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Christmas Sales Commentary


Posted At: 24 January 2012 14:56 PM
Related Categories: Christmas, E-tailing, Retailers


Like for like Christmas sales

The retail story of 2011/12 Christmas is less about sales and more about survival. Sales generally were better than in snow-struck ’10/11 but the number of retailers going into administration has been the highest since the ‘08/09 crisis. Few of the failures have been a surprise and sadly there is still a queue of struggling retailers.

The hard work and ingenuity of retailers maintained sales over Christmas but at the cost, at least in some cases, of squeezed margins. Financing the investment in the new technology that is driving market development and growth is challenging for all retailers, but especially for those struggling to service their existing debt. The threat of pure on-line to physical retailing is turning out to be less than envisaged a few years ago. On the other hand, the importance of all retailers having an effective on-line offering becomes ever more apparent.

Meanwhile, the knock-on effect on retail locations is still unclear. Retailing will continue to thrive beyond the 30 to 50 UK locations of interest to global retailers but its format and nature are not yet clear. That ultimately will be driven by the nature and scale of local demand. The challenge for asset managers is to be able to identify which of their occupiers is at risk, either corporately or because the rent to turnover ratio is unsustainable. Knowledge is indeed power and using that power effectively will mark out the best managers.

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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