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Insurance

John Lewis to further break-in the finance sector…

Despite its current managing director, Andy Street, exiting the retailer to concentrate on a political career and profits said to be hit by higher staff wages and tough sector competition, industry reports have suggested that John Lewis is set to launch a new finance brand this month which will include services such as foreign currency, insurance and international payments; in addition to ATMs and new developments to its John Lewis & Waitrose Partnership Card.

In conjunction with the retailers existing financial products, the first enhancements will include a new look for the Partnership Card website, contactless technology and a mobile app to allow customers to check point balance; as well as make transactions ‘on the go’. 

Director of financial services at John Lewis Partnership, Mike Jackson commented in a statement: “We want all of our customers to know that when it comes to money matters, whether that’s travel, insurance or everyday spending, we can support them with the big events in their lives and all the small moments in between.”

He continued: “Considering the breadth of our current portfolio, we felt it was the right time to combine all of our financial services products under a single, umbrella brand as we seek to raise awareness and reach out to many more customers, offering them a greater range of products and greater value.”

It is thought that the full range of financial services will be integrated into one John Lewis Finance customer website within the next 12 months. 

Forum News: The hidden costs of exhibiting at trade shows…

Without the knowledge of other costs involved, the £2000 stand you’ve just booked at your industry trade show looks like a really inexpensive way of generating new business. But is it really justifiable?

Assuming you have just bought a stand and shell scheme, you will still need to consider the following costs:

  • Show services such as lighting and electrics. These facilities are often controlled by the event organisers and can be costly. Also add on furniture hire, even carpeting. Estimated cost: £500-£1000.
  • Then there’s transportation, moving the whole stand together with any literature and other equipment, all will need to be transported to and from the show with another £500 added on to the bill.
  • Paramount to any trade show exhibition is advertising and other promotional materials which can amount to more than £1000. It’s all very well having a lovely brochure, but be aware of the cost of handing them out.
  • Once the stand and everything else is up and running, your staff will need feeding. Five staff members with breakfast, lunch and dinner over the average three days is not cheap.
  • When the exhibition is finally over, the charges keep on coming with clear up costs. Make sure you take your rubbish and leftovers with you or you may well get charged; and if your site is damaged in any way, it will more than likely result in an invoice.
  • Making sure you acquire an adequate insurance policy, not only for your goods on display, but also liability insurance should anyone hurt themselves while on your stand is crucial. And that’s not cheap either, with an expected £150 or more price tag.
  • You’re not finished yet; personnel is considered as one of the biggest costs of an exhibition. In addition, the extra £1,000 an employer will have to pay staff for longer hours, other costs such as accommodation, food, travel and parking also come into the equation.

Look at all the leads we’ve got…

The mountain of business cards you’ve collected; the dozens of quotations you were asked to supply after the event; the hours of organising them and calculating estimates; these are time consuming – as is following them up.

Then there are the decision-makers you met, or were scheduled to meet. Did they even show up to the event? If they did bother to put on an appearance, did they find your booth; did you get the chance to sit down and talk?