Make More Margin – The Bristol Pound, JJB’s decline and more


Make More Margin’s Ken Simpson

Ken Simpson is Director of Make More Margin and was also a judge at the recent Retail Industry Awards. Exclusive to The North Somerset Business Leader he rounds up the latest retail related news.

The Bristol Pound

The Bristol Pound was offically launched on September 19. This local currency is aimed at boosting business through the independent businesses in the Bristol area.

The currency consists of £1, £5, £10, £20 notes which boast some great security features such as heat sensitive ink, multiple holographs and an expiry date.

The currency is only tenable in independent businesses in the BS post code area – so Weston – super – Mare this includes you.

In addition to the notes the scheme offers a pay by text service at much lower charges than the main banks. The scheme is backed by the FSA covered Bristol Credit Union.

If you want to sign up check out

An Olympic legacy for JJB?

Were the Olympics too late to save JJB from slipping into receivership?

The beleaguered retailer has struggled to regain business since closing hundreds of stores a few years ago.

The constant onslaught from rival chains, the hike in National Minimum Wage and utility costs have all taken their toll.

It will be interesting to see which, if any of the competitors pick the bones clean.

My thoughts are with the store teams, I wish them all the best for the future.

Government backed pension scheme

The much talked about Government backed pension scheme comes into being this month. Is your business ready for it? Do your staff know that it is happening?

For more information please check the following…/pensions/…/Employers-guide-to-2012-pensions

Extended trading hours

In last month’s edition I spoke about the impact of the extended Sunday trading hours.

The results are in and sales in retail generally remained flat; on-lines sales dipped in August and sales in convenience stores fell between 10% and 30%.

There is no sign of a co-ordinated lobby by the big retailers, which could lead us to believe that they do not see it as worthwhile.

The cake is only so big!

Trick or treat?

I know that I have been talking up Halloween for the last few months, but I promise this is the last hit. This annual event is growing year on year, and most retail outlets can capitalise on it in some way.

The treat element is a great opportunity for confectioners, bakers and grocers to add some impulse sales.

Pumpkins are a must in the green grocer – but why not give a recipe for pumpkin soup, pie or my favourite pumpkin curry.

For other retailers the sales of costumes, lanterns, decorations and party gear is a great opportunity to get the tills ringing.

Finally for all retailer’s signed up to the Bristol Pound I am offering a FREE store review during October.

This will cover – sales opportunities, cost reduction, and compliance standards if you want to know more drop me a line to

Are you a retail business or do you just want to know more about Ken and Make More Maring. Visit @