UK High-Street Retailers Offer Downbeat 2013 View

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UK high-street retailers are becoming extremely downbeat on their future growth prospects and currently 43% of retailers project that this year will not bring much joy to them against 36% a year earlier.

In a report prepared by Baker Tilly, commissioned by YouGov on behalf of the business adviser. According to 60% of the 800 business managers polled in the UK, the chief concern for the coming year is the possible slump in consumer demand. For 50% of businesses, a reduction in costs will be the policy they will follow this year in order to stay afloat, while 38% stated that they would look to trim their indebtedness.

The “Your Outlook for 2013 – a business survey” paints a mixed picture as to the outlook for 2013. This is because 40% of high-street retailers claimed that they anticipate higher sales this year, however 36% are concerned they will most likely fail to see an improvement in their bottom line.

Overall, business confidence among retailers remains gloomy, but still there are sector players who project that the negative developments in the economy could open up fresh growth opportunities. More than two thirds of retailers see the collapse of competitors as a development they could take advantage of, while 40% of the businesses may consider a shift to e-commerce in view of its indisputable growth potential.

The weak business confidence on the high street can’t be a surprise to anyone given the number of retailers that fell under administration in recent weeks such as Jessops and HMV, Baker Tilly’s head of retail, Rupert Eastell, commented. With more failures expected this year, the winners will be those who manage to accommodate quickly to the changing environment, Eastell said.