Crunch time for UK retailers
The next few months will be make or break time for some UK retailers, so trade creditors to the sector should be on their guard. By all accounts, many gift-centric retailers are already reporting disappointing pre Christmas sales, but it’s after Christmas when the crunch really comes. Calls on cash from the VATman, trade suppliers and 1st quarter rent charges all come into play before the end of the first quarter. Combine this with an ongoing slowdown in consumer spending because of the credit crunch, and worried banks looking at whether they want to lend any more to retailers in trouble, and you can see why some businesses will undoubtedly go to the wall before Easter.
It’s not all doom and gloom however. It’s good to see John Lewis reporting healthy Christmas sales, in store and via the internet. And from personal experience, I can say Waitrose provided my family with some scrumptious nosh over the Christmas and New Year, which I’m still recovering from!!