Early Data Highlights Retailer Woes

Wednesday, 2nd January 2019

Preliminary data is not promising. Retail consultancy Springboard reports that footfall in the week leading up to Saturday fell by approximately three percent compared to the same period last year, which is in line with the declines that were seen throughout the Christmas period. Boxing day shopper footfall fell by 3.1 percent year-on-year.

John Lewis is the next major retailer set to report its performance, and clothing retailer Next is also due to report this week. British retailers have struggled throughout 2018, with store closures being a major part of the headlines. The high street is contending with a lot of challenges, as shoppers are moving more of their spends online, and spending in general has fallen. Put simply, people are spending less overall, so it is hard for retailers to plug the gap.

The news has not been positive for retailers on the stock market. Investors are fearful that HMV will prove to be just the first of many retailers to head into administration. There is some confidence, however. Next is expected to still have strong profits, as it has so far resisted the discounting issues that have eaten into the profit margins of many of its rivals.

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