Figures from the British Retail Consortium show that like for like sales increased one per cent year-on-year in December 2016, thanks to strong performance on the week before Christmas. The figures are in direct contrast with the previously disappointing results revealed in the December edition of the High Street Sales Tracker which showed a fourth negative December in a row for the industry.
Retailers are however bracing themselves for possible slowdown in consumer spending in 2017 which could severely impact their businesses. A study by Barclaycard has shown that consumer spending softened in December despite growth in the fourth quarter hitting a four-year high. According to the report, this suggests "faltering confidence in the UK economy is starting to affect consumers’ propensity to spend."
The report also shows that two-thirds of consumers expect prices to continue to rise in 2017, with just 36 per cent expressing confidence in the UK economy, down from 48 per cent at the end of the third quarter.
With 'caution' being the watchword for 2017, retail businesses must focus on winning customer loyalty, increasing productivity, strengthening their market position and maintaining a healthy cashflow.
Our retail business experts at Beavis Morgan work with a number of retail businesses, helping them with strategic planning, system implementation, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future.
We are available to structure your business with cashflow and profit forecasting to measure performance and maximise opportunities.