The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has reported that Christmas 2018 was the worst for retailers in a decade, with sales showing no year-on-year growth. Like-for-like sales for the period were down by 0.7 per cent.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, BRC, commented: “Squeezed consumers chose not splash out this Christmas with retail sales growth stalling


for the first time in 28 months. The worst December sales performance in 10 years means a challenging start to 2019 for retailers, with Business Rates set to rise once again this year, and the threat of a No-Deal Brexit looming ever larger. “The retail landscape is changing dramatically in the UK, while the trading environment remains tough. Retailers are facing up this challenge but are having

to wrestle with mounting costs from a succession of government policies – from the Apprenticeship Levy, to higher wage costs, to rising business rates. “Retail makes up five per cent of the economy, yet pays 10 per cent of all business taxes and 25 per cent of all business rates. The Government should urgently look into reforming the broken business rates system and champion the future of retail in the UK.”


Harman Kardon announces Citation Series UK Roadshow for independent retailers

Today’s discerning audio consumer is seeking sophisticated design and technology that seamlessly blends with their daily lives. When it comes to a multi-room speaker system that means: ease of use, designs that fit every room in the home, superior sound, and access to the latest technologies and streaming services. For more than 65 years, Harman

Kardon has been one of the leading audio engineering and design experts, captivating ears and hearts throughout generations, and the Citation Series with Google Assistant represents its latest feat.

Harman Kardon is offering a selection of the UK’s finest independent electronic

and audio retailers the opportunity to experience the sensation of Citation first-hand, with demonstrations in three luxury home environments across the UK this February. Starting in London on Wednesday 13 February before moving to the North West in Manchester on Tuesday 26 February and then finishing with the midlands in a luxury Warwick home on Thursday 28.

The complete line-up will be available for demonstration at each of the venues, including a full home cinema setup, multiple countertop mono and stereo speaker options, a soundbar, powered subwoofer, and a pair of stunning tower speakers. Attendees will also be able to test the smart home functionality and Google Assistant voice control of Citation with a series of connected smart ho me products also installed in the homes. Food, drink, and access to Harman Kardon’s knowledgeable staff as well as a Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 as a thank you gift complete package. To register for the roadshow, please visit series-uk. “The introduction of the Citation Series is significant step in our route to re-establishing the Harman Kardon brand in the UK,” said Reece Cummings, Head of Sales (UK) Lifestyle Division, at Harman International. “As a series of speakers that we feel needs to be seen first-hand to truly be appreciated, we believe the independent channel is the perfect avenue for demonstrating these

products to potential customers. “We are running the roadshow to engage with independent partners and build on the excellent relationships we already enjoy. Whilst many events are particularly London-focused, we are opening our arms to the whole country with our roadshow and look forward to seeing many new, as well as familiar, faces this February.” The Citation Series represents the next generation of home speakers; including Google Assistant, a high-resolution LCD touchscreen and Chromecast built-in, the speakers also feature the brand’s signature industrial design accented with thoughtful elements,

including aluminium

detailing. The Series offers the options to use the speakers individually or to build a powerful 5.1-channel

surround sound

system. Their multi-room capabilities allow for the control of sound from any room, either playing from one music source or playing different tracks in different rooms.

Bristol Hi-Fi Show The Citation Series, with the exception of the home cinema setup, will also be available for demo at this year’s Bristol Hi-Fi Show, on 22-24 February.

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