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Andy Bond says UK retail recession still to come

Andy Bond, the former chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)’s Asda chain, added to the woes of the British retail sector by forecasting the “retail recession” is still ahead.

This year “and 2012 will be very tough,” Bond said at the Retail London conference today. “We’re going to see an extended period of constrained consumption.”

Bond, who spent 16 years at the U.K.’s second-largest supermarket chain and was CEO for five, expects a “long, long- term trend of trading down,” and an attitude amongst consumers of “more is less.” Bond, who was replaced by Andy Clarke a year ago, said the retail market hasn’t yet been in recession.

U.K. retailers including Dixons Retail Plc have said full- year earnings will miss analysts’ estimates amid declining consumer confidence. Marks & Spencer Group Plc is forecast to report a 6 percent drop in sales of general merchandise when it publishes fourth-quarter sales tomorrow.

Source : Sarah Shannon - Bloomberg

05 April 2011
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