Last week’s cut in value added tax failed to drive sales, prompting one
retailer who was asked what difference the VAT rate cut from 17.5% to 15% had
made to answer ‘none’.
‘Two weeks ago when we had massive discounting going on, we had a big peak,’
Anita Sharma Manan, an analyst of Experian FootFall, told the Financial
Times. However, a second one-day sale by Marks and Spencer on Thursday
failed to attract as many shoppers into stores.
Last Thursday’s footfall estimates, measuring the number of shoppers, showed
a 0.4% drop on last year – a smaller decline than Monday and Wednesday, but the
first four days of the week were still down 2.4% on average.
However, John Lewis noted a rise in big-ticket purchases. Simon Wolfson, Next
chief executive, is one of a few retailers who have spoken publicly against the
reduction, while several retailers have complained privately about a large
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