the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 28 April 2005
Where did they all go?

Consumer spending picture darkens

Kingfisher, owner of B&Q DIY stores reported a six percent drop in sales in the first quarter of 2005. They put it down to the election but few people are buying that.

They blame reduced housing market activity on the imminent general election but few serious commentators can see the link and conclude that the effect is far more likely to be the result of consumer concern over debt levels and interest rates.

The largest estate agent chain in the country – Countrywide – reported that housing sales in the same quarter were running 30% down on 2004 figures.

Yesterday’s results from Kingfisher also coincided with news that court orders against mortgage defaulters had increased by 20% in the same quarter and applications to repossess homes has risen to a 10 year high. The rise has to be put into context. In 1991 there were 76,000 repossessions while in 2004 there were just 6,000 but the upward trend is an indication that interest rates are having an effect.

According to Capital Economics - a forecasting firm - consumer spending will rise by 1.5% in 2005 compared to 3.3% last year and real retail sales growth will halve to 2.9% from 5.4% in 2004. They predict that the big losers will be housing related sectors (white goods, furniture etc), car sales and DIY.


In Brighton & Hove the retail climate remains tough and getting tougher. Five restaurant chain Time went into receivership earlier in the week and multiple complaints from restaurateurs of soft trade would indicate that consumer belt tightening has spread to the restaurant sector.

An interesting feature of the retail sector at the moment is that one or two retailers are bucking the trend. In the same week that Kingfisher reported dire results The Body Shop demonstrated sparkling form. The winners are far outnumbered by the losers but it shows that having the right formula is key to survival, as is being responsive to consumer price sensitivity and running an operation that is lean and trim.

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Market movements
Body Shop

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton
19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs 11 December 2017
City Centre Vacancy Rates Drop Slightly From Sept 5 December 2017
Innovate UK Announces Sector Competitions in Manufacturing and Infrastructure Systems 5 December 2017
GDPR, steps to early compliance 1 December 2017
The 29th Sussex Business Awards 2017 Winners Announced 1 December 2017
Old tech gear? Give IT a new lease of life 29 November 2017
Driving for Better Business Campaign launches 29 November 2017
ARKA Funerals sponsor Burning the Clocks 2017 with 'In Memory' lanterns 27 November 2017
Govia Thameslink launches third consultation phase on once-in-a-generation timetable restructure 23 November 2017
Coast to Capital Launches Brighton Mainline Alliance 22 November 2017
Calling all UK companies that have transport, parking and commuting issues to address 15 November 2017
Start-up Challenge Business Competition Offering £10,000 Investment to Young Entrepreneurs