Small Retailers Report Mixed Christmas Sales

Mixed fortunes for small to medium sized retailers as half do better and half do worse in final quarter of 2007.

By News Desk
28th January 2008 at 17:08

healthofthehighstreet The latest quarterly sales monitor from the British Shops and Stores Association (bssa) reveals that 53% of Britain’s smaller high street retailers reported trading better or similar to a year ago in the run up to Christmas.

But the polarisation between those reporting a successful final quarter of 2007 and those performing poorly is stark.  The average percentage value increase in sales for 51% reporting better performance than last year was 13.6%.  For those doing poorly average percentage value dropped by 11.1%.

Top performers were furniture, furnishings and gifts, glass, china and jewellery retailers.  Hardest hit were music, toys, books, music, computer and telecoms retailers – all perhaps feeling the squeeze from online retailers who had a bumper Christmas.

Looking forward into 2008, John Dean, chief executive of bssa, sees just 50% of small retailer in optimistic mood and commented:

This optimism, whilst encouraging, is not across the board and needs careful nurturing if it is not to be dampened by a faltering economy.  The results reinforce our call for a drop in interest rates to encourage consumer spending and to kick start the economy again.

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