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2012 is letting us do what we do best; that is to trade’

It’s official, you heard it here first: 2012 is going to be OK.

It’s official, you heard it here first: 2012 is going to be OK.

It might even be half decent. Before you all go and buy a load more stock, this is a personal view. There are caveats; if the economy does not maintain current predictions of low growth, all bets are off.

So where am I coming from? Well, four months in, 2012 feels like a year that is allowing us to do what fashion retailers do best; that is actually trade. Last year, the headline was the economy, but on top of that pretty much everything else was against us. We couldn’t fight on every front.

An early Mother’s Day and Easter is always good news, driving the transition to summer. The jubilee will provide a feel-good factor, and then there are the Olympics. John Lewis, a sponsor, is already seeing benefits to footfall.

The timings work well for fashion retailers as spring/summer has felt increasingly foreshortened. Whether it’s more tourists in the Southeast, more Britons staying in the UK or Sunday trading laws suspended, there is undoubted opportunity. Even with another warm autumn, at least it’ll be a level playing field.

There’ll be winners and losers, of course, but the innovators, strong brands and technologically advanced have a fighting chance. I’m clutching any piece of wood I can find.

  • Peter Ruis, Buying and brand director at department store chain John Lewis

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