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BRC calls for High Street rescue plan

After a troubled month for High Street retailers in June the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called for urgent action to protect UK retailers.

Figures released on Friday by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Local Data Company reveal that lack of consumer confidence and reduced disposable incomes are making it very difficult for many High street retailers to stay in business. The report shows that the rate of closure of High street shops has increased greatly in many regions throughout the UK. Non-food retailers are particularly affected.

British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson said: "High streets are at the heart of local communities and economies, providing jobs and essential services, but some are in trouble. These figures are further evidence of the tough trading conditions being experienced by non-food retailers in particular. With household disposable income falling, consumers are very reluctant to spend on non-essentials.

The report follows the closure of Habitat, TJ Hughes, clothing retailer, Jane Norman and the announcement that Thornton’s is looking to shut many of its branches.

Like-for-like non-food retail sales fell by two per cent in the three months between March and May 2011 compared with the same period in 2010, according to the latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor. The next BRC sales monitor report will be released on Tuesday July 12th.

The week ahead sees a raft of important financial announcements from clothing retailers and these will be eagerly anticipated to assess whether the weakness of high street sales is continuing.

Companies such as Burberry, Primark (owned by Associated British Foods) and Marks & Spencer are all providing updated results.

Source : My

10 July 2011
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