The grocery market is rarely out of the spotlight, and this year the glare upon the grocers has not lessened since the horse meat scandal that began in January.

The grocery market is rarely out of the spotlight, and this year the glare upon the grocers has not lessened since the horse meat scandal that began in January.

While the sector is being challenged more than ever before, it’s also bursting with developments and innovations.

Ever-increasing competition in the online grocery channel is a key talking point - particularly since Morrisons’ tie-up with Ocado for its home-delivery arm - and rarely a week goes by without updates surrounding new technologies or multichannel initiatives.

The property scene is evolving fast, too. With emphasis now on convenience rather than super-sized, out-of-town developments, grocers are invading pubs, petrol station forecourts, and the vacated sites of retail ghosts such as HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster.

The scale and pace of change all makes for exciting times. Innovations that abound promise to make the supermarket shopping experience ever-more efficient for the retailer, and ever-more dynamic and personalised for the customer. Change is the name of the game, and those that can keep ahead of the pack will emerge the winners in this ever-brutal battleground.

  • Charlotte Hardie, Special Projects Editor