Retailers nervous over consumer confidence

09 October, 2007

Rising cost pressures on UK households have got retailers feeling nervous in the run-up to Christmas.

Disposable income for the average UK household has fallen five per cent in the last decade, according to price comparison website

Its report delivers an extra note of caution to drinks retailers and producers during the Christmas period, as consumers deal with rising interest rates, higher energy bills and the recent banking crisis.

“There is nervousness among retailers but not panic,” Richard Dodd, of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), told

He said rising interest rates and bills meant consumers had less to spend in the shops.

Like-for-like retail sales were up three per cent in September, compared to the same time last year, the BRC announced Tuesday. But Dodd warned: “What growth there is, is being driven by substantial discounting. That’s no cause for celebration.”

Mark Hastings, of the British Beer and Pub Association, said pressure on consumers usually filtered down the chain. “Any consumer-facing industry has to be concerned about reductions in consumer confidence.”

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