This year there’s more concern than ever before about the growth of the retail sector during the holiday season. It’s always expected to outperform most months of the year (if not all of them), and this year is no exception! Although, there’s a significant amount of doubt in the recent press regarding what kind of a positive effect that spending is going to have this year.
There are still some positives though, even in the notoriously gloomy projections, and those operating small enterprises may still be able to get a piece of the action. The overall growth forecast for Q4 is fairly positive, even if the holiday period itself isn’t likely to be as big a cash cow as it has been in the last few years.
The problem last year was that promising growth over Christmas — thanks largely to Christmas shopping, especially on the internet — was hailed in the newspapers as the end of the recession. Unfortunately the UK dipped back into recession only a few months later, and as such the media is reluctant to comment too favorably on what are essentially encouraging economic traits.
A spokesperson for one of the UK’s leading energy comparison experts commented: “Competitive pricing is clearly a key concern for all retailers,” but small and medium enterprises in the sector, who may not have strong buying power, often have a much trickier time keeping prices down. Independent retailers can take more control over their prices if they can keep their costs to a minimum, so we urge them to factor in their indirect costs when setting their prices and to take measures to minimize the price they pay for those indirect costs.
Make It Cheaper has helped over 5,600 independent retailers reduce their overheads and our sponsorship of the “Celebrate an Independent Christmas” campaign demonstrates our commitment to businesses in this sector. We believe many retailers can learn from cash-strapped customers and constantly look for ways to control their own spending.
The spokesperson added: “For example, A&S Mini Market in the residential Leagrave area of Luton has used Make It Cheaper since 2010 to keep a lid on its energy costs. Owner Yasmin Akhtar is currently in a three year fixed-price electricity deal with E.ON paying 9.8 pence a unit/day rates and 5.6 pence per unit for its night rates — about 50% less than the UK average for a small business. Serving cold food and meat via a butchers counter, as well as running eight fridge-freezer units and a cold room, A&S burns through 27,000 units of electricity a year, costing approximately £2,400. Without Make It Cheaper’s guidance, Yasmin would be paying at least £1,000 a year more. To reduce its bills even further, A&S has just installed solar panels that will generate electricity it can sell at a “Feed in Tariff” of 22p a unit, more than double it is having to pay for electricity.
Picture by FreeDigitalPhotos.
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