Friday, 24 October 2008

Planting trees in the magic forest

The KPMG/SPSL Retail Think Tank (RTT) has unveiled its latest Retail Health Index (RHI) ratings for the quarter and its forecast for the next quarter (the essential Christmas quarter)

In a slightly odd statement they basically said "Its tough. Quarter three was not as bad as feared but quarter four will be much worse"
And then followed up with
the slightly Lord of theRings “It’s important to state that despite the somewhat negative predictions, we are not harbingers of doom. Yes, some smaller, weaker, just plain unlucky or poorly financed retailers will fail in the coming weeks and months... and those that fail will not only ensure radical changes to our high streets, but leave fallow clearings in the retail forests where new ideas, new products and new retail gurus will flourish”.

Lucky us.

The dead wood under financed old style retailers will all die and new well funded slick,modern, professional powerhouses of modernity and consumer choice offering excellent service will take their place. But even the best retailers are having tough times.
At like-for-like levels there is a decline, which has been the case for six of the last seven months. Inflation is behind much of the growth in food, and this is the main driver of overall performance. The non-food sectors continue to suffer, with all apart from footwear showing like-for-like falls and furniture and electrical and luxury foods being the worst hit.

John Lewis has seen a decline in weekly sales by 7.6% This included a decline of 9.6% in electrical and home technology.
DSG International {the old Dixons chain.. and Currys PC world} has seen a 7% fall in like-for-like sales. Rumoured to need to close 200 stores back in January these latest figures aren't great news if quarter four is to be worse.
Sports Direct International group reported that trading conditions continued to be the hardest that they had faced in its history.. And took time out to buy up some 5% of shares in ailing rival JJB Sports. Sports Direct have shares in Blacks Leisure and JD already.

Will this mean some mergers of existing companies? One big sportswear and leisure chain?

JJD Sports International?
John Lebenhams department stores.
M&Ext fashion and homewares
TK Primatalan?
Is this what the retail think tank really means by "new retail gurus will flourish"?


Anonymous said...

I live in a travel-to-work area of getting on for a quarter million people, and not one retailer stocks clothes to fit me. (I'm tall and fat; they keep clothes for the short and fat, but not for me.) So, if I may say so, fuck 'em all.

Bill Quango MP said...

Many Mens retailers actively discriminate against "short and Fat" It doesn't fit in with the Manly image.

Very few stock 36/38/40 in any leg shorter than 32" and mostly just 34"
Ladies retailers tend to like 10/12 sizes but dislike 33" 0r 34" leg.

Thats why the internet is great Dearieme.. niche retailing.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Where "niche" is the majority of people in the country.

Electro-Kevin said...

Brown tells us we are better placed than most to ride out the storm.

What's the truth and can you direct me to a table comparing national debts, please ?

Anonymous said...

Here's a group which I thought were joking initially, but turn out to take their position very seriously. Instead of forming a standard protest group against development, they formed an order of chivalry, the Knights of St Edmund, and laid a curse on the developer, Centros Miller, it's parent company Miller Group, and the retailer, Debenhams.

Bill Quango MP said...


I remember councils refusing planning,for McDonalds for years back in the 80's as they were "shabby" and "not for us". Rather unfairly as the big M would accommodate the councils as best they could, often paying for all new litter bins within a high street, or repaving a 1000 yd stretch of pavement etc.
Now that the only planning that is refused is a skylight or a gazebo putting a curse on a development seems the only solution.

There is supposed to be a curse on the new Bath retail centre and its caught fire twice and gone bust once well...

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