
Ben Jones – Partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner
Nick Ram – Director, Business Support Unit, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets
Julie Palmer, Partner at BTG Financial Consulting, provided the closing remarks.
Mark Fry, Partner at BTG Financial Consulting, said: “Following the recent and well documented spate of high profile administrations in the sector, this first event from the newly formed BTG Financial Consulting could not have come at a more integral time for UK retail as the high street, as we know it, looks set for another challenging year. And with new ONS data released last week revealing that UK retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.6 percent in January compared to a year ago, the first annual fall in 17 months, it seems confidence is unlikely to return without some significant changes in the way retailers operate and interact with consumers.
“I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended the event for their contribution and for making it such an insightful and interesting discussion. Please check out our website for new insights, corporate updates and details of future events.”