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Published on September 17th, 2013 | by The GC Team

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UK retailers confident on outlook for growth

A majority of retail sector financial directors expect their business to grow over the next 12 months, according to new findings from the Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking (RBS CIB) and accountancy firm BDO.

80% of financial directors polled at a recent event held by RBS CIB and BDO said they expect growth in the year ahead, with over a third (35%) believing their business will grow “significantly”.

74% of those polled said they expect consumer spending to increase over the next five years, with 50% expecting prime growth to come from overseas sales, followed by online sales (41%). Traditional forms of retail and business transactions scored significantly lower, with just 6% expecting primary growth to come from high street sales and 3% from M&A.  None of the financial directors expect the main growth to come from shopping centres.

In terms of the customer age group from which growth was expected, the more mature 36-50 age bracket was favoured by 45% of financial directors, followed by the 25-35 age bracket (32%) and the under 25s (13%).  Just 10% of respondents believed that future growth would be dependent on the ‘silver pound’.

Don Williams, National Head of Retail and Wholesale Audit Partner at BDO, said: “Retail is often given as one of the primary indicators of the state of the economy, and our research indicates that the sector is in good health.  It is interesting to note that 45% of retail financial directors expect growth to come from the 35-50 age group, rather than the often sought after younger consumer.  We look forward to continuing to support a strong retail sector in the UK.”

The retail sector is the largest employer in Britain, with a total of 4.2 million people in 2011. Last year, it was responsible for 11.3% of the UK’s total economic output, or £152 billion. The sector attracts more than one third of consumer spending so its health is closely linked to the UK economy as a whole.

 

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