Blog: Leonie BarrieMay retail sales offer short-term respite

Leonie Barrie | 11 June 2012

Warmer weather at the end of May boosted sales of clothing and footwear at UK retailers during the month, according to new figures released last week. But commentators also warn the spending spree is only likely to offer short-term relief and will not overcome underlying difficulties such as declining consumer confidence and squeezed incomes.

The data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showed UK retail sales values were up 1.3% on a like-for-like basis from May 2011. While women's wear had its best growth this year, wet weather in the previous month is likely to have created pent-up demand and is unlikely to mark a resurgence in consumer spending.

Separate research also showed price cutting on clothing and footwear in May contributed to deflation in non-food goods for the fourth month in a row.

The kick-off of the Euro 2012 European football championship tournament last week was accompanied by a warning from Europe's consumer watchdog that some team shirts contain harmful and toxic substances, including lead. The findings by BEUC, the umbrella group that represents national consumer organisations from 31 European countries, noted the Poland strip is so contaminated it should be "banned outright".

Another report suggests international cotton prices are likely to stay low for another year following forecasts for a second consecutive season of higher global stocks. The International Cotton Advisory Council (ICAC) says that by the end of July 2013, global cotton stocks are likely to represent 61% of consumption - making this the highest stocks-to-use ratio (a measure of supply) reached since 1998/99.

The clothing industry in Burma (Myanmar) also looks set to grow as the country once shunned by the West starts to reform. But there is still a long way to go if it is to become the new Asian outsourcer of choice.


BLOG

Higher worker wages – who pays?

There continues to be a disconnect between buying departments and compliance teams when it comes to costing labour in price negotiations. So who should pay for a minimum wage increase?...

BLOG

Trump tariff dispute rumbles on

The US has escalated its trade threats to China after President Donald Trump said he is considering tariffs on an additional $200bn of Chinese goods if China "refuses to change its practices."...

BLOG

Trump spares textile machinery in tariff spat

Hundreds of US imports from China will be hit with an additional 25% tariff from next month – but to the relief of the US textile, apparel and footwear industry, most of the equipment used in the dome...

BLOG

Esquel's eco-friendly manufacturing complex

Hong Kong-based Esquel Group, the world's largest woven shirt maker, has been bedding-in operations at a ground-breaking new $313.3m eco-friendly manufacturing complex in southern China....

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?