On the BBC TV news this morning, a journalist bought a CD from HMV, Oxford Street, London. She bought it with Euro notes. The HMV till coped with the Euro transaction. Ah, but how will a small independent retailer cope, asked the presenter...

UPDATED: Euro accepted by UK retailers

Admirably. A camera and hi-fi shop sold a pack of videotapes to the BBC journalist with the minimum of fuss. This independent shop didn’t have a Euro-compliant EPoS system but the sales assistant just converted the pound price into Euros and worked the transation into the till manually.

Perhaps bike shops aren’t going to be inundated with overseas shoppers able to pay in Euros only but those in tourist areas will certainly have to have a policy on whether or not to accept Euros. For those who quite like cash, bugger the political undercurrents, there’s a window sticker you can get which lets shoppers know you’re Euro-friendly.

Love it or loathe it, the Euro is now a reality. In effect, yesterday’s introduction of the new currency in 12 nations was the greatest financial upheaval in European history.

In 1970, Pierre Werner, the then prime minister of Luxembourg, outlined the first proposals for a Euro-wide "economic and monetary union". Thirty-two years later, Werner got his way.

Only the UK, Denmark and Sweden are sticking to their guns and, for now, keeping their currencies.

However, as the Euro gains in popularity (it’s unlikely to nosedive long-term, although there will be start-up glitches and horror stories) there will be increasing pressure for a UK referendum on ditching the pound and jumping into bed with our European neighbours.

The Euro will probably see off the pound by stealth. Europe minister Peter Hain went on record at the weekend saying all UK retailers should accept Euros.

And with 302 million inhabitants of the Eurozone now with Euros in their pockets, and who’ll want to spend them wherever they go, it’s going to hard for UK retailers, IBDs included, to ignore the Euro.

Suppliers, too, ignore the Euro at their peril. The combination of the internet and the Euro is now making it easy for consumers to compare prices across Europe. No more fiddling with multiple exhange rates: now it’s just the pound/dollar price versus the Euro price.

One supplier which is displaying the Euro price alongside pounds sterling is the Goude Design Group.

Simon Goude said:

"We have started to dual price in Euros. Only this morning we had an IBD customer from Guernsey asking us for Euro prices because he gets a lot of customers from France.

His customers are paying in Euros so he wants the option of being supplied

with Euro-priced products."


In other news...

Leatt appoints Bastian Dietz and Dain Zaffke to focus on MTB market

Leatt, the head-to-toe protective gear brand, has announced that it is reinforcing its team with …