Award-winning field marketing agency Cosine are launching a new specialist service focusing on the convenience sector. Using their long standing experience it retail execution and the recent addition of Richard Sankey to their senior management team Cosine has created a shared convenience service, to ensure brands can capitalise on the exceptional growth being forecast in the Convenience market.
Many experts have predicted significant growth in the Convenience sector over the next five years, based on changing shopping habits, an increase in single-person households, less car use and tightened budgets for households of any size. In fact, the IGD’s 2012-2017 UK channel forecast suggests that the Convenience sector will grow by 5.1% per year and bring in an extra £10 billion worth of sales over this period, a total increase of 28.5%.
Despite this projected growth, 60% of consumers claim their opinion of a Convenience store is negatively affected by the availability of core staples. This shows that availability remains the key issue for the Convenience sector.
Cosine’s dedicated team have the skills and insight to fix availability and in-store compliance, increase distribution levels and therefore sales. And of course this team is supported by a robust convenience channel database meaning Cosine make the right calls at the right time, increasing clients ROI in the process.
Richard Sankey discusses the growth of the Convenience sector and also the exciting new service that Cosine have launched in the latest post of Cosine’s ‘Expert View’ series on the Cosine Blog. Sankey uses his piece to pose the questi “are brands in good shape to take their share of this growth?”.
About Richard Sankey
Richard Sankey is Business Unit Director B2B Sales at Cosine UK. Richard has 22 years industry experience working predominantly across convenience and impulse channels, selling directly to retailers and consumers, with brands such as HP, Bulmer and Twining’s. Richard says: “I believe the industry is increasingly moving towards being led by data to drive the very best sales solutions and Cosine is a market leader is the use of data to design and execute field marketing solutions”.
Cosine UK is a leading field marketing agency with experience of all manner of field sales campaigns, from merchandising and product sampling to sales team training, in-store branding and more.
Keek, the exciting new way to share video clips has received a further $18 million in funding enabling continued development to the growing video sharing platform. The round of investment attracted firms such as AGF Investments Inc., Plazacorp Ventures and Pinetree Capital Ltd and brings the total amount invested to $30 million. Using this new injection of funding, the Keek service will benefit from new feature development, cross-platform support and an increased infrastructure to keep on top of the growing international demand for Keek.
Keek is a social network focused entirely on video interaction. Users of the service can create video clips of up to 36 seconds, known as ‘keeks’. These can be anything from short shout-outs to micro musings. Each user has a profile for their ‘keeks’ which others can choose to subscribe and follow, people can even choose to respond to your clips with video ‘keekbacks’ or plain text comments. The service is simple enough for anyone to use and is completely free.
While initially attracting a core of users from the UK, US and Australia, the rest of the world is starting to discover the innovative service offered by Keek. Demand has shot up from various countries in Europe, the Middle East and even South America contributing to an impressive new user sign up rate of 200,000 per day. A recent press release announced that Keek has also experienced 1 billion monthly pageviews, 75 million monthly visits and 15 million monthly active unique users.
The Chairman and CEO of Pinetree Capital Ltd., Sheldon Inwentash explained some of the factors that have made Keek so attractive for users and investors alike:
“Beyond best-in-class technology, consistent stellar growth and great user experience, the thing that impresses me most is the quality of the team and its ability to execute. Keek has emerged as the leading social video network and is well positioned to translate that into significant revenue streams.”
Keek is available online at http://www.keek.com/ but also has fully featured free app for both iOS and Android based devices. These versions have also experienced the high levels of demand that the site has attracted. The Keek app has achieved the top ranking on five countries while reaching the top 10 app in 15 and top 100 in over 70 countries from around the world.
As the Paris menswear fashion week draws to a close today and the fashion fans look forward to New York on the 7th February and beyond to London and Milan, there are many reasons to celebrate the haute couture industry at this time of year. Margin 2013, an independent fashion trade exhibition, is being held in Mayfair, London on the 11th and 12th February 2013. Since its launch in 2002 it has become a popular place to source and connect with new and upcoming brands, with a directional edge, for buyers and retailers. This year’s event is no less exciting as the organisers have invited many new and recent brands to the event.
The world of streetwear has seen an explosion of popularity over the last few years and this year it all looks set to continue at a continued pace. The major stores are stocking more and more of the established brands as the public at large provide the demand for accessible stock on the high street. And therein lays the rub; streetwear was predominantly about relatively unique designs and brands that were by their very nature hard to source and purchase. So the specialist retailers scoured the globe for the latest upcoming brands and stocked them in small and funky retail outlets or online. Now that the once small brands are global and accessible it can be hard for the new kids on the block to get out there and taken up. That is where Margin has placed itself and their list of past exhibitors reads a bit like a history of streetwear since 2002.
This year’s exhibition will be no different from last and to quote the exhibition website: “Margin is a curated event where Buyers, Editors, and Stylists know they can find great new labels season after season and don’t have to wade through hall after hall of established brands to find directional new products to offer their readers or shoppers.
Spaces are limited to appropriate brands only that have a directional edge and something new to offer. At larger events where mainstream brands take centre-stage and priority, new labels can often be an opportunity missed.”
I contacted one UK streetwear retailer, StreetCasuals, “Margin has always been about finding the new amongst the more established and I have no doubt that this year will be any less well provided. For any retailer, large or small, this is a great place to connect with what is available so real buying decisions can be made. The UK streetwear market is an ever shifting place and staying on top of those shifts is made easier with this sort of exhibition.”
Streetcasuals provide global brands of urban clothing in the UK and have themselves been through a period of rapid growth and success over the last few years. This time of year is a great time to look ahead to what will be selling in the summer but with the current icy cold snap in the UK, the owner Will said “We are always looking ahead by 6 months and Margin and exhibitions like it can really help with that. But that has to be tempered with providing exactly what the customer wants right now. And right now it is beanies, boots and winter jackets, like those by Penfield, that are flying out the door.”
There is an example of the global streetwear market. Penfield are a US brand (which were well established by 2002) that have good global distribution and a UK customer can get Penfield jackets dispatched from the UK by Street Casuals or other similar retailers.
The aims of the Margin exhibition is to provide the platform for newer brands to step up toward the sort of global availability of Penfield and the other top streetwear brands.
Coffee giant, Starbucks has announced that it will be opening its first branch in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. This follows the company’s increasing presence across Asia with a total of 3,300 stores spanning across 12 countries. Vietnam’s first store is set to open to customers in February this year. Starbucks has stated that the Asian market represents a strong growth prospect for the company who has partnered with Hong Kong Maxim’s Group for the venture.
Starbuck’s President of China and Asia Pacific, John Culver, released a statement regarding the expansi
“Vietnam is one of the most dynamic and exciting markets in the world and we are proud to add Vietnam as the 12th market across the China and Asia Pacific region”
“Starbucks is deeply respectful of Vietnam`s long and distinctive local coffee culture. We know coffee is a national pride for many Vietnamese and as such, we look forward to contributing and growing Vietnam`s already vibrant coffee industry. As we continue to source more Vietnamese high-quality, Arabica coffee we want to leverage our scale to bring the best of Vietnam`s coffee traditions to the rest of the world.”
Starbucks hopes to benefit from Hong Kong Maxim’s Group’s extensive knowledge in the field. Since 1956, the company has grown to operate over 760 locations throughout Hong Kong and China. The group manages a huge range of businesses within the catering industry from Asian, Japanese and European resturants to products such as mooncakes and preserved meats. Starbucks will be granting Hong Kong’s Maxim Group’s subsidiary, Coffee Concepts, the license to operate the Starbucks branded outlets in the Vietnamese region. Coffee Concepts already operate over 130 Starbucks outlets in Hong Kong and Macau.
The Chairman and Managing Director for Hong Kong Maxim Group released this statement regarding the partnership:
“Our partnership with Starbucks has more than 10 years of history and we are proud to deliver the Starbucks Experience to our customers in Hong Kong and Macau today. We are looking forward to leveraging our expertise and deep understanding of the Starbucks brand to welcome Vietnamese customers to our stores, earning their trust and respect with the unparalleled Starbucks Experience, known by customers around the globe.”
The Starbucks brand is recognisable across the globe for providing high quality coffee on the high street. The company has been running for 41 years and has created a brand dedicated to providing the best coffee whilst also conforming to ethical standards. Starbuck’s venture into Vietnam follows their commitment to sourcing Arabica coffee beans from the region and they plan to continue sourcing locally to the area while also engaging with communities to promote responsible business practices.
The Royal Horticultural Society in bringing in a new judging category to this year’s Chelsea Flower show; ‘Fresh’, that celebrate unique ideas regarding urban design. This more architectural part of RHS Chelsea Flower Show celebrates innovative design and more creative gardening. There are strong shapes, ideas and colours to be inspired by at the flower show which have lots of potential for creating elegant homes.
The strong shapes and drama at Chelsea this year leads to trends of spatial drama and brave colour combinations. These can be made both indoors and outdoors, meaning it is possible to renew the feel of a home by planting exciting varieties in your garden and stocking your living areas with sculptural lounge furniture. Abundant colour and architectural style are strong trends for the new seasons. Both summer, winter and all year planting can bring new shape and a fresh dynamic to rooms.
With plenty of exhibitors utilising fresh water and new growth; RHS Chelsea reminds us this year of the most precious of nature’s resources. There are numerous gardens using this theme; The ‘Soft Machine Garden’ designed by Tomaz Bavdez presents a new way for water to be a clever part of garden living. Tony Smith’s ‘Green With… The Easigrass Garden’ strikingly exemplifies the trend for garden and furniture connections with the graphic use of hanging plants.
Dwelling spaces with innovative garden furniture are around every corner at Chelsea. Some have tables created as grass beds with a water oasis beneath, seating made of grasses, and benches surrounded by beds of grasses and flowers. Creating the relationship between this furniture style gardening and the living/dining space has been done in several ways by designers bringing sculptural plants to the balcony; planting vertical gardens such as Jean Nouvel’s on the Musée du quai Branly; and fruiting plants, such as lemon trees, into the lounge.
This might seem to push furniture out of centre focus but with lounge furniture from Fashion For Home the beautiful and powerful role furnishing has in design compliments the freshness of plants. With generous proportions in leather and slim elegant forms in beautifully crafted salvaged ship wood are nice options for creating a strong and delicate space. Numerous designers are exploring the potential of this, just by browsing furniture retailer sites like http://www.fashionforhome.co.uk you can get a clear indication of this shift in style.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is again delivering on strong new ideas for design. Bold graphic shapes in furniture and planting give the traditional show contemporary interest. Walking amongst the charming scent of roses the intelligent creations of the ‘Fresh’ category are an inspired breath of air. Let’s just hope the weather improves so visitors to the show can really make the most of the exhibits.
Earlier this month, communication technology giant Cisco released a statement stating it had acquired its 10,000th server customer. Since launching into the server market nearly three years ago, the company has faced intense scrutiny and pressure from competitors and industry commentators and the announcement has been regarded by some as a chance for Cisco to brag about the growth of the server area of the business and who its customers are.
Cisco entered the server industry in March 2009, with the introduction of the UCS B Series of Blade servers and the release of the C Series in June. The servers Cisco manufacture boast 10 Gigabit Ethernet networking, which enables servers to link to other servers as well as external storage; a system management tool- UCS Manager- that is fully integrated and features hypervisor capability; and virtualised I/O via UCS systems to manage the server.
When Cisco entered the server market, server and storage networking were coming together. Established server makers such as IBM and Fujitsu sold data centre switches with their server cabinet and server hardware that they either made, or purchased wholesale and rebranded and were searching for marketing opportunities to increase their market share. This convergence of server technology made Cisco’s entry inevitable.
It is also arguable that Cisco’s entry into the server market caused other manufacturers of tier one servers to speed up work on networking plans. It is for this reason that industry experts believe that Cisco’s embracing of server production has been a benefit to the industry as a whole, even if the server wing of the business is yet to prove itself profitable financially and could have effected its networking wing, as companies that were previously partners became competitors.
Cisco sold almost 40,000 blade or rack-mounted servers in the third quarter of 2011, the latest that sales figures are available for. The company’s marketing manager for unified computing, Todd Brannon stated that the UCS server side of the business was generating orders at the end of 2011 that if calculated over the course of a year would total $1.1bn.
The rate at which Cisco added customers during the Spring and Summer of 2011 was impressive and although the numbers fell slightly in the Autumn, it is worth remembering that Cisco has existing relationships with a large number of the top businesses around the world that use large data centres. Industry commentators state that even if the company does not sell a single server to a small to medium enterprise (SME), the total market for Cisco servers would remain extensive and would not affect sales for server manufacturers like Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu or IBM or other computer parts UK companies.
Cosine is delighted to announce its further expansion into the European market with the launch of Cosine Benelux. After another year of impressive growth.
Cosine continues with its strategy to develop a European solution for clients. This strategy was launched in 2010 with Cosine taking control of 2 other Omnicom agencies; Stein, a German promotions agency and Daytona, a Paris based sales agency.
Nick Jones, CEO at Cosine, had this to say about the imminent launch: “We are excited to be launching our Benelux business having identified an opportunity for a Data Led Sales agency that has the ability to offer clients high levels of insight, using our retail expertise.”
With LG Electronics Benelux already on board, Cosine Benelux shows every sign of reproducing the successes of its award-winning UK division in Belgium and the Netherlands. Cosine Benelux was selected for the desirable contract with LG Electronics over several local competitors, partly due to its superior solutions capability and its backing by the powerful Omnicom Group. Combined with years of experience and a long-standing commitment to innovation, these factors make Cosine an outstanding choice among field marketing agencies across Europe.
“Cosine convinced us with their ambitious, driven approach and great track record in the UK” Claudia Nijland, project manager at LG Electronics Benelux, said. “We are looking forward to a professional way of working based on their Field marketing crm tool and insights in retail dynamics.”
As Cosine continues to grow in line with the needs of its clients, it will continue to deliver exceptional marketing solutions forged from its winning formula of business intelligence supported by market, retailer and consumer data. By bringing data to the forefront of the sales agenda, Cosine has identified and exploited opportunities in the UK market and will now take its methodical approach further a field. Clients across a diverse range of industries trust Cosine because of its proven expertise in driving sales across both business-to-business and business-to-consumer environments. Whether promoting telephone services to small businesses or sampling food and drink in supermarkets, Cosine consistently delivers its clients quantifiable results. This degree of adaptability is just one of many reasons Cosine continues to thrive both at home and abroad.
Cosine is no stranger to silverware, having already received a host of awards and been named ‘Field Marketing Agency of the Year’ (2011), in the Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards and by Marketing magazine (2010). Daytona has recently won the Argent de la meilleure Externalisation Commercial trophy, for their work with Johnson and Johnson.
Cosine’s Data Led Sales solutions for retail execution, consumer engagement, direct sales and tactical activity are widely recognised for their effectiveness and efficiency. This hard-earned reputation for delivering quality results has earned Cosine the confidence of numerous blue-chip clients, such as Sainsbury’s, BT, Nokia, American Express, and now LG. With a new international focus, Cosine hopes to add to its growing collection of satisfied clients and industry accolades.
Cosine UK is at the forefront of the field marketing industry, developing and implementing cutting-edge Data Led Sales solutions across a variety of markets. With the addition of Cosine Benelux to its existing UK business, ‘Field Marketing Agency of the Year’ Cosine will bring the benefits of its award-winning expertise to an increasing number of clients.
Statistics published recently by the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) show that during 2010 (the most recent year that figures are available for), UK furniture manufacturing turnover increased by 3.6% to £7bn. FIRA’s newly published statistical digest shows that this growth was despite the number of furniture manufacturers in the UK declining by 3% to 6,205 during this period showing that despite the current uncertain economic climate, there is still demand among consumers for designer furniture from Fashion For Home and other high-end retailers.
The report noted that furniture imports were up by £500 million on the previous year, bringing the total to £4.5bn, while furniture exports are reported to have increased to £849,000. The majority of imports to the UK are coming from China, with figures showing they account for 33 percent of all imported furniture items into the UK. Italy also remains a major supplier of quality furniture to the UK, accounting for 11 percent of all imports. The majority of the UK’s furniture exports during 2010 were to the Irish Republic, accounting for 22 percent of the total, with 10 percent and 9 percent respectively going to the US and Germany.
China’s growth appears to have come at the expense of European furniture manufacturers.
FIRA’s statistical digest is a combination of data from the Office for National Statistics, HM Revenue and Customs and the Communities and Local Government websites. It also includes national economic trends, which include consumer spend, credit and housing. All these things can have an effect on furniture production and sales. Once collated, the figures are separated into relevant sectors which include office and shop furniture, kitchen furniture, mattresses and other items.
“This research gives the UK furniture industry vital information, both to help it survive the difficulties of the economy and grow through innovation and intelligent marketing,” said FIRA chief operating officer Jonny Westbrooke.
Detailing figures from a period when the furniture industry has had to deal with rising fuel and utility costs, plus the increased price of timber due to the government’s Renewables Obligation Woody Biomass Subsidy, the findings of FIRA’s report should provide a welcome boost to furniture manufacturers, wholesalers and retail outlets despite the news that the number of furniture manufacturers in the country has decreased. Whether sales of fashionforhome.co.uk armchairs and other home fashion items have remained as strong or even grown as much in 2011 still remains to be seen, however.
UK based computer chip and wireless technology company CSR has announced that it is ceasing investment in digital television systems on a chip, known as DTV SoC, to focus on areas of technology where they have an existing market lead such as GPS, bluetooth and wifi chips.
The company, which is based in Cambridge, stated in the announcement that the areas it would instead be focusing on would include voice and music technology, digital cameras and low energy bluetooth products. Chief executive Joep van Beurden was quoted as saying: “We have decided to withdraw investment from the DTV SoC and silicon tuner businesses and are focusing our investment where we have a strong position in platforms in the areas of voice & music, automotive infotainment, cameras, document imaging, gaming and Bluetooth low energy. We will also continue to invest in a range of products for attractive growth markets including handsets and computer peripherals.”
Experts believe that by moving away from the increasingly competitive HD and DTV SoC market, CSR stands to make a saving of almost £40m annually from reduced operating costs as a direct result of the changes. The chip industry has experienced a slump recently, as sales of gadgets have lowered across Europe, the USA and other areas due to the economic uncertainties that continues to effect consumer spending.
The company will continue to provide support for existing users of their DTV SoC products and will continue to deliver products to their customers in these areas, although future development will be directed at improving connectivity, voice command technology and various other products that will be useful to the DTV market.
CSR do not belief the change will have a negative effect on its revenues for 2012, in fact the cost reductions expected as a result, such as the cost of goods, looks to save the company almost £10m, although this could be bad news for some employees, as the company is aiming to trim down staff levels from around 3200 personnel, the figure in their employ at the end of September 2011, to 2400 staff worldwide by the end of the second fiscal quarter of 2012.
The technology CSR is retracting investment from is currently found in most set-top boxes you would find on an online HD package checker or postcode HD checker . The announcement will have no effect on consumers, as production of these chips will not slow as a result. If anything, the news should cause excitement among gadget enthusiasts, as CSR’s cost cutting measures could lead to technological advancements in numerous areas.
Industry commentators warn that floods which have effected production of computer components in Thailand since July this year will have serious implications for computer manufacturers and parts suppliers in the UK and around the world.
Unseasonably heavy rains that began to fall in July this year have caused widespread flooding in Thailand, resulting in the South East Asian nation’s computer component manufacturers struggling to keep production running and meet global demand. Thailand is one the world’s biggest producers of computer parts, in particular hard disk drives (HDD) and major manufacturers including Toshiba and Western Digital have already announced temporary closure of their Thai factories as a direct result of the damaged caused by the flood waters.
According to market researchers, the Internation Data Corporation (IDC), Thailand accounts for up to 45 per cent of global hard HDD production and industry analysts IHS iSuppli claim that the flooding will cause HDD shipments in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011 to drop by up to thirty per cent. This, they believe, will have serious ramifications for computer manufacturers around the globe well into 2012.
With prices for Seagate and Western Digital equipment already soaring, companies like PC World expect the price of personal computers to increase by a minimum of fifty pounds as we enter the first quarter of 2012.
But there is positivity amongst the bad news. Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman claims that the industry standard server branch of the company is set to benefit from the crisis in Thailand. While recent years have seen businesses building their own servers, searching the market for the most economic server cabinet and necessary components, Whitman believes that the shortage of components the industry will experience in 2012 will cause businesses to move away from custom builds and return to companies that offer a complete package in order to buy Blade servers and other equipment.
It is likely that the ones to suffer during this period of lower production will be domestic customers, as computer manufacturers seek to keep the coffers full by offering what stocks they do possess to their larger, corporate clients.
However, IHS iSuppli believes the impact of this fall in component stocks ‘is not significant enough to have a measurable effect on overall semiconductor industry revenue growth,’ and IDC is confident that HDD prices will be stabilised by June 2012 and should return to previous recognised levels by the third quarter of the year.
So while the end of 2011 is proving to be a worrying time for computer manufacturers and computer parts UK suppliers, the outlook is not quite as bleak as recent reports tend to suggest. While the knock-on will effect the market for budget laptop and desktop PC brands, the industry as a whole should be able to survive this scare, even if Western Digital has to forego their position as the world’s leading leading provider of HDDs and their components.