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Retailers more confident Christmas prospects, BRC
14
Dec '09
Retailers are overwhelming convinced that this Christmas will be no worse than last year.

42 per cent of retailers responding to the British Retail Consortium's (BRC's) Christmas Trading Snapshot Survey, published, said this Christmas will be better than last year's. The other 58 per cent said sales would be the same as 2008 while none of the respondents thought sales will be worse.

Almost half of retailers expect greater discounting in the run-up to this Christmas; only a quarter expect less. 53 per cent thought December's sales will be boosted by customers bringing their purchases forward to beat January's VAT increase. But nearly half of retailers said sales in the New Year will be harmed by the increase in the VAT rate to 17.5 per cent, which the Chancellor has confirmed for 1 January.

Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: "There's some good news here but we're not out of trouble yet.

"I'm reassured that retailers are more confident about their prospects this Christmas but remember the comparison is with dramatic sales falls last year. There are more customers willing and able to spend now but, for many retailers, it's taking even more discounts to persuade them to buy.

"The impact of the VAT increase is a concern for half the respondents but other clouds are gathering. Customers are cautious. Jobs are a big worry and neither will be helped by the tax-battering promised by the Chancellor."

British Retail Consortium

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