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Retailers must help themselves to avoid lost sales

Poor retail stock management by high street operators is resulting in significant lost sales, according to new research by YouGov.

The 'Missing £Billion Basket Report 2013', which was commissioned by retail technology solutions provider Venda and surveyed 2,043 UK adults, indicated that 38% of consumers have left stores empty handed within the last month due to items either not being in stock, or unavailable in the right size, colour or style.

Venda estimated that this resulted in a loss of approximately £43 worth of sales every month for each adult in the UK, or £781.5 million in total missed sales for the nation's retailers.

The potential loss for retailers could be much more far-reaching, too, with the research also showing that one in ten consumers would complain to friends and family, or to brands directly, via social networks such as Twitter or Facebook if they were repeatedly unable to find and purchase their desired products.

Avoiding what Venda described as a "negative digital footprint" will be a key focus area for retailers in the years ahead, as they look to keep losses to a minimum and maintain a positive brand image.

Eric Abensur, Group CEO at Venda, said: "In a climate of tough trading, retailers need to go back to basics and re-evaluate core aspects of their businesses operations. Although promotional activities and flash sales have helped retailers boost bottom lines in recent months, focusing on these strategies should be in line with optimising stock management and order fulfilment.

"Stock management systems that only marginally work are costing retailers millions of pounds worth of sales, which if captured, could be considered as the saving grace of the high-street."