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UK retailers expect Olympics sales lift

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One fifth of senior UK retailers expect at least a ten per cent sales uplift in 2012 as a direct consequence of the London Olympics, according to a new report.

A survey of 124 leading retailers conducted by market research company Nielsen found that 57 per cent of them thought there would be some sort of deterioration in their business this year however.

The results were unveiled at the Retail London Conference yesterday and highlight how the difficult consumer environment is forcing British retail firms to look more than a year into the future for good news regarding the domestic market.

Overseas opportunities seem much more abundant however, as 32 per cent of respondents expect their business to expand into non-BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) emerging markets in 2011, with 20 per cent saying Turkey has the best opportunities.

Doulla Croft, London 2012 Business Development Director from Nielsen, said: “Our research results announced at today’s unique Retail London event paint a positive picture for growth for UK retailers.

Real and growing opportunities have been identified in the emerging markets, with Indonesia in particular singled out by retail players planning extensive global expansion.

Of other non-BRIC emerging markets which retailers are considering, 13 per cent are looking at expansion in South Africa, ten per cent are focusing on Vietnam, whilst eight per cent are targeting Indonesia and Mexico.

As the latest consumer confidence survey by GfK Nop last week showed, customers are feeling the pinch of stagnant wages, higher prices and growing unemployment and retailers are anticipating a difficult trading year in the UK.

E-commerce offers a new area of growth however and 93 per cent of those polled said they would be developing their online strategy in 2011, and looking forward, 71 per cent believe that the London Olympics will have a positive effect on their firm.

Croft added: “We could have predicted that the Olympics would bring growth to the UK retail sector, but an expected ten per cent uptick in sales after a cautious 2011 forecast signals a positive future indeed for UK retail.”

Published on Thursday 07 April by Editorial Assistant

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