THE British Retail Consortium has just announced that we spent 0.4% less in the High Street than we did last February – perhaps pointing to difficult times ahead for certain retailers attempting to attract punters facing job security concerns, pay freezes and VAT hikes.
With more public worker job losses to come, the mood in consumer land is bound to remain gloomy until the economy picks up. Usually in these conditions, the same retailers feel the pinch. We all still have to buy food and drink to survive, but as for furniture, fashionwear and high ticket electrical goods, forget it!
People will try to keep their money in their pockets. Hotels and restaurants often suffer too in these circumstances, whilst takeaways see a bit of a surge.
Its not rocket science this kind of economic forecasting, but unsecured trade suppliers will have to keep a close eye on stress signs amongst their more vulnerable customers in the high street, particularly those located in towns like Morpeth in Northumberland that are likely to be hardest hit by public sector job losses during the year.
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