How low can retail sink?

9th October 2019.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

How low can retail sink? Alot further it seems.

Regular readers of this news feed, will not have failed to  notice a stream of bad news for the retail sector.

Just last week we posted  – High street continues to face insolvency challenge

At the end of September we posted – Retailers hit by rate refund delays

When the August retail figures came out we posted – Retail sales drop unexpectedly in August

Store closures reach record high

More posts can be found here

Now we are seeing the September retails numbers come in, it is clear that we haven’t yet seen the low point for the retail sector.

Worst September for high street sales since 2011

Figures from BDO show that last month marked the worst September on the high street in eight years, with like-for-like in-store sales falling by 3.1% year-on-year.

Wet weather hit footfall figures, which slipped 5.8%, with shopping centres hit the hardest as footfall declined by 8%.

The figures also show that online sales growth was below the annual average at 12.4% in September.

BDO head of retail and wholesale Sophie Michael commented: “As the Brexit date looms, the financial uncertainty facing consumers is reflected in the lack of discretionary spend.”

Minister notes retail support

With BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker showing that high street shops saw their worst September for eight years as in-store sales fell of 3.1%, High Streets Minister Jake Berry has noted efforts to support retailers, saying: “Rapidly changing shopping habits are a challenge for high streets across the country.

To support local retailers we’ve slashed business rates by one-third, bringing the total amount of business rate support to over £13bn since 2016.”

Retail sales fall in September

The latest report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG goes further than the BDO report.

It shows that retailers last month had their worst September since records began in 1995.

According to the BRC, total retail sales fell 1.3% year-on-year.

Online sales climbed but by just 0.7%, the slowest growth on record.

Lower spending is attributed to “the spectre of a no-deal Brexit”, with the BRC’s Helen Dickinson stating: “With four months of negative sales growth since March, the ongoing political gridlock surrounding Brexit is harming both consumers and retailers.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, commented: “Ongoing Brexit uncertainty is clearly having a material impact on the consumer psyche.”

Retailers brace for tough Christmas as confidence slumps

With Brexit unlikely to be resolved in the near future, no matter what happens on 31st October, retail looks set for a bleak winter.

Consumer confidence has slumped to a five-year low, pointing to a challenging Christmas trading period for retailers.

A survey by PwC shows only 21% of shoppers think they will have more disposable income in the coming year, while 28% expect their amount of extra cash to decrease, marking the lowest autumn sentiment levels since 2014.

Do you sell on credit to retailers?

With pressures on the retail sector it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant retailing customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

As we wrote in yesterdays blog, late payments are one of the key warning signals that a company is in danger of insolvency. Are you watching for the signals?

When your customers struggle with cash flow, they will ask you to extend them further credit. Rather than agree, because you want the extra business, that is the time to actually tighten your credit policy.

Those customers are looking for the easiest option  to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you. Their banks are being strict, don’t be lax. You don’t want them going out of business, owing you a large balance.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When you customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit.  You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners  who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

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See all our latest news here!

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Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

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Read our Cash Flow Advice

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Read our blog – What is credit management?

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see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

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The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections