Gloomy forecast for retail industryFriday, 21 September 2012
There are signs of a downturn in the retail industry as problems in Europe begin
to affect growth in the region and beyond. This was the message from Tesco PLC's CEO Philip Clarke, speaking at the World Retail Congress in London this week.
"We are in the first downturn of the digital age," Clarke said and pointed out that China, South Korea Thailand were also experiencing softening sales. Retailers the world over are starting to feel the effects as consumers tighten their purse strings and purchase essentials only. According to Clarke, and many other top retail executives attending the event, development in technology and the use of smartphones is the answer to engaging with customers.
Meanwhile, Arcadia Group boss Philip Green, spoke out about the need for retailers to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and 'go to work'. "You've got to be newer, quicker, fresher than you've ever had to be," he said while addressing the concerns about the recent downturn. Green maintained that the UK market has stabilized, not worsened, and has already hit rock bottom and that it is now time 'to rebuild it'.