We’re all gearing up this end for the BCSC Conference next week.

It will be strange going to the conference in September rather than November as in previous years but hopefully there could be a prospect of signing retailers up before the end of the year!

I have spent the past few days prepping and checking final arrangements; I anticipate that it will be the busiest it has been for a few years based on the conversations that I’ve had with a number of retail agents.

The main focus for me will be to engage with retailers and their advisors in order to be best placed to promote our schemes, listen to their requirements and make informed judgements (while of course making sure they are a sound fit for us too!). I have had some very positive conversations to date however I am not going to prejudge sentiment prior to the event.

It will be interesting to understand the proposed expansion plans of the retailers at this year’s conference as much has been written about the economy over the last few months; just today, ONS has released August retail sales growth figures which reveal a marginal fall of 0.1% in retail sales volumes compared to last year, leading to weak consumer confidence; I am interested to see how this plays out on sentiment next week.

I’m looking forward to this year’s conference and updating you further on my Blog as the week progresses.