Shoppers and the economy

29 December 2011

If the state of the British economy can be gauged accurately from the shoppers on the streets of London, then what I have seen over the past few days paints a miserable picture. There were shoppers, but many were probably the window-shopping types, rather than frenziedly purchasing things just because they have been reduced by 75%. At least, that was the conclusion I drew from watching people and their shopping bags. There were sprinkle of people carrying multiple paper bags from different retailers, but many more people were carrying just one bag each, or even none.

Britain ceased to be a nation of shoppers, or so it seemed on the unusually warm winter days following Christmas. It’s not the lack of merchandise on sale, or the stinginess of the reductions. Many shops still had many items on sale, and many shops claimed that there were reductions of up to 75%. In good times, the things that no one wants would be reduced by 75%, while the more desirable items would be reduced almost grudgingly. However, the economy is not in a good shape, and from what I have seen, many good products were on offer with a large discount.

Perhaps many people are chasing good deals on the internet, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if more businesses were to go under in the near future. The difficult trading climate has already claimed the likes of Blacks Leisure and La Senza as victims. If the likes of Woolworth, Wedgewood and Whittard’s fell in the first wave, there may be even more in the second wave that is about to hit the high street. I hope I will be proven wrong as being unduly pessimistic.