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30 Jan 2023

The number of shops lying vacant on British high streets fell during the final three months of 2022, despite pressure on both companies and consumers from the rising cost of living.
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Bike Europe has reported Halfords’ financial statement demonstrating that cycling sales have dropped to pre-covid levels.

18 Jan 2023

The article reports that, in 2021, Halfords saw its annual cycling sales double and stocks dry up. However, by the middle of 2022, it says, warning signs were appearing as inflation and supply... Read more…

Seaside town bucks the trend with indie retail thriving

16 Jan 2023

Weston-super-Mare seems to be one town in the UK bucking the national trend, with new shops opening and businesses reporting an increase in trade, according to a report by Bristol Live.
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Indie bookshop numbers hit 10-year high in 2022 defying tough retail climate

16 Jan 2023

The number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland climbed to a 10-year high in 2022, as the book trade defied the odds in an otherwise tough year for high street retailers.
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New King’s banknotes to enter circulation by mid-2024

12 Jan 2023

New banknotes featuring King Charles are to enter circulation by mid-2024. The King’s portrait will appear on four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20, and £50).... Read more…

Government scales back energy bill support for businesses

12 Jan 2023

The government has announced it is to scale back support for businesses and their energy bills after warning that the current level of help was too expensive.
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Sector expertise and user experience counts when it comes to retail finance

10 Jan 2023

With retail finance schemes remaining a preferable route for retailers to boost sales during recession than the financial hit required by heavy product discounting, the Association of Cycle... Read more…

Portugal becomes first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year

10 Jan 2023

Portugal has become the first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year, from 23% to 6%.
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One in three responds to Big Bike Revival to use bike for one in two journeys previously taken by car

9 Jan 2023

Cycling UK says that its Big Bike Revival programme, which encourages people to get unused bikes out of their garages and sheds and start using them for everyday trips, has led to a third of... Read more…

Busiest year yet for TfL’s cycle hire scheme

9 Jan 2023

Transport for London’s (TfL) cycle hire scheme saw more bikes hired during 2022 than any other year in the scheme’s history, with 11.5 million rentals across the year.
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Sector expertise and user experience counts when it comes to retail finance

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

With retail finance schemes remaining a preferable route for retailers to boost sales during recession than the financial hit required by heavy product discounting, the Association of Cycle Traders, the UK’s largest cycle trade association, is urging retailers to be savvy in their choice of retail finance partner to ensure that they get the best deal for their business as well as their customers.

online shopping hand

“We all know that household budgets are under increasing pressure, and many consumers who want to purchase will be looking for the opportunity to spread the cost rather than outlay a lump sum payment,” says Jonathan Harrison from the ACT.

“On the high street all retailers are competing for consumer spend and the demand for finance options is at record levels as it always is in similar economic conditions. It’s easy to be seduced by headline numbers and big financial brand names but there’s more to it than that.”

Retailers, Harrison says, should look for the finance package that represents the best value for their business – which finance partner understands the cycling sector best, which offers optimum acceptance rates, the most efficient integration and onboarding process and is trusted by their customers.

The ACT’s 13-year partnership with V12 Retail Finance currently enables over 400 retailers to take advantage of a market-leading range of finance products, with competitive rates, high levels of service and proven sales results.

The company specialises in financing all types of bicycles and can encompass the whole consumer purchase including accessory add-ons purchases. ACT and V12 work in partnership to provide the only cycle industry-specific scheme in the UK.

“We remain convinced that retail finance is the best option to help retailers and brands to move the overstocks and commitments resulting from the market buoyancy during the busy peaks of Covid, without damaging retail price points and brand values,” continued Harrison.

“We are confident that V12 is at the forefront for bringing retail finance technology to market quickly and efficiently, with features that improve security, continuity and ease of operation for both the retailer and the customer,” said Eleanor Richards, marketing and communications manager at V12 Retail Finance.

V12’s system stability coupled with their innovative online journey and customer recognition, eases the purchase process for the customer and retailer. V12 recognises the importance of online customer experience which is why they are the number one provider for retail finance in the cycle sector in the UK.

They are trusted by their customers, evidenced by their 4.9/5 Trustpilot score, and they are part of the only bank in Britain to achieve a Customer Service Excellence award, meaning both customers and retailers are in safe hands.
So, what does this mean for cycle retailers?

“Cyclists like to keep up with the latest models and often go back to their favourite independent retailer every couple of years to purchase their next bike, increasingly so from the experience seen in lockdown and very often on finance,” said Harrison.

“Coupled with the already popular V12 finance calculator, not only can you understand your customer’s budget to let them make an informed decision in paying for their perfect bike, but the new application form will guide them more efficiently through their finance application in no time at all.”

V12 has also made system integration more widely available. “We have all seen the ever-increasing importance of online retailing and those retailers without an online presence may have missed out on hard to come by sales.

V12 integration is market-leading and if you are unsure about the benefits and even the knowhow on how to quickly set up a transactional website then you need to speak to us at ACT or the team of experts at V12,” Harrison concluded.

The ACT encourages retailers to take ACT’s Retail Finance Training, an online learning course delivering an informed insight into retail finance that can be completed anywhere, any time.

The course, coupled with in person training retailers receive from V12, will educate your staff how to effectively promote retail finance, encouraging customers to maximise their spending through techniques such as financial promotion, Point of Sale (POS) and bundling.

This is invaluable for retailers with surveys showing that consumers are more likely to spend more if retail finance is sold correctly, and increasingly, for many customers, having the option to spread the cost is the main reason a purchase is made.

ACT Members can access a retail finance course from £75, just see: indieretail.training

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