×
71 647
Fashion Jobs
MACY'S
Manager, Omni Operations
Permanent · Skokie
MACY'S
Director, External Communications – Product And Brand
Permanent · New York
MACY'S
Credit Finance Analyst ii
Permanent · Deerfield Township
MACY'S
Manager, Merchandise Execution
Permanent · Florence
MACY'S
Asset Protection Captain, Clackamas Town Center - Full Time
Permanent · Happy Valley
MACY'S
Multi-Store Detective, Tacoma - Full Time
Permanent · Tacoma
MICHAEL KORS
Part Time Sales Supervisor, Memorial City Mall
Permanent · Houston
MICHAEL KORS
Sales Supervisor, Sugar Land, tx
Permanent · Houston
MICHAEL KORS
Sales Supervisor The Woodlands Mall
Permanent · Houston
JCREW
Junior Account Executive
Permanent · New York
JCREW
Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property & Product Compliance
Permanent · New York
JCREW
Brand Marketing Director, mw Men's
Permanent · New York
JCREW
Product Manager
Permanent · New York
JCREW
Distribution Supervisor
Permanent · Lynchburg
MARSHALLS
Loss Prevention Detective
Permanent · Charlotte
MARSHALLS
Loss Prevention Detective
Permanent · Bloomfield
MARSHALLS
Loss Prevention Detective
Permanent · Charlotte
MARC JACOB'S
Business Analyst, Supply Chain
Permanent · New York
MARC JACOB'S
Director, Business Applications
Permanent · New York
BLOOMINGDALE'S
Asset Protection Outlet Associate, Part Time - Outlets at Orange
Permanent · Orange
BLOOMINGDALE'S
Outlet Keyholder Selling, Full Time - Riverhead
Permanent · Riverhead
MACY'S
Asset Protection Detective, Temecula Promenade - Part Time
Permanent · Temecula
By
Reuters
Published
Sep 13, 2013
Reading time
3 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

UK retailers say talk of economic recovery premature

By
Reuters
Published
Sep 13, 2013

LONDON, England - Some of Britain's biggest retailers on Thursday cast doubt on an imminent consumer recovery, saying they expected spending to remain subdued until wages started to grow ahead of inflation, which could be at least a year away.

Next, Britain's No. 2 clothing retailer, Wm Morrison Supermarkets the nation's No. 4 grocer, and Home Retail, its largest household goods retailer, said early signs of economic recovery, such as an easing in the credit market, were yet to have an impact on consumers' pockets.

"While there is some relief in the economy, I think it would be a mistake to characterize that as a full blown recovery because a recovery will require growth in real earnings not just more borrowing," Next Chief Executive Simon Wolfson, a prominent supporter of Britain's ruling Conservative Party who sits in the upper house of Parliament, told Reuters.

He reckons a return to earnings growth ahead of inflation will take at least a year and warned a loosening of the mortgage market alongside government housing market stimulus measures looked likely to result in an "unhelpful house price bubble", which would be a drag on the economy when interest rates rise.

Next posted an 8.2 percent rise in first-half profit, with a strong performance from its Directory internet and catalogue business offsetting sales falls in traditional stores. It maintained its guidance for full-year total sales growth of 1.5-3.5 percent.

Morrisons reported a 10 percent drop in first-half profits, hit by its late entry into the online and convenience store markets and also cut its capital expenditure plans, as its shifts spend to the new channels.

Though it is budgeting for "no significant change to the challenging economic environment in the near future," it expects an improvement in its sales performance in the second half and forecast a full-year outcome in line with expectations.

On Monday, British finance minister George Osborne said the UK economy had turned the corner and that its growth vindicated the government's austerity program.

WEATHER BOOST

Though official data and surveys have shown an improving outlook for UK consumer spending, which generates about two-thirds of gross domestic product, retailers remain cautious.

J Sainsbury, Britain's No. 3 grocer, and B&Q owner Kingfisher, the No. 1 home improvement group, both said this week it was too early to call a UK recovery, with Sainsbury's describing strong trading across the grocery industry in the summer as "a blip" due to helpfully hot weather.

On Thursday, Home Retail posted weather-assisted second-quarter underlying sales rises of 2.7 percent and 11 percent at its Argos and Homebase businesses respectively, but was still cautious.

"Whilst we continue to expect consumer spending to remain subdued, we approach the important Christmas trading period in good operational shape," said CEO Terry Duddy.

Employee-owned John Lewis, which runs department stores and the upmarket Waitrose grocery chain and has a bias to the more-affluent south east of England, posted a 4 percent rise in first-half profit and said it expected to trade positively in the second half.

Andy Street, managing director of the department stores division, said shoppers were still being careful in how they spend. "They're willing to spend on big purchases .... but what we're definitely not seeing is a return to what I would describe as conspicuous consumption."

Elsewhere, online grocer Ocado, which struck a joint venture deal with Morrisons in May, reported a 16.4 percent rise in third quarter sales in line with expectations, while home furnishings retailer Dunelm, posted a 12.3 percent rise in full-year profit.

At 1030 GMT, shares in Next were up 0.1 percent, Morrisons was up 3.5 percent, Home Retail was up 2.9 percent, Ocado was down 0.1 percent and Dunelm was down 0.5 percent.

© Thomson Reuters 2022 All rights reserved.