Not a merry Christmas for retailers

Christmas trading has been disappointing for the majority of SMEs, according to a poll from SmallBusiness.co.uk.


Christmas trading has been disappointing for the majority of SMEs, according to a poll from SmallBusiness.co.uk.

Christmas trading has been disappointing for the majority of SMEs, according to a poll from SmallBusiness.co.uk.

Some 69 per cent of SMEs say sales over the festive period have been the same or worse compared to last year.

This follows a drop in retail sales by 0.3 per cent between October and November, according to the Office for National Statistics.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, says: ‘The unexpected fall in November retail sales highlights the obstacles facing Britain’s economic recovery.
Although it is likely that the economy will register small growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, any recovery will be difficult to sustain if access to finance is not improved, and the regulatory burden on business is not eased.’
However, online sales were up 11 per cent last month compared to the same time last year, according to e-commerce body IMRG.

Of the 146 respondents surveyed in the SmallBusiness.co.uk poll, 16 per cent say they saw a big improvement, while 15 per cent believe trading has been slightly better than Christmas last year.

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