Consumer confidence remains low

Sarah Davidson

December 21, 2011

The figures represent a gloomy trend for high street consumers said Nationwide.

But while the high street has been suffering, the UK online retail market grew at a rate of 14% year-on-year with Britons spending an estimated £7.5bn shopping on the internet per annum.

Kevin Flood, chief executive officer of Shopow, said: “The figures indicate that consumer confidence continues to have a significant impact at the tills and the news of rocketing inflation won’t do much to give shoppers the confidence to recommence their spending.

“One positive however is that many British consumers feel that now is the time to make a big ticket purchase, a notion which will receive the warmest of welcomes on the high street.”

Flood said the pressure was on retailers in the approach to Christmas as many were finding that more aggressive discounting was necessary to prevent what could be a difficult season.

He added: “With purse strings tightened, shoppers are using alternative means of shopping and are sharing the deals and discounts they have discovered.

“The retailers who make social shopping accessible will benefit from natural, word of mouth exposure.”

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