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Blog: Retail sales - is your glass half-full or half-empty?

So we are in the middle of a massive downturn are we? Apparently we are. Doom and gloom seem to be the order of the day across the media at the moment.

However, just how bad is this downturn? Figures released yesterday by the BRC showed like-for-like retail sales rose 2.6% last month compared to January 2007. However, for fashion retailers this was tempered with the fact that sales of fashion slowed for the fourth consecutive month.

However, retail sales rising by 2.6% is not to be sneezed at. If this is the worse the doom and gloom can throw at us should we really be worried at all?

If you tell yourself you are sick long enough you will eventually believe it. This may well be the case with the current downturn. Since the credit crunch hit last year everyone has been bracing for a massive 1987 stock market crash re-run. Sure Northern Rock has taken a pounding but this was induced by mass fear from its customers thinking they would lose their savings. This has not been the case.

The same could be said for retailing. Are things really that bad? Yes, there have been companies such as Dolcis folding lately but that is to be expected in a tough climate. If the current downturn is actually returning sales rises of 2.6% compared to last year then just really how bad are things?

What do you think? Is retailing really in that bad shape or are we starting to believe in what we are being told? Post your comments in the box below.

Readers' comments (4)

  • If you are buying its down if you are selling its up. Or does it depend on who the buyer is and who they are buying for??
    So on we go once more into the breach dear friends!!

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  • Thierry Bayle

    If we tell ourselves that the economy is down, we will forget to fight back & ultimately, we are bound to fail.
    Life is about ups and downs but there is one thing that is true: if you always do what you've always done, you'll always have what you've always had!
    I love the answer the owner of a shop gave his son:"Marc, somebody in the neighbourhood is making money and it'd better be you".
    Money is being spend all the time. Now, you can look at the gloomy side of things & start seeing the end of your busines or you can challenge yourself & you will beat the competition.
    Happy Easter
    Thierry - MANAGEMENT ONE
    Tel 020 8576 6233

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  • Just had fantastic news! The standalone 'George' (as in Asdawear) in our town is closing in May *yippeee*. Obviously...not due to it being unsuccessful, they say, but so Asda can concentrate on Living stores concept.

    One crap shop many more to go?

    Can I win my next rent review???....probably not. Does that mean I will go to??

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  • alistair leslie

    We have been here before.
    Retailers can do a lot to survive and grow in this climate -oh( yes we can! )

    First ,you have to change .
    Conditions which applied in a boom cannot logically be relevant in a downturn. The layout and level of service in a demand economy just will not do in a more demanding climate .
    Second -train staff to sell.
    Third -pay your suppliers if you want to protect the supply chain
    Take care of business ,it does not take care of itself.

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