Debenhams chief executive Rob Templeman and New Look boss Carl McPhail have said that the UK is not facing a double dip recession.
Speaking on the opening day of the Retail Week Conference, Drapers sister title’s annual event, Templeman and McPhail said that the UK economy would skirt another serious contraction in the economy, but that trading would be tough for retailers this year.
Templeman said that trading conditions would require retailers to manage their businesses differently. For clothing retailers in particular, there would be a need to manage inflation and margins.
McPhail added that he expected 2011 to be challenging, with continued economic uncertainty driving consumer behaviour. He said that the poor footfall seen since Christmas 2010 is indicative of this.
However, both gave reasons for hope, with international, multichannel and product innovation hotspots in the industry.