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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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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