A lot has changed in retail since November 2004, but not the look of Retail Week, which has remained largely the same. So in the same way that any good retail brand needs to evolve, today Retail Week gets its very own new look.

You’ll probably have noticed the pages are smaller, but you’ll also have noticed there are many more of them and that the new format is easier to use. But the changes we’ve made go well beyond the fresh design.

Understanding what’s going on in the market and what best practice looks like becomes even more vital in a brutal recession like this. Our new In Business section builds on our established property and technology coverage to offer practical features that aim to provide inspiration in all the areas that are crucial to how your retail business works.

And in the middle of the magazine the new Retail Life section, which kicks off with this column, is all about debating the big issues that the industry is talking about.

There is more news coverage than ever before and combined with our up-to-the-minute news service at retail-week.com, it means that whatever part of retail you are in, Retail Week is the only source of retail information you need.

Give retailers some credit

Whether it is in the news pages, in Neil Gillis’s column this week or the lead letter in our latest Retail Week issue, credit insurance is a major concern for many people across the industry at the moment.

Credit insurance is a vital lubricant of the wheels of trade, but right now the system isn’t working and it is strangling trade and killing sound businesses.

Gillis is right to say that blaming the insurers is futile. They are commercial businesses that have been badly burnt by the Woolworths collapse and if they choose to take a cautious approach, that is their right.

But with just three companies controlling the market, there needs to be an alternative. Thankfully, unlike some of the big issues facing the industry, the Government is at least aware of this problem and the need to find a solution.

But it needs to act now. The French government has recognised the problem and has already acted to provide state-backed credit insurance to those companies left without cover. Our government needs to follow suit.