Bleak outlook for retailers in run up to Christmas

UK retailers report sales fall in October with a gloomy outlook for Christmas 2008.

By News Desk
28th October 2008 at 19:01

Shoppers stay at home as retailers sufferSales on the high street fell for the seventh consecutive month and retailers are not confident about the prospects for November, according to the latest survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Half of all retailers surveyed by the CBI said that the volume of sales was down during the first half of October compared to the same period the year before, just under a quarter said they were up.

Most sectors reported a sharp decline in sales, although footwear and leather, hardware, china and DIY retailers all reported growth in sales.

One of the hardest hit groups has been motor traders with a balance of 87% of firms reporting a decline in sales.

Andy Clarke, Chairman of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel,  said:

Shoppers face competing pressures on their wallets and are spooked by worries over job losses and the slowing economy.  Retailers have had another tough month and, while there are some winners, the majority are suffering. The sector looks set to endure a very challenging run-up to Christmas.

It is hoped, however, that the recent 0.5% cut in interest rates and further likely cuts this year will feed through to the economy and begin to revive fortunes a little.

[Picture credit: Binary Ape @ flickr]

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  1. Burak Alpar says:

    There’s lots of mixed signals here in Central London. I’ve been speaking to lots of clients (mostly Restaurants, Bars and Shops) who are still telling me that their businesses are doing ok. What does everyone think? Is London in a better position than the rest of the country, or will it be the last to fall, and fall hard?

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