John Lewis set for a ‘testing’ year ahead
Business digest: Homeware sales drop amid fears of tightened consumer spending
John Lewis has reported that its weekly sales have fallen again by 0.9 per cent, the second consecutive drop since the week to 22 January. Retail analysts blame the fall in consumer confidence and the deterioration of disposable income for the dip in the department store's sales.
"Consumers will be very cautious in their spending in 2011 in the face of serious headwinds," said Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Global Insight.
"Higher inflation fuelled by January's VAT hike and muted earnings growth is increasingly squeezing purchasing power. Meanwhile, unemployment is high and likely to rise further,"
John Lewis is not the only homeware retailer to have experienced a slow start to 2011. Carpetright has admitted that its January sales did not meet expectations, despite earlier predictions that heavy snowfalls would drive up public demand for warm flooring.
Read a full report at the Guardian
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