A NEW corporate group is uniting retailers in the Solent area.

The Solent Retail Network helps shops and businesses boost their sales and productivity.

It was launched at Southampton Solent University, where industry leaders urged companies to embrace an omni-channel approach to retailing.

This is a seamless approach to customer service through multiple shopping channels including retail stores, mobile apps, television and Internet.

Martyn Phillips, owner and director of creative solutions company Leading Edge and former B&Q chief executive, led the speakers, joined by Jane Rexworthy, head of the National Skills Academy for Retail as well as Scott Taviner, retail operations manager for the Southern Co-op.

Mr Phillips called for companies to ensure their boards understand omni-channel operations and all stakeholders can engage and commit their personal contribution.

He said: “It was real honour to attend this launch to help grow the retail sector in the region.”