RETAILERS MIGHT HAVE to resort to putting on their winter sales in the week BEFORE Christmas to get spending in shops moving.
Retail Excellence Ireland’s (REI) trading statement for the first two weeks of December notes that this weekend marks the start of “the Christmas rush”, especially as many people will have been paid this week. However, the group also claimed that consumer sentiment was at a low ebb and that the talk of austerity, potential withdrawal from the euro and the Budget itself had all contributed to the caution. In a section marked ‘Holding Your Nerve’, the organisation said:
The majority of retailers are deeply concerned that expected trading volumes have not materialised to date. A number of retailers are considering sale mid next week.
This week also saw Clery’s department store revealing that it had posted a loss of nearly €2m in the 12-month period up to end January 2011 – but that it hoped Christmas would be a busy time for the store compared to last year when it was hit by decreased footfall during the icy weather.
The REI statement has thrown up a few interesting nuggets about how we are spending this Christmas (all quotes taken directly from it):