KPMG/SPSL Retail Think Tank predicts tough times in 2008

Non-food retailers in for rough ride

Non-food retailers are in for a rough year thanks to falling disposable incomes, lower consumer spending because of job security fears and a fall in the strength of the pound against the dollar, according to the latest meeting of the KPMG/SPSL Retail Think Tank.

It expects demand, or lack of, to have the largest impact on retailers during the first quarter, with like-for-like sales during the period anticipated to be negative.

The group believes that later on this year, increasing fears about job security and falling levels of disposable income, coupled with consumers tightening their budgets will result in like-for-like sales falling further.

The report also expects a fall in the strength of the pound against the dollar, as well as the potential reverse of the situation, to cause shrinking margins.

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