The Latest Retailer News:
British retailers feeling the winter cost bite.
Leading retailers Next and John Lewis are among only a small group who are expecting to kick off their new reporting period without being scarred by the bleak period of Christmas trading which had the disastrous effects of job losses and endless discounting. The managing director of John Lewis speculated a couple of days ago that their business had seen a very profitable Christmas shopping period following a chain of sale offers in the weeks prior to the festive season. The chain which is owned by the staff had seen very fierce competition from their main rivals Debenhams which seemed to bounce back and forward like a yoyo in the run up to Christmas Eve.
Some trend analysts had feared that this would have dented the forecasted profits which included many leading rivals such as Marks and Spencer who were also unwillingly forced to compete by offering increased discounts. The Next chain is one of the few who had refused to dramatically cut any of their prices before their annual Boxing Day sales. For many retailers the Christmas period is where they make the bulk of their profits but with the British people having less to spend than previous years due to the fact off rising fuel bills and food costs there have been many retailers who have firing off major profit warnings throughout December. The decrease of consumer spending which has been seen since the beginning of the financial crisis has been seen to be having a profound effect on many of the small chains such as specialist shops who are struggling to pay rent bills and debt repayments due to the lack of funds.
There are many chains such as La Senza who are facing a very harsh crunch as restructuring firms work actively around the clock to provide deals of rescue. Another high street chain that has been handed a make or break Christmas period is the HMV brand and today there are many nervous investors who are waiting in fear for next weeks trading update. There have been however a few companies who seen a dismal end of year such as the Barratts chain who were taken into administration by the Deloitte company who had the unfortunate job of making over fifteen hundred people redundant on the eve of the new year. This unfortunate act was put into action due to the failure to secure a buyer for its interests and also on the same day KPMG were forced to close the doors on over eighty of the hundred and forty six La Senza shops although the positive sign is that no redundancies have been seen as of yet.
Company Watch who have the job of ranking firms current financial positions out of a percentage mark have given a less than enthusiastic assessment of many of the best known high street retailers ahead of next weeks flurry of updates in trading. In essence many of the high street retailers have experienced their worst trading periods for over a decade and with an increase in consumer spending not even on the horizon twenty twelve could see the downfall of many of the United Kingdoms leading high street stores.