Retail slump slightly less slumpy

Yesterday: a smattering of wretched shoppers lurch about Oxford Street looking for the Pound Shop.

CBI’s monthly survey of retailers have shown sales back in decline this month, with a net 17% of high street outlets reporting a fall in sales. After reaching a 9-year low back in March, there was a brief stint of increased spending in April (net 3% of outlets reporting rising sales) but now it would seem we’ve reverted to keeping our money in broken banks and under our beds.

Stephen Robertson, director-general of the British Retail Consortium, said: "A slight air of pre-spring optimism tempted customers to buy new-season clothing and women's footwear.”

But it seems the fashion victims and, well, women have decided that sort of frivolity is over for now. The silver lining however is that this month’s loss of sales is nowhere near as high as the figures towards the start of the year. Ian McCafferty, the CBI's chief economist, said: "Retailers are less pessimistic about their general business situation, and the decline in demand now appears to be slowing compared with the turn of the year.”

The general mode of thinking is we’re turning the corner now and things are a bit less glum. So go enjoy the sunshine, and buy some women’s footwear. We know you want to.

[The Guardian]

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