Slow Start To 2005
UK shoppers have made a painfully slow start to 2005, according to the Retail Traffic Index compiled by SPSL. The January index was down 5.2 per cent year-on-year and down by 24 per cent against December. The three-month year-on-year trend continues the decline which began in October and which went into the negative in December.
Dr Tim Denison, director of knowledge management at SPSL, said: “As we had predicted, after the frenzied rush to the sales after Christmas, shoppers ran out of momentum after the first week of the new year.
“Although Government officials may be pleased that interest rate hikes seem to have stemmed the ever rising consumer debt, the figures will be worrisome to retailers, raising renewed concerns about consumer confidence. The 5.2 per cent year-on-year fall in national footfall levels is the greatest drop since March 2003 when the Iraqi War started. “Though this drop in shopper numbers is unwelcome for many, we shouldn’t automatically assume, however, that last month’s results signify that shoppers are tired of sustaining the retail economy.
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