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Ian Cheshire

I think research is absolutely core to a business but you’ve got to be quite careful about getting the balance right, and so there’s all types of research.  What most businesses tend not to get right is to make sure they're doing the sort of research that gives them things they can then act on.  So don’t just end up with a pile of market research reports, they end up with something you can do something about.

Interviewer

And how do you use that in your business?

Ian Cheshire

Well we do sort of three things.  We’re constantly talking to our customers, on the back of every till roll you'll see a request to come and talk to our website so that we get regular live feedback.  We do formal things every quarter, talk to 2000 customers a quarter in great detail about the business, and then the we measure a lot of the industry data to say okay, the customers may say this but actually how are we doing relative to the market, and I think those three things give you a great feel for your business.

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Is research core, even during a downturn?