No Olympic boost expected for SMEs

More than three quarters of small retail and distribution companies think the expected increase in visitors to London during the summer will have no effect on their trading.


More than three quarters of small retail and distribution companies think the expected increase in visitors to London during the summer will have no effect on their trading.

More than three quarters of small retail and distribution companies think the expected increase in visitors to London during the summer will have no effect on their trading.

Moreover, 14 per cent of respondents within these sectors suggest events would have an adverse effect on trading, with only nine per cent optimistic that there would be a positive impact on their business, according to a survey by AXA Business Insurance.

Darrell Sansom, managing director of the direct and partnerships division at AXA says, ‘Many analysts and trade authorities have forecast that events in London this summer will provide a much-needed commercial injection into the UK economy.

‘While it’s true that London-based retailers should be optimistic about the opportunity, the impact is likely to be less positive for those businesses not located in the capital.’

Respondents to the survey representing retail and distribution companies maintain a conservative outlook with regard to the growth of their business over the next six months, with just over a third (35 per cent) expressing some sense of optimism and only 7 per cent suggesting they were planning on hiring any new employees this year.

A majority (64 per cent) are also forecasting a lower profit this year, compared with last. Sansom continues, ‘Despite the influx of visitors to the UK and general festivities, there is concern among retailers as to whether this will generate the surge in spending that many analysts predicted early on.

‘The fact that so many of our nation’s high streets are peppered with local, non-London based retailers that are not predicted to see much commercial benefit from events in the capital, puts a slight damper on the whole spirit of them.’

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