Blog: 2010 outlook as chilly as the weather
Leonie Barrie | 13 January 2010
More robust Christmas trading figures out today from Matalan and N Brown seem to support yesterday’s statement from the British Retail Consortium that December’s sales were “stronger than we dared hope for.”
In fact, wintry weather provided such a boost to UK clothing and footwear sales last month that they helped lift total sales to a five-year December high.
So why is it that the outlook for the sector in 2010 seems so bleak – perhaps even as challenging as 2009?
A look behind the headlines shows the results were undeniably flattered by strong comparisons with last December's dire results, when sales fell 3.3% as the economic downturn reached fever pitch.
But fear seems to have played a major role too, with shoppers undoubtedly worried about what the year ahead might hold. Many will have boosted December’s numbers by bringing forward planned purchases ahead of the VAT rise on 1 January.
And even without a crystal ball it’s possible to predict with some certainty that the spectre of higher taxes in the year ahead is set to pressure consumer spending even further. No matter which party takes office in the upcoming General Election, the bill for the banking crisis in the UK is sure to lead to tax hikes.
There also remains the prospect of rising fuel prices later in the year, a likely freeze on public sector pay, uncertainties on job prospects and a continued tight credit market – making for an environment where consumers will hardly be awash with cash.
All of which combines to mean “a healthy December may be only a temporary respite on the painful road to recovery.”
Some of just-style’s more eagle-eyed readers might have noticed a small change to the menu bar on the homepage: the addition of the word re:source. Yes it might be a small change – but it marks the co...
Over the past week just-style has continued to try to unravel the potential ramifications of Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States....
One event dominated the international airwaves last week, and on just-style too we took a closer look at the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States....
As the Brexit roller-coaster continues to twist and turn, and the US presidential election campaign nears its unpredictable and possibly protectionist end, there's no doubt these events – and the perc...
- Steps to piloting living wage in garment factories
- How to ensure sustainability is more than a slogan
- US apparel retailers' November 2016 sales roundup
- Why do modern robotics elude sportswear makers?
- Planning is key to an effective inventory strategy
- Esquel efficiency drive continues to boost brands
- US Q3 in brief – Tailored Brands, Genesco
- Taiwan textile maker investing in first US plant
- Myanmar garment industry "lacking labour rights"
- Outdoor apparel sector set for double-digit growth