Entirely North West


Tuesday October 30 2018

SMEs need to navigate the retail space to protect from Black Friday debt

SMEs need to navigate the retail space to protect from Black Friday debt

Back in August the shocking news that Mike Ashley's Sports Direct agreed to buy the House of Fraser department store chain for £90m hit headlines and the demise of Debenhams is dominating the news currently.

Unfortunately, these are not stand-alone cases, and with more and more retail businesses struggling to stay afloat, Forbes Solicitors have identified SMEs must be very careful when handling their cash flow and navigating the retail space – especially in the run-up to Black Friday and the January sales. 

To stay afloat, SMEs need to keep on top of their unpaid invoices, bringing in professional debt collectors if necessary, take advantage of new technologies on offer to make the sales process as easy as possible for their customers and, finally, find their niche and offer customers something that others don’t.

Tom Smith, Partner & Head of Dispute Resolution at Forbes Solicitors said, The retail landscape is evolving at an incredible pace with huge changes in the way that consumers are now shopping. The move online continues to affect the high street at an increasing rate, with a number of big, traditional retailers falling by the wayside, having failed to innovate or diversify.

From our point of view as debt recovery specialists, we see the effect of the retail problems on our client base of suppliers, service providers and landlords to the retail sector. As such, the effect of the failure or struggles of the large high street brands has a direct effect on our clients’ business. At Forbes, we work with those clients to try to avoid being left with bad debt and minimise the impact of customers in financial difficulties.”

So, what can SMEs take from this? Well, there are three key points all CEOs should be mindful of:

·         The importance of cash flow

·         The importance of innovation

·         The importance of customer service

Speaking about the current retail climate in 2018 and how SME’s can evolve, retail journalist, Karen Peattie explained: “Yes, our high streets are struggling. But look beneath these headlines and you’ll see an evolving retail sector where SMEs are turning to technology to help shape their future and, at the same time, going back to basics by offering the best possible customer service. And if they can find their niche and provide a point of difference that their competitors don’t or can’t, they’ve got a sure recipe for success.

Go into pretty much any convenience store today and you’ll find a modern shopping environment along with food to go, fresh foods, a decent bottle of wine, artisan and craft beers, contactless payment facilities and possibly a post office too. Many offer services such as dry cleaning, click and collect, home delivery, wine-tasting evenings – the list goes on.”

To find out more about Forbes Solicitors and their debt recovery services, head over to the Forbes Collect site. 

"The retail landscape is evolving at an incredible pace with huge changes in the way that consumers are now shopping. The move online continues to affect the high street at an increasing rate."
Tom Smith, Forbes Solicitors

DISCLAIMER: The statements, opinions, views and advice expressed in this article are those of the author/organisation and not of ENTIRELY. This article should represent information correct at the time of publication however whilst every care has been taken to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. ENTIRELY will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article or any information accessed through this site. The content of any organisations websites which you link to from ENTIRELY are entirely out of the control of ENTIRELY, and you proceed at your own risk. These links are provided purely for your convenience and do not imply any endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at the organisations site.

Discover the best Industry News & Opinion on Entirely

Hanley & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers

Hanley & Co are Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors based in Ashton-Under-Lyne, Blackpool and Manchester. We use our practical experience (gained with over twenty years in practice) to give our clients practical, positive advice throughout the year. Hanley & Co are the 'Accountants You Can Talk To'.

Matt Robinson

Commercial Director at Ping Finance

It is my role to help businesses and property investors to source finance. Ping Finance acts as the middle-man that specialises in property finance, asset based lending and unsecured loans.

Richard Hepburn

Operations Manager

Richard Hepburn is the Operations Manager at Gorilla Accounting, a technology-driven accountancy firm, exclusively for contractors and freelancers operating through a Limited Company.

Greystone Financial Services

Financial Services and Investments

Greystone Financial Services is an integrated wealth management group comprising financial planning and advisory services, and in-house fund management. We are a Chartered, Top 100 IFA firm, currently managing over 1 billion of assets on behalf of our clients. Many of our advisers and Directors have been with the firm since its inception in 1989. Greystone Financial Services is an extremely stable business, having adopted the recurring incomefee based operating model as far back as 1995.

Lucas Johnson

Insolvency Practitioners with a difference - we GUARANTEE to deliver a solution to your problem. The solution will be right for you to achieve your objectives. We cover the entire North West, so wherever you are we can serve your needs.


New partner at Clive Owen LLP in York

FCCA qualified Rob has more than 30 years experience in regional accountancy firms, specialising in audit, accounts, business planning and tax. As a Xero certified adviser, he has specific expertise in cloud accounting