The High Street’s Christmas Challenge: try to survive

It’s looking like a difficult Christmas for retailers – according to economists from IHS Global Insight, who predict that high street sales will struggle.

bear and hare

The barometer for this, is of course, John Lewis, who are the queen bee of the high street. They reported a 1.8% rise in sales last week, but not all is as it seems. Week on week sales dropped by 1.7%, and retail analysts are not exactly confident about John Lewis’ predictions – take away online sales, and the figures have dropped by 5%. And if JL ain’t doing well, you can bet nobody else will be.

So what does this mean for us? Well, more DISCOUNTS. Because stores that aren’t languishing in the same feted position as John Lewis will obviously need to catch up by grabbing customers any way they can. Howard Archer, from IHS said:

‘John Lewis reported reasonable but unspectacular sales figures, which maintains uncertainty as to just how good a Christmas this will be for retailers. Consequently, a number of retailers may feel under increasing pressure to engage in discounting and promotions over the coming days.’

So we might get some pre-Christmas bargains, but it won’t be plain sailing for the high street.

I blame the bloody bear and the hare.


  • Joulupukki
    What I particularly hate about John Lewis is when they email me to say "Today we are matching a competitor's promotion". What they fail to add is: "Tomorrow we'll go back to charging too much". They deserve to suffer.
  • Inspector G.
    This news story comes up every Christmas. Here's a crazy idea...maybe people don't want to spend as much money as the shops are expecting.
  • Serenepd
    1) Why do the shops expect us to be paying more every year when salaries are lowering and less are now employed? 2) Don't you know that JL is doing us a FAVOUR by matching a competitors promotion, as clearly they are so high and mighty!

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