Lack of sunshine puts squeeze on Midlands retailers, says PwCFollow @PwC_Midlands
PwC has again carried out a survey of 100 retailers on UK high streets, as undertaken in summer 2009, 2010 and 2011. The research gauges how keen retailers are to attract footfall to boost sales during the summer months.
According to research by PwC, almost three-quarters (73%) of stores on the high street were on sale or advertising promotions in their shop window, such as 3 for 2. This is up a third on 2009’s figure of 40%, while similar to the same time last year – 70%.
The average price discounts being advertised were 47%, up slightly from 45% in 2011 and 2010.
Andy Lyon, partner and retail sector expert at PwC in the Midlands, said:
"UK consumers are good at celebrating …..Jubilees, football prowess or potential Olympic glory….but they are proving less willing to part with their cash except when the sun comes out or goods go on sale.
"Interestingly, the food retail sector is having a harder time currently than apparel or home retailers. The food retail sector is down almost 20% against the All Share index this year to date, in contrast with the general retail sector, which has outperformed the market by almost 13%.
"Clothing purchases are weather related and canny consumers also know mid-June means worried retailers who need to clear stock to leave room for new lines.
"More troublesome are the food retail trends, with price competition failing to abate amongst the major supermarket groups, fuelling the continued love affair with value and discounted growth. Wet holiday weather has also increased the tendency to eat out rather than have domestic BBQs with pubs and fast food chains reporting brisk sales.
"Retailers will therefore be wary since H1 sales have been lacklustre for many. With even online sales slowing, there is hope that that the Olympics and some late summer sun will boost Q3.
"Meanwhile we suspect consumers will continue to remain cautious as they ponder the largely unknown impact of the continued and deepening euro crisis on the UK."