As 2012 draws to a close, Drapers calls on the indie community to give its verdict on the year that was.
This year has been a real game of two halves.
My overriding memory of 2012 – and no doubt many people’s, particularly those who live in London – will be of the Olympics. I hold my hand up as having been a Grinch about the whole thing at first – I moaned that it would mean an influx of tourists in waterproof ponchos taking up Tube space and walking slowly but being spread across the entire pavement.
Inevitably, during the course of the Opening Ceremony, I performed a reverse ferret worthy of the Treasury by succumbing to the childlike excitement that had been infecting my usually cynical group of friends.
The Jubilee was another major part of 2012, and one where not only did the whole country stop being embarrassed of the Duke of Edinburgh and start thinking of him as a national treasure, royalty-themed clothing became The Big Thing.
The year was characterised by other big sporting and cultural events of course, but while they did much to boost the national mood, they did little to improve retailer’s cash flows.
After months of warning about only making “essential” journeys, the West End resembled a ghost town for most of August. This was reflected in the stats collated by the British Retail Consortium. Sadly, the fillip we had all been hoping would come from the Olympics was not to be.
Financial data has steadily got worse, with slumping GDP and vacancy rates increasing. The weather was less than inspiring, and by the start of October people were looking forward to autumn/winter, if only to have an actual season.
Sales are starting to pick up now, but retailers have a long way to go if they are to end the year up.
In order to get a better sense of what this year of contradictions meant for our readers, Drapers has created a short survey, which you can get to here.
We are planning to collate the answers before the end of the year- so please fill out the questionnaire, and watch out for our results.