When we launched the 2016 Horizon Scanner a year ago, we focused on various themes such as digital engagement (including cyber risks and data management), supply chain vigilance and the costs of running a business with lots of properties and employees.
Each of these of course continues to drive change in the sector, as much as the relentless evolution of consumer behaviour, which has just reportedly caused New Year's Day footfall in shopping malls to drop by a remarkable 50%.
Likes most people we failed to anticipate that the Leavers would outnumber the Remainers and by this time next year the European debate will have unfolded further, not just through our exit process but also through critical elections across the continent, which will see similar populist sentiment around freedom of movement, cultural identity and national security.
What characterised the sector in 2016 was not just the size and complexity of the challenges but also the agility and creativity of R&C businesses, their determination and proactivity in taking on and overcoming new headwinds, and dealing with profound and disruptive change. We have no doubt that these will continue to be defining features of the sector in 2017 and we very much look forward to working with you to seize your opportunities and take on your challenges!
2017 Horizon Scanner
Please click here to connect to our scanner for the forthcoming year. It tracks various regulatory and other landmarks and evolving themes across the sector and we will continue to update and monitor each of them for you as the year unfolds. If you want any additional information or if there are other specific areas that you also want to follow, please let us know.
This month's articles
At this time of year, many customers turn their attention to returning goods to the store where they were purchased, perhaps because the goods are faulty or were unwanted presents. Here is a brief reminder of the main rights that consumers have to return goods (whether or not they are faulty).
Ransomware – cyber hostage
Read our article here to learn about the criminal legal factors to consider when dealing with DDOS/ransom payments.
Commentary on the recent House of Fraser case
On the 29 November 2016, House of Fraser was fined £40,000 for misleading customers over 2015 Christmas sale deals following an investigation led by Torfaen County Borough Council. Read our comments in this article.
Singles' Day in Hong Kong is a growing phenomenon: read about what it actually means for retailers and consumers here.
Last November we launched How Soon is Now?, our report on disruption and evolution in the logistics industry. More than 18million sq. ft. of new industrial space is needed annually to satisfy exponential e-commerce growth and demand from parcel delivery firms and the report included 12 policy recommendations on which we are actively lobbying. Leona Ahmed, the head of our real estate team spoke about them on Radio 4's Today programme last week and they cover areas ranging from planning to skills to technology to public/private partnerships. Find out more here