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Retailers ‘Must Tread Carefully’ Despite Positive Sales Figures

Legal Expert Issues Word Of Warning Following ONS Research


By Rob Dixon

New figures highlighting growing confidence and rising sales across the retail sector have been welcomed by a corporate recovery expert, who has urged companies to stay one step ahead of the game to ensure they are robust enough to deal with any problems in the future.

According to the Office for National Statistics, estimates of retail sales for July 2013 increased by three per cent compared to 12 months earlier, with predominant sources of upward pressure including the food and non-store retailing sectors.

It also found that the estimated weekly spend across all retailing averaged £7 billion across the month analysed, which marked a significant rise from the figure of £6.7 billion recorded in July 2012.

Andrew Walker, a Partner and expert in corporate recovery at Irwin Mitchell, who manages teams in both the Leeds and London offices, said the research was a positive sign but companies must not get carried away and be sensible over the coming months.

He explained: “The figures are of course very welcome news for the retail sector, which has experienced more than its fair share of difficulties over the past few years. It also perhaps reflects how a lot of talk about confidence growing across the economy is now reaching consumers.

“It remains hugely important though for businesses to think very carefully about how they react to this perceived uplift and how they can continue to work to be stable and take advantage of opportunities as they arise in the future.

“Seasonal businesses in particular will need to ensure that they are maintaining sufficient reserves and banking facilities to get them through the winter, as banks are likely to continue to scrutinise very carefully any requests for extended facilities over this period.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Insolvency