UK: Retailers Boxing Day Sales Disappoint

Inquiring minds are looking across The Pond to our cousins in the UK and seeing the dissapointing sales on Boxing Day. The Retailers fear a very unhappy New Year:

The total number of shoppers fell by 22.8pc nationally on the day after Christmas Day, although stores in London attracted 11.4pc more visitors, Synovate said.

Shopper numbers were down by as much as 27pc in southwest England and by 19.9pc in eastern England.

Britain’s retailers are striving to sell as much as possible over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, since many expect sales to decline next year due in part to a rise in Value Added Tax (VAT) which takes effect on Jan. 4.

Nearly two-thirds of retailers expect sales next year to fall compared with 2010, as weak consumer confidence and inflationary pressures come to bear, according to a survey conducted by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

In a bearish prognosis for the retail sector, just 18pc of businesses expect sales to improve in 2011, compared with 64pc who expect a deterioration.

Sounds eerily like what is happening on the east coast:

Shops have already been hit by the appalling December weather, Synovate reporting yesterday that retail forecasts for the month have undersestimated the drop in customer numbers caused by the snow. The research company had previously estimated a 4pc drop in shoppers, but footfall between December 22 and 24 was down 6.1pc compared with last year.

“Retailers expect a difficult December to be followed by a tough 2011,” said Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC. “They believe the VAT rise will contribute to higher prices and, with fears about government cuts and the wider economy, people will be put off spending.”

2011 is shaping up to be a very dissappointing year in all of Europe. With the bombs going off in Greece, and with it the violence sweeping across Europe reaches an entirely new level.


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