As the threat of recession mounts more consumers are seeking out factory outlets and charity shops for their retail fix. Top end retailers also continue to do well as credit was never an issue for the majority of their customers. It is the middle range stores that are losing out.
One success story from the low end market is The Original Factory Shop, which saw pre-tax profits rise by 16.4% to £7.6 million for the year ending March 31.
According to The Daily Telegraph The Original Factory Shop saw sales climb 17.4% to £82.1m for the year. Like-for-like sales rose by 4% over the period. This performance has continued into the new financial year, with like-for-like sales over the last four months up by 3.2% and total sales up 17%.
Similarly charity shops such as Oxfam and the The Salvation Army stores have benefited from significant hikes in sales. Top charity chains, like the Salvation Army have seen profits rise by as much as 64%. While Oxfam at the top of the league made a profit of £21million.
For mid-range shops the challenge couldn't be greater. They need to buy efficiently and effectively yet still excite the consumer to spend money they can't really afford. They are walking a tight rope between playing safe and risking everything.
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Original Factory Shop