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News - 18 October 2008

Supermarkets still riding high

As we enter recession supermarkets seem to be holding their heads above the parapet as all other retail sectors take a dive.

Supermarkets stood out against the ranks of high street retailers as the clear winners in the most recent survey conducted by the Confederation of British Industry. Most other businesses endured yet another month of declining sales.

Many supermarkets have reported sales growth, particularly in low cost ranges. However elsewhere, tightening household budgets and the faltering economy led every other sector mentioned in the survey, which covers 40% of all retailers, to report a fall in sales during the last three weeks compared to last year.

The CBI found that those linked to the housing market fared particularly badly, with sales of domestic appliances and furniture falling.

The volume of sales at furniture and carpet businesses slumped 62% compared with last year, while those selling durable household goods declined by 84%.

Not surprisingly, builders' merchants recorded a drop in sales (falling 77%). Motor traders are also highlighted as one of the main victims of the downturn, with sales of both vehicles and parts and accessories declining for the fourth month in a row.

However, there may be a ray of hope rather than a sting in the tail of the CBI survey. The relatively positive comment made on this current financial crisis by John Cridland, the CBI’s deputy director general in predicting that this would be...”a short and mild recession,” gives something to feel upbeat about.

Read related items on:
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Cridland, John

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