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Welcome to the 15th January Warehouse & Logistics News, our first of the New Year.

The UK’s warehouse & logistics industry emerged from the recent recession leaner, meaner, and dare we say it, greener too. This industry is well used to pressure: it even thrives on it. But there’s no letting up in sight in 2011 – faced with the latest fuel duty and VAT rises, once again England expects the long suffering ‘w & l’ sector to come up with clever solutions as always and deliver the goods cost effectively, to keep the manufacturers and retailers and the other industries it serves all happy.

In this issue we’ve two features to help you stay smart, keep up to speed and succeed: ‘Doors & Curtains’ lifts the lid on industrial doors, curtains and roller-shutters, ‘Conveying & Sortation’ covers automated materials handling equipment and IT solutions.

In the last recession, the warehousing and logistics industry had its share of problems but thankfully it was supported by continued demand from the retail sector, which held its own and continued investing in warehouse and logistics products and services, as significant numbers of shoppers carried on shopping.

Right now the gloom merchants are out there in force. According to the British Retail Consortium, shoppers’ spending slowed significantly pre-Christmas and into the New Year. The snow and weak consumer confidence each had their effect, restraining the pre-VAT rise rush on big-ticket and high-end goods. On top of that, the retailers had been discounting massively for months to make up for missed sales, dampening the VAT rise’s potential to spark sales revenues.

Thinking positively, we now need something to look forward to, to get Britain out there and spending again. And thankfully, there is. This spring, in place of the World Cup, we’ve got the April/May mega-break to get the economy moving.

Briefly, a large slice of England will finish work for Easter on Thursday 21st April, and not go back until Tuesday 2 May, nearly a fortnight later. The Royal Wedding Bank Holiday on Friday 29 April is followed by a Bank Holiday on Monday 2 May, giving us two long weekends in a row. With millions of people expected to take off the three days in between Easter Monday and the Wedding, this ten plus day period is fast shaping up to be a second Christmas, except hopefully with better weather to encourage consumers to get out and enjoy themselves, spend money and drive the supply chains – and in turn, give the warehouse and logistics sector a much needed boost. Here’s to that prospect!

Have a successful 2011, and keep smiling.

Warehouse & Logistics News

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