When the recession began, retailers feared the worst and the high street suffered exponentially. However, according to a recent report conducted by the Federation of Small Business retail sales have increased by 14% in the last two months and a set to improve even more in December.
This will come as a relief for most retailers, especially as, for many, Christmas revenue sustains their companies throughout the year. The report, asked over 500 retailers if they felt 2010 would be more positive than 2009? A resounding 85% felt it would, though many stated that they felt it would be some time before their business returned to pre-recessionary levels.
We asked Victoria Gall, founder and CEO of jewelers JWT Diamonds, what she felt the New Year would bring for her company: “The recession hit most high street retailers very hard and when giants such as Marks and Spencer and Debenhams announced record losses, we all waited with baited breath to see if Christmas revenue would offer some hope. And from our experience, it looks set to do so; business has been on the up since the beginning of November and we are expecting this trend to continue throughout the festive period.”
“For us, the high street has been very challenging in 2009; indeed it has been our online sales which have kept us a float. I think that it this that just goes to show, that in retail, you cannot afford to stand still – even if you have been an established company for sometime. It is important that you react to market trends and changes in consumer behaviour quickly, especially in the current economic context.”