The retail landscape has changed dramatically over the past 15 years.

The inexorable growth of online retailers has not only changed the competitive landscape but also the UK’s high street. Recent history is littered with examples of previously dominant household retail brands that have failed to adapt to the changing market and have fallen victim to convincing online competitors such as Amazon.

Online competitors without the added burden of substantial real estate costs are able to offer highly competitive prices and a vast range of products – which traditional high street competitors are unable to compete with.

Our sectoral expertise, however, extends far beyond just financial analysis. Through our BRITE panel we have access to many of the UK’s leading strategic retail management experts. Many of these individuals have held senior positions within global retail businesses and can advise on effective sales and marketing strategies, as well as overall growth strategies.

Our Approach

On behalf of our retail clients we regularly analyse the cost structure of their overhead positions and help devise a strategy that will stand up in a challenging and competitive market. Any business that hasn’t already considered an appropriate online presence is tempting fate, and it is with a firm eye on the changing landscape that we work alongside management to devise future-proof restructuring plans.

For many retailers, working capital remains tight; therefore, accurate forecasting and strict cash flow management is absolutely crucial. With this in mind we regularly assist clients in renegotiating their existing credit facilities and negotiate monthly, instead of quarterly rent terms. Our experience in this sector enables us to put pressure on large institutional landlords to engage with a far greater sense of urgency by demonstrating clearly the opportunities and consequences of succeeding or failing to negotiate new terms.

Substantial savings can be made by negotiating more favourable leases and we are able to paint a clear and accurate picture of the options available to both retailers and their landlords. Our clients are thereby able to benefit from reduced fixed costs – taking advantage of all available tax and rent refund schemes.

Our expertise covers all sizes of retailers – from the small and medium-sized retailers who are struggling to compete with large out-of-town shopping complexes with free parking and longer opening hours, to the larger retailers that have grown through mergers and acquisitions and have inherited the burden of rising overheads and complex organisational structures. For both we are able to provide strategic restructuring advice to reduce costs and boost profitability.

Supply Chain Security

Shrinkage is often a lead cause of financial strain in retail environments; we work with retailers from the supply chain to the shop floor to expose and fill security gaps that are open to exploitation by fraudsters and thieves. We also develop software to analyse store networks during theft or misplaced stock investigations so that retailers can quickly understand their exposures and implement countermeasures in response.

Reducing costs in the retail sector naturally involves supply chain scrutiny. But in procurement lies the inherent risks of breaching UK and international bribery laws. Our team of experts work closely with retailers to ensure their supply chain is fully compliant and the necessary due diligence is undertaken.

Our advice includes:

  • Strategic business reviews
  • Accelerated sales
  • Rent reviews and lease negotiations
  • Organisational restructuring
  • Procurement
  • Business development
  • Supply chain security

Our Retail Expert

Palmer, Julie (2015)
Julie Palmer is a Regional Managing Partner at BTG Financial Consulting. She has extensive experience within the retail sector having worked on a range of retail cases. Her knowledge and understanding of the sector gives her unique insight into the issues and problems that the sector faces and the most applicable restructuring strategies to improve underperforming businesses.

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