Recent news just goes to show what an ever-changing industry we work in. The past year in our business has been challenging and rewarding at the same time, and I find these first few months a great time to take stock of how the business has performed, what changes we have made and whether they worked.

This year I believe we will have to continue to focus on chilled and fresh products. Customer demand for food to go will continue to grow and the ever-changing face of digital engagement with customers will need to be at the forefront of our minds.

Healthy is fast becoming a shopper’s preferred option, so are we stocking the right ranges or mix of products to meet this? And are we set up to meet the ever changing shopper behaviours?

We will of course have the usual legislation to deal with, much of which means we will have to review costs and retail pricing and look at how we can further adapt our in-store operations to run smarter. Do we have the right people in the right place at the right time and does that person have the right skill set to do the job we are asking of them?

Support from our symbol partners and closer working relationships with suppliers will be key to driving growth. This past year has seen us work directly with some key suppliers and the results in terms of sales increase have been fantastic.

Our industry is quite unique in that we will happily share good practice and procedures. Spending time with these people is important to discuss what is going well and not so well, and attending organised trade events will help us continue to thrive in this exciting market place.