The news coming out of the Office of National Statistics, our beloved ONS, concerning retail sales for the month of October was not encouraging. Supposedly, the UK economy was on a rebound once again and retail sales are always a good barometer of how consumers gauge the situation. In many ways, they speak with their wallets. Over the last several years, their wallets have been fairly muted, so to speak. Lack of growth, or in this case an actual decline in retail sales does not bode well for the UK economy, even though retail sales represent only about 5% of the gross domestic product. But in some ways, it does act as a barometer, giving economists and politicians an indication of better days are ahead, as evidenced by consumer spending. But in October, consumer spending hit a slight bump in the road.
No Need to Panic
The results for October were really nothing to lose a tremendous amount of sleep over, unless the trend continues. The drop was only 0.7%, less than a full percentage point. Many pundits pointed to the fact that warmer than expected weather kept many buyers from doing what they usually do at this time of year, which is buy winter clothing. It may only take a few weeks of cold winter air to quickly change their minds. If we want to look for a silver lining in this small cloud, the ONS also reported that sales for this October were actually 1.8% higher than the same month last year. So, we can honestly say that the UK economy is slowly moving in the right direction.
Do You Hear Christmas Bells?
Arguably, the biggest test for the retail sector of the UK economy will come in the next few weeks, as the Christmas shopping season gets into full swing. Based on trends from the last several months, retailers are expecting to have a better season than they have had in several years. While inflation has been kept in check, hovering just over 2.2%, wages have not kept up, which means that most average households have less income to spend this season. Retailers are hoping that consumers will get swept up by the spirit of the holiday season and spend their money regardless.
Getting the Word out
In an effort to attract customers, almost all retailers will spend heavily on advertising, as will all companies looking to sell either goods or services. The most tried-and-true method is by printing flyers and posters that will attract the attention of people passing by. However, especially with the holiday season approaching, it is important to be able to work with a professional printer who not only provides an excellent service at a reasonable price, but who can be trusted to deliver the printed material when promised. There is nothing worse than expecting to launch a marketing campaign and not have any material to launch it with. But you can rest easy: all you have to do is visit here and you will discover a company that will provide you with everything you need, exactly as you ordered and produced on time and on budget.