PCR Five for Friday (10/11/2017)

Five for Friday is a weekly feature to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missed. Think we left anything out? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

Bain consortium real winners as Toshiba announces 76 per cent jump in profits

The consortium lead by Bain Capital and Apple will be rubbing their hands together as Toshiba reports an enormous jump in its operating profit. Reporting a 76 per cent jump in its second-quarter operating profit, the company has been bolstered by a strong performance from its memory chip unit which it recently agreed to sell for $18 billion.

And that figure could soon look a snip, after Toshiba reported that its operating profit for the July-September quarter rose to 135.08 billion yen ($1.2 billion) from 76.88 billion yen a year earlier. Toshiba also said it would raise its capital investment in the chip business for this financial year to 600 billion from a previous plan of 400 billion yen, mainly to speed up the installation of a memory chip production line at Yokkaichi.

Are standards in retail declining?

Customers are unhappy with the state of retail, with one in five claiming that standards have declined in the past year

According to research commissioned by data-driven customer engagement solutions company Engage Hub, retailers are under-delivering on customer experience, with 22 per centof respondents indicating standards have declined in the last year. Over half (52 per cent) of consumers believe retailers could improve the customer experience by being seen to take feedback on board better, and 41 per cent want to see retailers provide more tailored offers.

The research, designed to better understand how fragile a customer’s relationship with retailers can be, also found that when consumers started shopping elsewhere, better in-store experience (35 per cent), better delivery options (26 per cent) and targeted promotions (26 per cent) were key factors in their decision to switch. Indeed, where retailers have got it right, 48 per cent of consumers believed that good communication was having the biggest impact on their overall experience. This was along with how positively they dealt with a complaint (37 per cent) and where they were treated like an individual (34 per cent).

Onecom owners invest in Dragons’ Den contestant’s repair service

Onecom owners Darren Ridge and Aaron Brown have invested a six-figure sum in on-the-road device repair service WeFix. Set up by former contestant on Dragon’s Den Oliver Murphy, WeFix is a phone and tablet repair service approved by Samsung.

The company was founded after Murphy secured a £50,000 investment from Dragons’ Den star Kelly Hoppen for his business, Reviveaphone in 2014, selling repair kits for water-damaged phones. The company later bought back Hoppen’s shares as it evolved into a mobile repair service, and Oliver went on to seek further investment to support his ambitious growth plans. Following the new investment, the company has been rebranded WeFix and, with help from its new backers, has already been successful in securing its status as the first Samsung-approved mobile repair service.

Debenhams teams with Activity Superstore to launch in-store VR setup

Ahead of the Christmas sales period and an expected in increase in demand for virtual reality as a gift, leading in-store gift experience company, Activity Superstore, is rolling out a landmark promotion into 21 Debenhams UK stores in November 2017. 

Four of the company’s gifts experiences are being demonstrated through the use of VR. It includes the chance to fly through the skies on a helicopter to give shoppers in store a retail theatre experience, driving sales in the run up to Christmas and delivering ROI. This innovative approach makes the link between VR and the purchase being made in store, with the power of visualisation enabling gift buyers to get excited about heading in store. 

Ingram Micro strengthens security offering with Cisco Advanced Security accreditation

With the need for security solutions growing across all verticals, distributor Ingram Micro has announced that it has been awarded a new Cisco Advanced Security accreditation.

Highlighting the need for security with the rise of malware, ransomware and global cyber attacks, the company said that the area is a priority and that it has invested in a Virtual Security Operations Centre (VSOC) to deliver on its commitment to build a strong Cyber security division.

Scott Murphy, director of Advanced Solutions at Ingram Micro commented: “We understand the opportunity for our partners and vendors around Cyber Security and how vital it is – they need to be confident in the support provided by their Distributor. Ingram Micro Advanced Solutions continues to make investments like this, including the Cisco business unit.”

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