End of the bargains? – Not according to PWC

UK retailers are likely to continue discounting right through to the first half of 2010, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers [PwC].

The PwC survey of 100 high street retailers revealed that 90% were currently on sale and that discount levels were above 60% – similar to those in the run up to Christmas last year and January Sales.

The survey said there was also an element of “de-stocking”, with retailers trying to shift some out-of-season stock in order to get cash into the tills and people in their stores.

Discounting was spread across all sectors of retail with luxury brands, mid-market and value players all promoting Sales, both in their shop windows and on their websites.

A spokesman for PwC said: “Following the peak level of discounting in the January Sales many stores have continued to promote discounts throughout 2009, to the extent that some corners of the UK high street seem to be on constant Sale.”

“Discounting will be an ongoing trend for UK retailers for the rest of 2009 and through the first half of 2010. This is good news for consumers, but less positive for retailers, whose margins have been and will continue to be under constant pressure.”

This seems to contradict my last post which just goes to show that we’re in ‘uncharted’ territory and nobody has any idea how deep or long this downturn will be.

Tony Heywood – Gilcrest Services Ltd
Retail Troubleshooter
Business Turnaround and Recovery
07905 848 111

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