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17 Jan 2018

Footfall and sales were in decline

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Christmas period

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News, Creative News, Outdoor News

Christmas retail figures suggest the sector was hit with lower footfall and spending amid growing concern over rising costs and uncertainty about Brexit.

shopping centreFigures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show footfall for UK retailers was down by 3.5% in December, the biggest decline since March 2013, with high streets and shopping centres the hardest hit.

BRC CEO Helen Dickinson says: "Households had to use their money more carefully, researching products online rather than heading out to stores to browse."

Figures from Visa, as part of its UK Consumer Spending Index for December, highlighted the worst year for consumer spending since 2012.

Mark Antipof, chief commercial officer at Visa, commented: "Christmas rounded off a lean year for retailers with consumer spending seeing its first consistent 12 month decline since 2012.

"December's consumer spending figures confirm our earlier prediction that the UK would see its first fall in overall Christmas spending in five years. This result has bucked the trend of the previous four years which saw annual consumer spending rise by an average of 1.7 per cent."

While Visa believes the high street has "suffered" recently, it also noted online spending is holding up.

In a trading statement outlying how his businesses, which include Ryman, Boux Avenue and Robert Dyas, fared over the festive trading period, Theo Paphitis said: "As anticipated and reported, the Christmas trading period, as has been the case for most of this year, was ‘hard work' for many retailers.

"In all my years, I have never seen it so hard and unforgiving where the shopper will punish you if you take your eye off the ball."

Retails including Mothercare, Debenhams and House of Fraser struggled during Christmas, leading to profit warnings and even a move to renegotiate property rental rates.

 

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